Beyer speaking at a public conference in Switzerland on Women's Issues
June 5, 1957
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
|Education||University of Richmond|
Megan Carroll Beyer (born June 5, 1957) is the Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, appointed by President Obama. She is an American journalist, commentator and civic leader, and an outspoken advocate for gender equality issues. In 2010 she founded and chaired the Swiss-American bilateral Women Leaders Project, Sister Republics. She has served on various public policy and other boards, and is active in charitable arts and humanities causes. She was a regular panelist on To the Contrary, a weekly news-analysis program airing on more than 251 public television stations in the United States, in Canada, and internationally on Worldnet Television.
Early life and career
Born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, Beyer graduated magna cum laude in 1979 from the University of Richmond, majoring in journalism. Since 1984, she had worked as a reporter and anchor for various local and national television news programs. She began her career as a local reporter for News Channel 8, covering education and politics. She later worked as reporter and anchor for Nation's Business Today on ESPN; for WTVR-TV news, the CBS affiliate in Richmond; and for HealthWeek on PBS. She went on to anchor The Business Channel, a PBS satellite news service featuring best-selling authors and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
Beyer serves on a number of boards and engages in various public policy initiatives. In 2010, she founded and chairs the Sisters Republics, a bilateral women's leadership conference involving the United States and Switzerland.
In 2012, she led a study on behalf of the George Washington University Global Women's Initiative titled "Gender Equality in Employment: Policies and Practices in Switzerland and the U.S." The study offered a comparative analysis of gender workplace issues affecting women in Switzerland and the United States, and included original research based on a poll of more than 1,000 Swiss workers. She also serves as a member of the advisory council of the Swiss-based Gender Equality Project, a non-profit working with other organizations around the world to close the gap in opportunities between men and women in the workplace.
Beyer has a long history working on women and family issues. In 2003, she began working as a panelist with PBS' To the Contrary, a weekly forum for women to discuss national and international issues and policies. She has been a frequent columnist to various publications, including the Alexandria Times and Times Community Newspapers, a chain in Northern Virginia. She serves on the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges; on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education; as a trustee of Washington's public television station, WETA-TV; and on the national board of Reading Is Fundamental. She is active on numerous charitable organizations and political campaigns, and holds leadership positions with the Barack Obama presidential campaign, including as Mid Atlantic finance chair for Women for Obama; as a member of the leadership committee of Women for Obama in Virginia; as a member of the National Finance Committee; and as co-chair of the National Women's Leadership Initiative Conference.
She is a partner in several real estate ventures and holds an interest in the Beyer Automotive Group with dealerships in Alexandria, Falls Church and Dulles.
Awards and past community service
Beyer received two Emmy nominations and a Virginia Associated Press award for her work at WTVR in Richmond. In May 2008, she was commencement speaker at Blue Ridge Community College. Her lifelong involvement in civic affairs includes service on the boards of the Virginia-Israel Commission; the Woodlawn Plantation; the Athenaeum, an historic property in Alexandria, Virginia; Prevent Blindness Mid-Atlantic; the Medical Care for Children Partnership, a project in Fairfax County, Virginia; the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts; the Richmond Ballet; and Theatre IV, a stage production company in Richmond. In 1996, Beyer co-chaired, with Lynda Johnson Robb, Every Child by Two, a project to immunize children in Virginia. She has been active in NARAL at the state and national levels, and in 2006 was honorary co-chair of NARAL's national fundraiser.
Personal and family
Beyer lived in Bern, Switzerland, with her husband, Don Beyer, a former lieutenant governor of Virginia who served from 1989–1997 when he was as the United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. They now live in Alexandria, Virginia, where Don serves in the House of Representatives from Virginia's 8th Congressional District. She and her husband have two children, Clara and Grace.
- U.S. Public Records Index, Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- U.S. Embassy Bern website
- GWU policy study news release, March 6, 2012
- Gender Equality Project advisory council members
- "PBS ''To the Contrary'' Beyer biography". Pbs.org. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Alexandria Times, April 24, 2007[dead link]
- "Times Community Newspapers website". Timescommunity.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- "Virginia's Community Colleges website". Myfuture.vccs.edu. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- "Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Board of Directors, 2008–09". Myfuture.vccs.edu. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- "WETA website, officers and trustees". Weta.org. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Reading Is Fundamental, Board of Directors, website[dead link]
- "Washington Post, February 6, 2008". Blog.washingtonpost.com. February 6, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Sweet, Lynn. "Chicago Sun Times, September 9, 2008". Blogs.suntimes.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- Blue Ridge Community College newsletter, Summer 2008[dead link]
- NARAL Pro Choice America website, 2006 dinner[dead link]