- Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has appointed the former CEO of the National Geographic Society to the Smithsonian Institution’s governing board.

John Fahey of Washington continues to serve as chairman of National Geographic but has stepped down as CEO. The Smithsonian announced Wednesday that Fahey’s six-year term on the Board of Regents begins immediately.

Fahey joined National Geographic in 1996 as the first vice president and CEO of the organization’s business subsidiary National Geographic Ventures. He went on to serve as president and CEO of National Geographic from 1998 to 2011. He led the creation of the National Geographic Channel on cable television and in the expansion of foreign editions of National Geographic magazine.

Fahey assumes the board seat vacated by Roger Sant, who served two terms as a Smithsonian regent.

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