Haydee M. Rodriguez Is Appointed Director, PBS Diversity Initiative

Posted by PBS Publicity on

ARLINGTON, VA, October 3, 2007 - PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger announced today that Haydee M. Rodriguez has been appointed Director, PBS Diversity Initiative. Ms. Rodriguez joins the staff of PBS from the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Maryland, where she serves as Executive Director. Reporting directly to PBS Chief Operating Officer Wayne Godwin, she will begin her tenure on October 22.

In this newly created position, Ms. Rodriguez will identify opportunities for PBS to encourage diversity throughout public television. It is a one-year appointment, during which Ms. Rodriguez will develop a diversity plan designed to engage public television partners and thought leaders and increase diversity in ways that impact public television content.

Ultimate oversight of this work rests with the PBS Board of Directors' Diversity Task Force, which was formed in 2005. Another major initiative of the Task Force is the Leadership Development Program that was piloted last year. Through this annual project, a diverse group of highly skilled individuals from public broadcasting organizations across the country participate in a year of activities that provide management development opportunities.

"These important initiatives reinforce PBS' commitment to diversity, both on the screen and beyond," said Ms. Kerger. "As our nation becomes increasingly diverse, having a service that reflects the rich diversity of our country is a key aspect of our public service mission. I am very pleased that we were able to find a candidate with Haydee's experience, skill and commitment to lead our diversity efforts."

"I know that Haydee and the work she is undertaking will be tremendous assets to PBS and the public television system as a whole," said Mr. Godwin. "This is a key initiative that needs to be thoughtfully coordinated with our many stakeholders and with the diversity efforts that are already underway. Spending a year building this program in a deliberate and collaborative manner is critically important."

"I am delighted to be a part of the PBS family, particularly because PBS has a remarkable track record of including different voices in its programming," said Ms. Rodriguez. "I look forward to working with PBS leadership and other stakeholders to enhance and increase the representation of different voices within PBS and in its content services."

Ms. Rodriguez has served as the first female Executive Director to the Hispanic Commission in Maryland since 2005. In this role, she is responsible for the Commission's overall management and daily operations, and provides senior level staff support to the Commission in planning, as well as in administering Commission initiatives and projects that fulfill its mission to ensure community access to information and services at various levels. Ms. Rodriguez represents the governor and the Commission at community events throughout the state.

Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Rodriguez was the Project/Outreach Coordinator for the Office of U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and served as the Executive Director of Centro de la Comunidad, Inc. after her tenure as a Special Assistant to the Mayor of Baltimore, Kurt L. Schmoke. She has also held the positions of Community Coordinator in the Office of the State's Attorney (Baltimore, MD) and Law Clerk in the Office of Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Baltimore, MD).

Ms. Rodriguez is a participant in the Baltimore Jewish Council's Leadership Development Program and is a Trustee of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. She serves as Chair of the Hispanic-Jewish Dialogue, which is sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Hispanic Round Table. Ms. Rodriguez is a graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program.

A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Ms. Rodriguez also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Loyola College and has done course work in Contemporary Latin American Literature at The Johns Hopkins University.

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CONTACT: Jan McNamara, jmcnamara@pbs.org, 703-739-5028