Benton Foundation names Gloria Tristani president

The Washington, D.C.-based Benton Foundation has named former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani to be president of the foundation, effective April 5. The Benton Foundation, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is a small private foundation that is “committed to articulating a public interest vision for the digital age and demonstrating the value of communications for solving social problems.”

Tristani said, “The Benton Foundation’s leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that the public will benefit from the emerging digital communications environment as access, equity, and diversity are under siege by increasing media concentration and commercialization. I look forward to directing the foundation’s efforts to both educate people about their stake in communications policy debates—and to advocate for a media environment that ensures communities can produce and have access to diverse and locally responsive media content.â€?

She served for the last two years as managing director of the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ where she advocated for the public interest in the media, including a diversity of ownership and viewpoints, meaningful public interest obligations and enhanced children’s educational programming.

According to foundation board chair Charles Benton, “Gloria’s character, experience, and skills reflect the core values of the foundation, and her hiring reaffirms the foundation’s longstanding commitment to education and advocacy on media policy issues.â€?  Along with media policy, the foundation is also committed to strengthening public service media, including community media.

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