DONALD A. BAER, VETERAN MEDIA AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT, APPOINTED TO PBS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
January 30, 2008, ARLINGTON, VA - Donald A. Baer, a distinguished media and strategic communications professional, was appointed to the PBS Foundation Board of Directors, as announced today by PBS President & CEO, Paula Kerger. Mr. Baer is the Chairman of the strategy and research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland and Vice Chairman of the global strategic communications firm Burson-Marstellar, based in Washington, D.C., where he drives new business initiatives and provides strategic counsel to clients.
Now, he brings his wealth of media, strategic communications and nonprofit leadership experience to the PBS Foundation, where he will join its Board in shaping the goals and activities of the organization and cultivating extraordinary gifts and grants to ensure that PBS' future is secure for generations to come. Mr. Baer's participation on the Board will prove especially valuable to the PBS Foundation as it focuses its national fundraising efforts on building an endowment, developing innovative programming and embarking on special initiatives aimed at improving communities and the environment.
"It is a great honor to be part of the PBS Foundation Board of Directors," said Mr. Baer. "My whole life, I have benefited from and believed in the role that high-quality educational and entertaining media plays in fulfilling America's highest ideals. This is especially important at a time when national and global issues are becoming more and more complex. I believe PBS has an important role to play in the continued enlightenment of our society, and I look forward to working with an organization that takes this role very seriously."
"Don is a tremendous asset to the leadership of PBS and the PBS Foundation, and we will benefit greatly from his depth of experience and knowledge across disciplines in strategic communications, media and nonprofit leadership. His insight will significantly contribute to an already distinguished Board whose members have helped the PBS Foundation secure almost $20 million in private funds to date," said Ms. Kerger.
From 1998 through 2006, Mr. Baer was part of the leadership at Discovery Communications, a global media company that is the home of the Discovery Channel. A member of Discovery's executive committee and a deputy to its CEO, he served as Senior Executive Vice President for Strategy and Development. In that position, Mr. Baer managed a range of corporate functions, including business development, new ventures and acquisitions, new media strategy and operations, along with corporate affairs, communications, research and public policy. He also led numerous efforts to extend Discovery's reach in partnership with major nonprofit groups, including the launch of the SILVERDOCS film festival with the American Film Institute. Mr. Baer was also executive-in-charge of production for numerous television programs and spearheaded Discovery's efforts to expand into current affairs programming.
During the years 1994-97, Mr. Baer was an assistant to President Bill Clinton, serving as White House Director of Strategic Planning and Communications and as White House Director of Speechwriting and Research. Earlier in his career, Mr. Baer was a top editor and national political correspondent for U.S. News & World Report; he has written for influential publications such as The New York Times, GQ, The Politico and The American Lawyer. As a lawyer, he worked for three-and-a-half years at the New York firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler.
Throughout his career, Mr. Baer has been an avid supporter of the nonprofit community and has taken a leadership role on numerous boards, including those for the National Education Association Foundation, City Year Washington, D.C., and the Arena Stage. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
PBS is a media enterprise that serves 355 public noncommercial television stations and reaches nearly 73 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of digital learning content for pre-K-12 educators and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (www.pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at (www.pbs.org) one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
The mission of the PBS Foundation is to enlist philanthropic support of public broadcasting through establishing special initiatives funds and a permanent endowment to ensure PBS' continued excellence, and to promote and enhance outstanding public broadcasting programs and services. Working collaboratively and cooperatively with member stations, the Foundation will secure the extraordinary funding necessary to maintain and enhance its commitment to serving the American public. The PBS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and a 509(a)(3) supporting organization of PBS. For more information, visit www.pbs.org/foundation.