Thomas Hjelm is Chief Digital Officer of NPR. Overseeing NPR's digital product, design and technology groups, business development, strategy and partnerships, and research, archives and data, he leads organizational strategies for innovation and growth across new and evolving platforms. He also works closely with partners across the public radio system to develop and execute strategies for network collaboration, as well as with major distribution platforms to ensure that public radio is front and center on smart speakers, connected cars and other new channels.
Prior to joining NPR in 2016, Hjelm spent more than five years at New York Public Radio, where he led the digital media, marketing, audience development, distribution, data and business development teams in support of NPR member stations WNYC FM and AM; WNYC Studios; classical music station WQXR; the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space; and other broadcast and digital properties including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, The New Yorker Radio Hour, On the Media, Studio 360, The Takeaway, Brian Lehrer, Here's the Thing With Alec Baldwin, Note to Self, Death, Sex and Money and Snap Judgment.
Before joining NYPR, Hjelm spent three years at NBC Local Integrated Media where, as Senior Director of Content Strategy and Business Operations, he oversaw the digital content and product strategy for NBC's 10 owned-and-operated stations. Previously, he spent three years with AOL as Creative Director and Director of Broadband Services, producing multiple campaigns in support of the AOL for Broadband premium service and supervising the creative execution of various campaigns for the 2005 re-launches of AOL.com and AIM.
Hjelm began his digital career in 1995, when he joined NBC Entertainment in Burbank as Senior Producer of its then fledgling interactive media group. In 1998, he became Executive Producer of NBC.com, where he managed strategy, operations and content and product development for a portfolio of original entertainment content, including "online spinoffs" of such shows as Homicide: Life on the Street, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night With Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live. After leaving NBC in 2000, he was Executive Producer of two venture-backed entertainment startups, LivePlanet and Flixer.
Hjelm is a Director of Podcast Media, LLC, a collaborative venture among NPR, New York Public Radio, WBEZ Chicago and This American Life which in 2018 acquired the audio platform Pocket Casts. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Greater Public.
In 2017, Hjelm was named U.S. Chief Digital Officer of the Year by the CDO Club.
Hjelm received a B.A. in English from Swarthmore College and an M.F.A. in film production from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.