The CPB Board elected new leadership Tuesday in two unanimous votes. Chairing the governing body is Elizabeth Sembler, a Florida educator, with Nevada broadcaster Lori Gilbert as vice-chair. Each will serve one-year terms.
Outgoing CPB Chair Patricia Cahill presented Sembler with the chair’s gavel at the end of the board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Cahill is the retired head of KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Mo., and was the first radio broadcaster elected chair.
Sembler was first nominated to the board by President Bush and originally confirmed by the Senate in 2008. She was renominated by President Obama and confirmed for a second term this month.
Sembler has been on the board of WEDU-TV in Tampa since 1993 and was its chair from 2001-03. She also served on the board of the Association of Public Television Stations from 2006-08. Sembler has a background in education, previously directing engagement at Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg, Fla., and heading up a Jewish afterschool program at a Hebrew charter school in Clearwater, Fla.
Sembler’s work on the CPB Board has included serving as vice-chair for the past two years, chairing the Audit and Finance Committee for six years and working on the board’s task force for American Archive, a multiyear effort to identify and preserve public media content.
In urging his colleagues to elect her, director Bruce Ramer said, “Everything Liz has done for CPB has been done with extraordinary commitment and judgment.”
Immediately following her election, Sembler nominated Gilbert as vice-chair. Gilbert, whose given name is Loretta Sutliff, was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in August 2013. She is in her second term on the board.
For much of her career, Gilbert has worked as news director at locally owned commercial broadcasters KELK-AM and KLKO-FM in Elko, Nev. She also hosts a daily half-hour community news program, Elko Live, on KELK. Gilbert also is news director and reports for local NBC station KENV-TV, and she hosts a weekly news program on the station.
In her nomination, Sembler called Gilbert “a passionate advocate for public media, as well as for rural America.”