Ken Stern

Ken Stern is a nationally-recognized expert in media and in nonprofit management. Stern led National Public Radio from 1999 to 2008, first as Chief Operating Officer and then as its Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure, NPR transformed itself into a global news organization and a primary provider of news and information to the American public. Under Stern’s leadership, NPR experienced extraordinary growth in both audience and revenues. At a time when virtually every news organization saw dramatic declines, NPR’s broadcast audience more than doubled, from 13 million to almost 30 million, and its flagship programs – Morning Edition and All Things Considered – became the two most listened-to drive-time radio programs in the country. Revenues more than tripled during Stern’s tenure and NPR’s reserve and endowment increased by more than 1500%.

Stern also drove NPR’s first significant efforts to diversify its programming. He oversaw the launches of its first programs aimed at the African American audience and at younger audiences, as well as its first programs originating from the West coast. Under Stern’s direction, NPR recast itself into a leading multimedia and digital innovator. He launched two satellite radio channels, its podcasting and mobile efforts, and oversaw the expansion of NPR.org into a world class web site. Stern’s leadership was regularly profiled in the media, including features in Time MagazineThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and Fast Company.


Stern is now CEO of Palisades Media Ventures, an innovative provider of news and public affairs multimedia content. He also regularly consults with leading nonprofits and journalism organizations, including the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Prior to joining NPR, Stern held leadership roles in American international broadcasting and in Democratic politics.