- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 12, 2005

The new executive director of the PBS Foundation, Cheri Carter, has her hands full as the organization plans to raise and spend $25 million over the next five years.

“Overall, undertaking this challenge is personally and professionally rewarding,” Mrs. Carter said. “I am most excited about helping to contribute to the mission and goals of public broadcasting.”

The foundation was formed last June to help ensure the long-term financial stability of the Public Broadcasting Service and its member stations.

As director of the foundation, she will lead its efforts to seek, cultivate and receive gifts and grants nationally.

Some of her biggest challenges will be strengthening PBS’ overall finances and competing with cable and satellite television, she said.

“In a single sentence, I would say that the PBS Foundation’s greatest challenge is finding creative approaches to continue funding an American tradition — public broadcasting,” she said.

She will work with the PBS Foundation board and its 348 member stations to expand the PBS donor base.

“The success that our stations around the country have accomplished in raising money is amazing,” she said. “I am excited about developing great partnerships with them that will be mutually beneficial to all.”

Peter Hero, chairman of the PBS Foundation, said the organization is fortunate to have landed Mrs. Carter.

“Cheri brings to this position an outstanding track record in building national programs combined with exceptional energy and passion for the mission of public television,” Mr. Hero said.

Her initial fundraising plan for the foundation is leveraging the trust people have in public broadcasting, she said.

“More often than not, as a fundraiser, you always have to persuade a donor to invest in whatever you’re pitching on behalf of your organization,” Mrs. Carter said.

“At the PBS Foundation, donors know that they will be investing in the future of public broadcasting.”

She is a former corporate and international development vice president for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Her experience in public affairs, management and development also stems from her positions in the Department of Commerce, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation.

She has served as special assistant to the president and chief of staff in the Office of Public Liaison for the White House.

A self-described “TV nut” and avid traveler, Mrs. Carter lives in Bethesda with her husband, Thomas, the co-founder and president of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

—Kate Finneren

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