Ervin S. Duggan
Hall of Fame Class of 1999
Soon after joining PBS in February 1994 as its fourth president and chief executive officer, Ervin S. Duggan established clear objectives for the private, nonprofit corporation: to achieve new excellence in programming; to bring innovation to PBS's efforts in education and technology; to extend PBS's mission of education, culture and citizenship into the digital era and beyond the television screen; to create a more nimble and entrepreneurial PBS; and to generate new revenues for public television.
Mr. Duggan came to PBS after four years as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, to which he was appointed by President George Bush. His ties to public broadcasting date back three decades to 1967 when, as a member of President Lyndon B. Johnson's staff, he helped craft the Public Broadcasting Act, creating a role for the federal government in supporting public broadcasting. Since then, he has been an outspoken advocate for that public-private partnership and for reinvigorating public television for the next century. In 1993, he served as a member of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on the Future of Public Television.
He has held a number of public-service posts: special assistant to Senators Lloyd Bentsen and Adlai Stevenson III; special assistant to Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano; and was a member of the U.S. State Department's policy planning staff under secretaries Cyrus Vance and Edmund Muskie. From 1981 to 1990, he managed a firm that provided communications and consulting services to large corporate clients.
Mr. Duggan began his Washington career in the early 1960s as a reporter for The Washington Post and served as national editor of The Washingtonian magazine in the 1980s. He is the co-author, with Ben J. Wattenberg, of Against All Enemies, a 1977 political novel. He has also written many articles for such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Public Opinion, and The Aspen Quarterly. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Davidson College, his alma mater, and is a board member of the American Home Library Association and several other nonprofit groups.