President Joe Biden nominated Diane Kaplan Thursday to serve on CPB’s board of directors.
Kaplan is the CEO of the Rasmuson Foundation, based in Anchorage, Alaska. The grantmaker focuses on a variety of statewide initiatives, including housing, arts education, dental health, alcohol addiction and access to broadband.
Earlier this year, Kaplan announced that she will leave the nonprofit in 2023. She joined the foundation in 1995 as its first employee and administrator and has led it since 2001. Before joining the foundation, Kaplan was CEO of the Alaska Public Radio Network, which provided statewide news coverage for the state’s independently owned and operated public radio stations. She has also served on the board for United States Artists.
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Alaska Republicans, both expressed approval for Kaplan’s nomination in a press release. In June 2021, the lawmakers sent a letter to President Biden recommending Kaplan for CPB’s board.
“Diane Kaplan’s work in Alaska has touched all sectors — business, government, nonprofit, philanthropy and so much more,” Murkowski said. “Diane has been a particularly strong advocate and leader in the world of radio, having previously served as the CEO of our state’s 28-station public radio network. I am pleased that an Alaskan will be stepping into a role on the CPB Board.”
“Public media offers an invaluable service in a state like Alaska, particularly for our rural communities, which Diane understands well given her deep roots and many years leading Alaska’s public radio network,” Sullivan said. “Diane’s tenacity and vision at the helm of the Rasmuson Foundation has likewise grown Alaska’s nonprofit sector exponentially, enriching the life of our state and better serving the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Seven of the nine seats on CPB’s board are currently occupied. Biden nominated Kathy Im, director of journalism and media for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, for a board seat last year alongside three other nominees. The Senate confirmed those nominees but has yet to take action on Im’s nomination.
In an email Thursday, Im said she did not know why she hasn’t been confirmed. “I am still very much interested in serving on this board, promoting and amplifying the important work of public media, and bringing my twenty years of experience in media and journalism grantmaking to the role,” Im told Current. “But I do not know why the Senate has not confirmed my nomination, and I have not been given any information by CPB or anyone else as to what is going on.”
Aside from her work at the MacArthur Foundation, Im has also been a board member for Media Impact Funders and the Center for Asian American Media, which receives support from CPB.
The terms of CPB board members Ruby Calvert and Robert Mandell expired in January, but the directors can continue to serve through the end of the calendar year unless another person is confirmed for their seat. If reconfirmed, they will receive new term dates. Biden’s renomination of Calvert for her seat is pending Senate consideration.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Diane Kaplan was formerly CEO of Alaska Public Media. She was CEO of the Alaska Public Radio Network.