Brigid Sullivan joined WGBH in 1978 and was appointed Vice President in 1980. Under her leadership, WGBH has won every major honor for children’s media, educational programming, and new-media content, including more than 30 Emmy Awards.
WGBH is the single largest source of children’s programs seen nationally on PBS and the Web, and Sullivan is responsible for the creation of such highly regarded productions as Curious George (the number one show on TV for preschoolers); Arthur and Postcards from Buster; Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman and Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius; Plum Landing; Martha Speaks; Between the Lions; Design Squad, Design Squad Nation, and Design Squad Global;Peep and the Big Wide World; and Zoom. She has overseen the production of the most popular telecourses of all time (French in Action, Destinos, Misunderstood Minds) and was executive in charge of Invitation to World Literature (featuring Harvard Professor David Damrosch). She served as executive producer of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (turning author Michael Sandel’s hugely popular Harvard University course into a hugely popular series on public television and the Web) and Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor (an innovative effort to bring poetry to a wider audience, online and on TV). She also initiated Teachers’ Domain, WGBH’s digital library of free media resources correlated to state and national standards, which led PBS to partner with WGBH on PBS LearningMedia™, providing educators across the US with free media resources on demand. Among the media-rich resources WGBH is developing for PBS LearningMedia is Transformative Teachers, a global curriculum collaboration with the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values to help educators teach empathy, forgiveness, and other core values.
Formerly charged with overseeing WGBH's new-media and media access activities, Sullivan launched WGBH’s efforts in broadband and interactive media, including smartphone and iPad apps available on iTunes and Google for Arthur, Between the Lions, Martha Speaks, and Peep and the Big Wide World, as well as creative partnerships with Apple, Microsoft, and others. Sullivan is leading WGBH’s efforts to level the educational playing field on tablets for children from low-income families with Next Generation Preschool Math, the first product of which is Early Math with Gracie and Friends™.
Sullivan led WGBH to become the largest supplier of content to pbs.org (one of the most popular dot-orgs in the world) and dramatically expanded WGBH’s commitment to ensuring that the 36 million Americans with hearing or vision impairments have access to popular media on public and commercial television, on the Web, in movie theaters, and more.
In the two decades that Sullivan led WGBH’s strategic planning efforts, the organization realized a sixfold increase in revenues from $30M to $200M and grew from 300 employees to more than 1,000.
Sullivan’s achievements have earned her numerous honors, including the New England Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and induction in the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers. She holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Thomas More College of Fordham University.