Here's a profile of me that aired as part of the Makers series on PBS:

Read a quick snapshot of my life and career, followed by a detailed biography. You can also read the story of how I almost gave up as a divorced single mother back in 1971.

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I was recently profiled in Luxure magazine and Grand magazine.

QUICK SNAPSHOT


Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and curator. Her career has focused on using media as a force for social change, with a special emphasis on the representation of women’s voices and stories.

Mitchell partners with the TED organization to co-curate and host an annual global TEDWomen conference. Mitchell also advises foundations and corporations on issues of women’s empowerment and leadership development as well as media and governance. She is the chair of the Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute boards, a founding board member of V-Day, a member of the board of the Acumen Fund, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The first woman president and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media; she is now a senior adviser to the organization. Mitchell is also the former president of CNN Productions, where she executive produced hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, which received 35 Emmy Awards and five Peabody Awards.

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Hollywood Reporter and featured in Fast Company’s special report, The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.

Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature (watch the 2012 commencement address she gave at her alma mater). She has taught at the University of Georgia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Detailed Biography

Pat Mitchell started her professional journey as an English instructor at the University of Georgia and Virginia Commonwealth University.  An innate curiosity and the need to feel challenged led her to accept a position as a writer/researcher for the popular newsweekly, LOOK magazine. Only nine months later, LOOK stopped publishing, and Mitchell, an unemployed single mother living in New York City with her young son, was advised to "try television."

As host of "Woman to Woman" in the 1980s

As host of "Woman to Woman" in the 1980s

Over the next three decades, she created a body of award-winning work in front of the cameras as a news reporter and news anchor, national talk show host and White House correspondent, as well as behind the cameras as a creator and producer of documentaries and series, many of which focused on women’s stories, challenges and accomplishments.  

In the mid-'80s, she left a secure position at NBC to establish an independent production company to create, produce and host the groundbreaking and Emmy-award-winning daytime series, "Woman to Woman," which was the first national program produced and hosted by a woman. "Woman to Woman" also became the first television series to be added to the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Radcliffe College.

In 1992 Mitchell approached media entrepreneur Ted Turner about producing a documentary series on the history of women in America. The resulting 10-hour series, A Century of Women, was broadcast in 1993 on the Turner cable networks and syndicated around the world. Turner convinced Mitchell to join Turner Broadcasting, and as president of Turner Original Productions and later CNN Productions, Mitchell was the executive producer of hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, many of which were awarded Emmy’s and Peabody Awards for Excellence; several were nominated for Academy Awards for best documentary.

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Hollywood Reporter and featured in Fast Company’s special report, The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.

Accepting the first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Media Center

Accepting the first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Media Center

In 2012, The Women’s Media Center honored Mitchell with their first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Mitchell has also been recognized with the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Leadership, and was honored by the Center for the Advancement of Women for her accomplishments and contributions in the world of communications in creating a more equitable society for women. She is also one of 12 Americans awarded the prestigious Bodley Medal from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Mitchell was recently appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as one of nine commissioners to develop a plan to build a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. The commission will deliver its report to Congress in the spring of 2016.

In addition to her accomplishments both on and off the screen, Mitchell is known for her humanitarian efforts and for her work as a dedicated member of numerous nonprofit boards. She is chair of the Sundance Institute and the Women’s Media Center. She is also a founding board member of V-Day, a global movement to end violence; a founding member of Mikhail Gorbachev's global environmental organization, Green Cross International; a board member of Acumen Fund; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the International Women’s ForumLearn more about the causes and projects to which she is committed.

Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature (watch the 2012 commencement address she gave at her alma mater). She 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 City and Atlanta, Georgia.

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