May 9, 2007
Leah Yoon, NPR


Smith is Advisor to Congressman Obey
and Staff Director for the Committee on
Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services

May 9, 2007; Washington, DC – Cheryl Smith, advisor to Congressman David Obey (D-WI) on public broadcasting issues and Staff Director for the Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, was selected as one of two recipients of the 2007 Public Radio Leadership Award, given annually by the NPR Board of Directors and the 800-plus NPR Member stations around the country.

The award was presented to Smith at a ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. on April 25 by the NPR Board of Directors. The resolution noted her work on behalf of public radio, “providing many years of diligent and successful work supporting public broadcasting funding, including leading efforts to hold the line against damaging funding cuts that have in turn served as a source of energy and inspirations to the public radio community.”

“Our entire community honors Cheryl for her ongoing commitment and dedication to maintain federal funding grants for public radio and advocate our importance in Congress,” said Tim Eby, Chairman, NPR Board of Directors. “Her efforts to keep public broadcasting issues a priority during several challenging legislative sessions displayed a deep understanding of our public service mission and its value to Americans."

The Public Radio Leadership Award has honored a bipartisan group of Members of Congress for the last several years; recipients have displayed outstanding support of and dedicated contribution to the public service of public radio. In 2006, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Congressman David Obey (D-WI), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and former Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA) were honored for their work sponsoring the House Amendment that restored $100 million dollars in federal funding for public broadcasting in 2005. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), founder of the House Public Broadcasting Caucus and Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) are among past recipients.

Smith, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, currently lives in Washington.