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Patricia Harrison Named CPB President/CEO

Patricia Harrison Named CPB President/CEO

The board of the CPB, after delaying its vote by a day, named former Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Patricia Harrison as the new president and CEO.
Harrison vowed to join with public broadcast leaders to restore congressional cuts of Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the federal fiscal 2006 budget. The appointment came as the House debated Republican-led cuts to CPB’s budget.
Harrison has served as assistant secretary since 2001 and is credited with starting what CPB touts as the first government exchange program for high school students from the Arab and Muslim world.
It’s the position she held as co-chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997-2000 that has critics worried. Several Democratic members of Congress called for the resignation of CPB Board Chair Ken Tomlinson over his nomination of Harrison, saying it’s incompatible with CPB’s mission to have a political operative at its helm.
Critics had charged Tomlinson didn’t seriously consider other candidates. In his announcement, Tomlinson said an executive search firm reviewed 200 potential candidates and conducted 11 interviews. The CPB board interviewed four finalists.