Pat Mitchell

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Pat Mitchell
Born (1943-01-20) January 20, 1943 (age 73)
Swainsboro, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Global media businesswoman and philanthropist
Spouse(s) Scott Seydel
Children Mark Mitchell, Clark Seydel, Rutherford Seydel, Rosina Seydel, Lael Seydel, Scotto Seydel

Pat Mitchell (born January 20, 1943) is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of The Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio) in New York City and the former President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

She resigned from PBS in March 2006 and was replaced by the current CEO, Paula Kerger, formerly of New York's PBS station, WNET. At PBS, she was named President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2000, the first woman and first producer and journalist to hold the position.

Mitchell retired as President and CEO of The Paley Center in May 2014, and was named the center's Executive Chairman.[1]


A former classroom teacher and college instructor, Mitchell has had a three-decade career in media. She received her A.B. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Georgia, where she was initiated into the Alpha Alpha chapter of Phi Mu. Before working for PBS, Mitchell worked for three broadcast networks and several cable channels, and she achieved success both in front of and behind the camera as a reporter, news anchor, talk show host, White House and special correspondent, producer and executive. In the mid 1980s, she established her own independent production company that produced documentaries, series, and specials for broadcast, cable, and national syndication. In 1992, Mitchell became an executive in charge of original productions for Ted Turner’s cable networks. Over the next eight years, as executive producer, her documentaries and specials received thirty-seven Emmy Awards, five Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award nominations.


Mitchell has received numerous awards including the Women in Cable and Telecommunications Woman of the Year Award; the CINE Golden Eagle for Lifetime Achievement; the PROMAX Century Award for contributions to the television industry; the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Leadership; and the NATPE Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award. In addition, Mitchell was named one of the most influential female executives in the media by The Hollywood Reporter and was honored as one of the first fifty women in The Museum of Television & Radio’s She Made It initiative. She was named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women's eNews. Mitchell was recently named, by "Fast Company" in their July August 2012 issue, as one of the League of Extraordinary Women. In 2012, Mitchell was named by the Huffington Post one of the Most Powerful Women Over 50. In 1992, Mitchell became an executive in charge of original productions for Ted Turner’s cable networks. Over the next eight years, as executive producer, her documentaries and specials received thirty-seven Emmy Awards, five Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award nominations. In 2013, she received an Athena Film Festival Award for her creativity, leadership, and the extraordinary example she sets for women in the field.[2] In 2006, she received an honorary degree in Doctor of Humane Letters from Oglethorpe University.[3]

Mitchell's Currently Held Positions[edit]

Mitchell is the current President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media. Mitchell is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Afghan Women's Council; the vice chair of the Sundance Institute Board; a founding member and Honorary Board member of Mikhail Gorbachev's global environmental organization, Green Cross International; an adviser to the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Harvard University; a member of the Mayo Clinic's Board of Trustees; and on the corporate boards of AOL and Knight Ridder. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia where she was a member of Phi Mu women's Fraternity, with a master’s degree in English literature, Mitchell has received many honorary doctorate degrees. In 2001 she was elected to membership in the prestigious Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame.

Mitchell Hosts the Paley Center's At the Paley Center program airing on WNET THIRTEEN. In 2011 the At the Paley Center's "She's Making Media" series featured women who use media in influential ways, including Glenn Close, Marlo Thomas, Jane Fonda, Arianna Huffington, Eve Ensler, and Maria Elena Salinas. The 2012 At The Paley Center's "She's Making News" series features Katie Couric, Gayle King, Paula Zahn, Maria Bartiromo, Soledad O'Brien, and Christiane Amanpour. Mitchell is also a member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

She is a regular Fortune's Most Powerful Women Leaders mentor for the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women's Mentoring Partnership. In Ken Auletta's July 2011 New Yorker piece, "A Woman's Place: Can Sheryl Sandberg upend Silicon Valley's male-dominated culture?," Sandberg describes Mitchell as a mentor.

She writes the popular Paley Center blog Pat Connects which can be read here:

After co-producing the first ever TEDWomen conference in partnership with TED Conferences, Mitchell and The Paley Center for Media went on to independently produce the bi-coastal TEDxWomen 2011, held in New York City and Los Angeles. TEDxWomen 2012 was held in Washington DC in December 2012.


  1. ^ Bacaradi, Francesca (May 20, 2014). "Paley Center Names New CEO, Pat Mitchell Shifts to Exec Chairman". Variety. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ Athena Film Festival 2013 Award Winners -
  3. ^ "Honorary Degrees Awarded by Oglethorpe University". Oglethorpe University. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 

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