Next Generation Leadership Announces Diversity Program Fellows

Professional Development Initiative Aims to Expand Diversity in Public Media

Dec 15, 2015

(Boston, MA – Dec. 15, 2015) – Today Next Generation Leadership (NGL) announced the selection of eight public media producers for its inaugural class of Senior Editorial Fellows. The new professional development initiative is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and designed to help expand diversity among senior and executive producers and other content development leaders across public media nationwide.

(A complete list of the Fellows with brief bios and their placements is included below.)

Next Generation Leadership is jointly led by WGBH Boston and The Partnership, a non-profit organization with nearly three decades of experience in executive training. The eight participants are a diverse group of mid-career professionals working in television, radio, and on digital platforms, selected from over 90 applicants at more than 50 public media stations and organizations.

"These eight fellows represent an important investment in a vibrant future for public media," said Pat Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "Working with WGBH we are focused on building a diverse talent and leadership foundation reflecting the communities we serve."

The year-long program begins January 25, 2016, and includes professional enrichment, leadership training, mentoring to examine opportunities and barriers in the field, and strategic training to succeed in today’s complex media landscape. Participants will receive skills development, coaching, and national networking experiences.

Fellows will remain in their current position throughout the year but will begin the program with a week of leadership training in Boston. Following this orientation, participants will be assigned to a production project, working closely with executive producers, and will dedicate four separate weeks to field work.

“This initiative is strategically important for all of us in public media,” says WGBH President and CEO Jon Abbott. “Our team is excited to be working with The Partnership to provide a valuable experience for the Fellows that will in turn have a lasting impact across our system.”

Next Generation Leadership is led by three executive directors: Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership; Carlos Sandoval, an award-winning independent filmmaker (The State Of Arizona, Farmingville) with over 20 years of legal, corporate and non-profit experience; and Judith Vecchione, an executive producer at WGBH with credits on PBS series including Nova, American Experience, and Frontline, as well as specials such as Vietnam: A Television History, Eyes on the Prize and, most recently, Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey

WGBH and The Partnership were assisted in the recruitment of the Fellows by AIR, a network of independent producers, journalists and stations.

Throughout the year, NGL fellows will be actively sharing their takeaways, participating in discussions, and holding their own conversations on social media at the hashtag #NGLpubmedia.

Those interested can follow NGL on Facebook, and Twitter, or join the fellowship LinkedIn group for updates.

About The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at

2016 Next Generation Leadership Fellows

Patricia Alvarado Núñez is from Boston, MA, and works at WGBH as a producer/series producer in Local Productions. Her most recent productions include Sing That Thing!Neighborhood Kitchens, and Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She will embed at OPB, Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Shayla Harris is senior producer for digital video at Frontline, a production of WGBH Boston. She lives in New York, where she worked as a video journalist for The New York Times and as a field producer for Dateline NBC. She will embed at KQED San Francisco.

Lee Hernandez is producer for Morning Edition at WNYC, New York. Before moving to New York, he worked at KNPR, Nevada Public Radio, where he was managing producer on the news program State of Nevada. He will embed at NPR in Washington, DC.

Andrew Ramsammy is director of content projects and initiatives for Public Radio International (PRI) in Minneapolis, MN, and Austin, TX. Andrew has worked as an executive producer in television (The Daytripper and Foodfinder TX), and as a communications and strategy consultant. He will embed at WBEZ Chicago.

Terence Shepherd has worked at WLRN South Florida for four years, first as assignment editor and now as News Director for the radio station. He worked before that at the Miami Herald and the Boca Raton News. He will embed at WNYC New York.

Cheraine Stanford is a producer/director at WPSU in College Park, PA. Her productions include the television documentary As Long As We Dance, the transmedia project Water Blues – Green Solutions, and the web series The Geospatial Revolution. She will embed at NOVA, produced out of WGBH Boston.

Kris Vera-Phillips works at KPBS San Diego where she is Senior News Producer. She manages Midday Edition, a daily radio talk show, and Evening Edition, KPBS’s nightly television news program. Before coming to public media, she worked at local California CBS and NBC affiliates, in digital media, and at the ABC affiliate in Topeka, Kansas. She will embed in the joint radio-television newsroom at WGBH Boston.  

Linda Wei is manager of digital strategies at Nashville Public Television (NPT) in Tennessee. She develops companion web sites for all major NPT projects, including NPT Reports: Aging Matters and Next Door Neighbors. She also produces interstitial programming such as A Word on Words andArtQuestShe will embed at WGBH’s Frontline series.

Categories: Diversity