Pat Mitchell, who served as President & CEO of the Paley Center from March 2006 to May 2014, has stepped into a new role as Senior Advisor for the Paley Center. Establishing an independent consulting practice, POW!Strategies, Mitchell is leveraging three decades of experience as a media executive, content producer and connector of people and ideas, to focus on media as a force for social change–with a special emphasis on women and media. Ms. Mitchell came to the world of media from academia, moving from a position as a college English instructor to the staff of a weekly news magazine, and in 1972, she became one of the first women to break new ground in television, working for the networks and cable channels as a news reporter and anchor, talk show host, and White House correspondent, producer and executive.
Creating a legacy of award winning work, throughout her television career, in front of and behind the cameras, Mitchell hosted and produced programs, documentaries and series that focused on women, their stories, challenges and accomplishments. In the mid-eighties, she established an independent production company to produce a nationally syndicated series focused entirely on women and their lives, “Woman to Woman”. This daytime talk series was the first to be hosted and produced by a woman and became the first television series to be added to the archive of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Harvard University. The series, broadcast in 1983-85, also won the EMMY as the Best Daytime talk series and became a regular feature on NBC’s TODAY program from 1985-1990.
In 1992, Mitchell was hired by media entrepreneur and founder of CNN, Ted Turner, to head his original productions division which produced more than 400 hours of documentaries and specials every year, including a ten hour documentary series on The History of Women in America and the award winning twenty-four hour documentary series on the history of the Cold War. Other programs produced under Mitchell’s direction have been honored with 37 Emmy’s, five Peabody Awards for Excellence in broadcasting and two Academy Award nominations.
Ms. Mitchell was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2011, and named as one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Variety. Among her many other industry honors, Mitchell is especially proud to have been recognized by The Women’s Media Center with their first annual Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. This award, named the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award, is now given annually to another women honored for advancing women through media. Mitchell was also given the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership; and was celebrated by the Center for the Advancement of Women for her accomplishments and contributions in the world of communications to create a more equitable society for women. Ms. Mitchell is also one of 12 Americans awarded the prestigious Bodleian Medal from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
In addition to her accomplishments both on and off the screen, Ms. Mitchell is also known for her humanitarian efforts and her work as a dedicated member of numerous nonprofit boards. Ms. Mitchell is Chair of the Sundance Institute, a Trustee Emeritus of the Mayo Foundation with a 12 year tenure as a Trustee of the Mayo Clinics, a founding member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s global environmental organization, Green Cross International, a board member of Acumen Fund, chair of the Jordan River Foundation US Board and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the International Women’s Forum and serves on the board of VDay, a global movement to end violence. She also chairs the Women’s Media Center Board and was recently appointed by Congress to a Commission for the establishment of a National Museum of the History of Women in America.
Mitchell also partners with the TED organization to curate and host an annual TEDWomen conference, featuring TEDTalks from women and men sharing ideas, innovations, compelling stories as part of a dynamic global narrative for women and girls.
A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia, with a master’s degree in English literature, Ms. Mitchell has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from several colleges and universities and is a much sought after public speaker, advisor and consultant to foundations and corporations on issues of women’s empowerment, and leadership development. She and her husband, Scott Seydel, have six children and 12 grandchildren and reside in New York and Atlanta, Georgia.
Ms. Mitchell was appointed to the Commission by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.