Think Big

Deborah Acklin

President and CEO of WQED Multimedia

Deborah Acklin

Deborah Acklin is president and chief executive officer of WQED Multimedia, the nation's first community-owned public media company, also known worldwide as "Mister Rogers' station".

Ms. Acklin has served in multiple executive roles in public broadcasting, the cable television industry, and commercial broadcasting. At WQED Multimedia, she manages or has managed the operations, strategies, and fundraising to create original multi-platform content distributed across three television channels, three radio signals, an interactive Web-based learning channel, an interactive global media distribution portal, an education department, a publishing division, and PBS, NPR and their member stations.

Her tenure includes many achievements, including two consecutive Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for Station Excellence, given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to a general manager of a commercial or public television station in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New Jersey. She also helped launch the first public television channel in Bermuda (CTV).

Ms. Acklin's own work has been honored with many awards including: a national Emmy award nomination for a documentary about the legendary Mister Rogers; seven Emmy awards (Mid-Atlantic); a CINE Golden Eagle; The Gabriel Award from the Catholic Communicators Conference; the Pearl Award from the descendants of the Warner Brothers; a film award from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Associated Press honors for Best Newscast; the YWCA Tribute to Women Award in Arts and Culture; and an Outstanding Women in Science Award from the Women & Girls' Foundation.

Ms. Acklin is a sought-after speaker and frequent guest on radio and television programs, including Charlie Rose. She is active in the community on a variety of board and advisory boards including: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; The Three Rivers Arts Festival; Carlow University; The Steeltown Entertainment Project; The Winchester-Thurston School; and The University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics. She holds a B.A. from Duquesne University and attended Harvard Business School where she completed the prestigious Advanced Management Program.