Gary E. Knell (pictured) takes the reins as president and CEO of the National Geographic Society (NGS) today (January 6), replacing John M. Fahey.
Knell has been a member of NGS’s board of trustees since April 2013 and has served on the board of governors of the National Geographic Education Foundation since November 2003. Fahey will continue to serve as chairman of the NGS’s board of trustees.
NGS co-owns National Geographic Channel, which is a joint venture between its National Geographic Television & Film arm and Fox Cable Networks.
“I am honored to have been chosen to lead this incredible organization, celebrating 125 years of scientific research and meaningful exploration along with extraordinary media assets that have educated and inspired generations to care about our planet,” said Knell, whose appointment was confirmed last August.
“I am looking forward to building on the momentum of expanding National Geographic’s global footprint throughout our rapidly changing digital world.”
Fahey added: “Gary is the right leader at the right time for the Society, and I am pleased that my successor is someone who has close ties to this institution — along with a wealth of knowledge and global experience that will serve us well.”
Knell comes to NGS from National Public Radio, where he served as president and CEO from 2011 to 2013. Earlier in his career, he spent 22 years at Sesame Workshop, including a 12-year tenure as CEO.