NPR Board of Directors Welcomes New Member Directors WBEZ's Goli Sheikholeslami and WMFE's LaFontaine E. Oliver will fill two new Member Director positions on the NPR Board
NPR logo NPR Board of Directors Welcomes New Member Directors

NPR Board of Directors Welcomes New Member Directors

Goli Sheikholeslami, President and CEO at Chicago Public Media Goli Sheikholeslami hide caption

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Goli Sheikholeslami

Goli Sheikholeslami, President and CEO at Chicago Public Media

Goli Sheikholeslami

LaFontaine E. Oliver, President and General Manager at WMFE Kim Chase/WMFE hide caption

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LaFontaine E. Oliver, President and General Manager at WMFE

Kim Chase/WMFE

WBEZ's Goli Sheikholeslami and WMFE's LaFontaine E. Oliver will fill two new Member Director positions on the NPR Board

February 18, 2016, Washington, D.C. – The NPR Board of Directors has elected Goli Sheikholeslami, president and CEO of WBEZ in Chicago, and LaFontaine E. Oliver, president and general manager of WMFE in Orlando, to fill two new Member Director positions on the board. The election is effective immediately.

This election is a result of the recent amendments to the NPR Bylaws expanding the NPR Board of Directors to a total of 23 directors – consisting of 12 Member Directors, 9 Public Directors, the NPR Foundation Chair and the NPR President & CEO. This expansion includes two new Member Director seats, which are now filled by Oliver and Sheikholeslami, and four new Public Director seats. Under the Bylaws, newly created directorships are filled by a vote of a majority of the entire Board of Directors.

"We look forward to the wealth of experience and diversity of perspectives that LaFontaine and Goli will bring to the NPR Board," said Roger LaMay, Chair of the NPR Board.

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve both NPR and my station colleagues at such an exciting time in our industry so full of potential for innovation and broader service to our communities," said LaFontaine E. Oliver.

"I'm honored to join the NPR Board. This is such an important time for public radio. It is a time of both enormous opportunity and formidable challenge. We're well positioned to meet both, and I'm excited to help work towards that – to help re-imagine public radio for the next generation," Sheikholeslami said. "We're in an environment where other media outlets are struggling, and blurring lines with sponsored content and native advertising. We have a model that works – for us, for our mission, for our audience. It works for journalism. I've really never been more excited and optimistic about working in media than I am right now."

The position filled by Sheikholeslami has an initial partial term ending in November 2018. The position filled by Oliver has an initial partial term ending in November 2016. They are both eligible to serve two full three-year terms at the end of their initial partial terms.

LaFontaine E. Oliver is the President and General Manager of WMFE. Prior to joining WMFE in May 2013, Oliver served as the General Manager of WEAA-FM in Baltimore, MD, for seven years. He worked in commercial radio as well for more than a decade for companies such as Radio One and XM Satellite Radio. Oliver has launched numerous national programs successfully and headed initiatives aimed at increasing service to underserved audiences. Oliver serves as President of the Central Florida Association of Black Journalists, member and secretary of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service Board, and Vice Chair of Eastern Region Public Media. He holds an MBA from the University of Baltimore and a BA in Business Administration from the University of Miami.

Goli Sheikholeslami is the President & CEO of WBEZ. She has successfully built and led operations at several prominent news and information companies over the past 20 years. As VP & General Manager of Washington Post Digital, Sheikholeslami led the development of washingtonpost.com into one of the leading news destinations online and successfully integrated the digital news operations with the company's legacy newspaper. She has also served in key leadership roles with major media organizations Conde Nast and Time Warner. Her most recent position before joining WBEZ in April 2014 was as chief product officer and executive vice president of business operations for Everyday Health, a leading health information platform for consumers and medical professionals. Sheikholeslami serves on the board of Dice Holdings Inc., a leading digital recruitment services company, and as a member of the Media/Technology Council of Springboard Enterprises, a non-profit organization working to accelerate women entrepreneurs' access to growth capital. She holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a B.S. in International Economics from the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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NPR Media Relations Contact: Isabel Lara / mediarelations@npr.org