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Chuck Hagel Elected to PBS Board of Directors
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Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Nebraska U.S. Senator To Serve Second Term As a General Director

ARLINGTON, VA, February 16, 2017 – Secretary Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator from Nebraska, has been elected to serve as a General Director on the PBS Board of Directors. Mr. Hagel served previously on the Board from October 2010 to February 2013, when he resigned to accept his Cabinet position.

“Chuck Hagel's commitment to our country and to public service is unparalleled, and we are tremendously honored to welcome him back to our Board,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and Chief Executive Officer. “As a two-term U.S. Senator from Nebraska and as Secretary of Defense, he’s earned a reputation for bipartisanship. I am grateful for his steadfast support for public broadcasting, which provides an essential service to all Americans.”  

“For nearly 50 years, public broadcasting has been an integral part of our democracy, as a trusted source for educational programming and an important repository of our nation’s rich cultural heritage,” said Secretary Hagel. “As a Nebraskan, I know that local PBS member stations play a critical role for children and families in rural areas, and I look forward to again working with the PBS Board to ensure that all Americans continue to have access to this vital community service.”

The 27-person PBS Board includes both Professional Directors, who are station leaders, and General Directors, who serve as lay members of the Board and represent the public. The membership of PBS elects the Professional Directors. The General Directors and Officers are elected by the Board, which also appoints the PBS President and Chief Executive Officer.

The PBS Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. General and Professional Directors of the PBS Board serve three-year terms and serve without pay.

About PBS
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

Biographical Information

Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel was the 24th Secretary of Defense, serving from February 2013 to February 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense. Hagel also served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska.

Some of Hagel’s current commitments include serving on the Board of Trustees of RAND; Advisory Boards of Deutsche Bank America and Corsair Capital; Senior Advisor to Gallup and to the McCarthy Group; Distinguished Executive in Residence at Georgetown University; Distinguished Statesman at the Atlantic Council; and Board of Directors of the American Security Project.

Previously, Secretary Hagel served on the Board of the Chevron Corporation and the Zurich Holding Company of America, was a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee, and Co-Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Corporate Council. He served as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board, Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Power, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Board of Directors and the Systemic Risk Council.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Hagel was president of McCarthy & Company, an investment banking firm in Omaha, Nebraska. In the mid-1980’s, Hagel co-founded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc., a publicly traded corporation. He was President and CEO of the World USO, Private Sector Council (PSC), and Chief Operating Officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit). Hagel also served as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Commissioner General of the 1982 World’s Fair.

He is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter and was the subject of a 2006 book by Charlyne Berens entitled, Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have a daughter (Allyn) and son (Ziller).

Media Contact:
Aparna Kumar