Sheila Johnson Joins PBS Foundation Board, Bringing Entrepreneurial Vision and Philanthropic Leadership

Renowned entrepreneur Sheila Johnson has been welcomed onto the PBS Foundation Board, PBS's national fundraising arm. This move is set to enhance the Foundation's efforts to secure major gifts and grants crucial for sustaining and elevating PBS's service to the American public. The financial support obtained aids in producing trusted, accessible, and high-quality media, aligning with PBS's commitment to advancing priorities in collaboration with member stations across the nation.

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger expressed pride in welcoming Johnson to the PBS Foundation Board, citing her as a trailblazing entrepreneur with a remarkable track record in building organizations from the ground up. Johnson's deep understanding of audience entertainment and inspiration is anticipated to significantly contribute to the Foundation's mission.

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As the founder and CEO of the Salamander Collection, Johnson oversees luxury properties with a focus on distinctive destinations in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Her influence extends to the entertainment industry, where she co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), the first cable television network for African American audiences. Johnson's role as an executive producer of documentary and feature films and her founding and chairing of the Middleburg Film Festival underscore her multifaceted contributions to the sector.

Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Johnson holds ownership in three professional sports teams: the Wizards (NBA), Capitals (NHL), and Mystics (WNBA), making her the only African American woman with such ownership in Washington, D.C. Her commitment to supporting female-led enterprises is evident through her spearheading of WE Capital, a venture capital consortium.

A philanthropist and community leader, Johnson is actively engaged in various organizations. Her membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, chairmanship of the College of Performing Arts at The New School, and participation in boards such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Jackie Robinson Foundation showcase her dedication to diverse causes. Johnson's memoir, "Walk Through Fire," published in September 2023, provides insights into her journey.

PBS Foundation Executive Director Brian Reddington expressed delight in welcoming Johnson to the Board, emphasizing the immense value her diverse experiences in media, hospitality, philanthropy, and the arts bring. Johnson's presence is anticipated to further support PBS in its crucial role of informing, inspiring, and entertaining Americans through innovative and thought-provoking media.