Iowa PBS general manager elected professional vice chair of national PBS board

On December 9, 2021, PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger announced the results of the PBS board elections in which Molly Phillips, executive director and general manager of Iowa PBS, was elected to serve a first term as professional vice chair. The results of the board elections were shared following the public broadcasting service’s December meeting, held virtually from the PBS headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

“We are fortunate that the PBS board of directors includes such an extraordinary group of leaders representing a diversity of perspectives and experiences,” said Kerger. “With the board’s ongoing leadership, guidance and dedication, public television will continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration and education for generations to come.”

The 27-person board includes both professional directors, who are station leaders, and general directors, who serve as lay members of the board, as well as the PBS president. The PBS board of directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. General and professional directors of the board are generally elected to three-year terms and serve without pay. PBS member stations elect the professional directors. General directors are elected by the entire board, as are the PBS president and the board officers.

“Public television reaches over 120 million Americans each month, offering them the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds. Viewers as young as two and lifelong learners of all ages look to PBS for information, inspiration and world class entertainment,” said Phillips. “I am privileged to serve alongside my fellow PBS board officers to advance our mission and ensure the strength of public broadcasting now and well into the future.”

During this meeting, six individuals were elected to serve as general directors on the PBS board and board officers were elected. In addition to Phillips, the board elected Larry Irving, president and CEO of the Irving Group, to serve as Chairman and Maxine Clark, CEO of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, for a second term as general vice chair.

Biographical Information

Molly Phillips is executive director and general manager for Iowa PBS, where she has been responsible for leading Iowa’s only statewide broadcast network since 2013. She has served Iowa PBS since 1990, devoting her career to the advancement of public television and Iowa PBS’s mission to educate, inform, enrich and inspire Iowans. Phillips was previously the director of communications and community engagement at Iowa PBS, where for nearly 15 years she was responsible for the network’s state and federal public policy advocacy. America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) presented her with its National Advocacy Award in 2010.

Phillips volunteers her time and talents to a long list of organizations advancing the vision and goals of public media. She was elected to and served as chair on the APTS board of trustees. She chaired the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for APTS and is an active member of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE). She previously served the National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) board of directors as chair and secretary. She also served the Affinity Group Coalition of Public Media Organizations where she led an initiative to create professional development training opportunities for public media employees.

Phillips holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business degree from Grand View University in Des Moines. She completed the PBS Executive Leadership program in 2015 and is frequently invited to speak on the value, education benefits and opportunities offered by public media. She presented at the 2019 and 2020 NETA conferences, the 2018, 2019 and 2020 APTS Public Media Summits, and the 2017 Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Board Meeting.

Phillips was raised in southwest Iowa and she currently resides in Grimes with her husband Steve. They have three grown children together.

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 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. The full release on the recent PBS Board election can be found at

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