Press Release

BET Network’s Debra L. Lee Elected as Board Chair of the Ad Council

Lee joined by 24 New Board Members

New York, July 9, 2013 - The Ad Council announced today that Debra L. Lee, Chairman & CEO of BET Networks, has been elected as the new Chair of the Ad Council's Board of Directors.

Ms. Lee joined the Ad Council Board in February 2008. She became Vice Chair of Media and joined the Executive and Nominating Committees in July 2011. Ms. Lee succeeds Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer of Procter & Gamble (P&G), as Board Chair, and will serve in this position for one year.

"Debra is one of this country's most respected business executives, and we are thrilled to have her leadership on our Board," said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council.

Media outlets donate approximately $1.5 billion in time and space to Ad Council PSA campaigns annually. The Ad Council's current partnerships with BET include two campaigns targeting young adults (ages 18 - 24): GED achievement and unplanned pregnancy prevention. Since 2007, BET's parent company, Viacom, has supported the Ad Council with more than $40 billion in donated media.

"The Ad Council does such important work across so many critical issues, and I have been proud to work with them over the past four years. I am so honored to be elected as the new chair of the Ad Council Board of Directors and look forward to continuing the Council's legacy of creative, ground breaking and impactful work," said Debra Lee, CEO & Chairman of BET Networks.

As Chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Ms. Lee is one of the highest ranking leaders at Viacom Inc. Prior to her appointment as CEO of BET, Ms. Lee served as the network's Executive Vice President of strategic business development and played a key role in taking BET public in 1991. In 2003, Ms. Lee was given the Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership from the National Cable Television Association. She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2010.

With Ms. Lee's election, the Ad Council will continue its ongoing tradition of rotating Board Chairs every year between the organization's founding sectors: media companies, advertising agencies and corporate advertisers. In 2014, Ms. Lee will be succeeded by Laura Desmond, Global CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, who currently serves as Vice Chair of Agencies.

David Christopher, CMO, AT&T Mobility, has been elected to serve as the Ad Council's Vice Chair of Advertising, and Steve Lacy, Chairman and CEO of Meredith Corporation, has assumed the position of Finance Committee Chair.

Additionally, the Ad Council has elected 24 new Board members, each of whom will serve a three-year term. About these new members Ms. Conlon added, "I want to thank each and every one of our new Board members for donating their time and talents to further the Ad Council's mission of inspiring change and improving lives. I look forward to working with them."

The Ad Council's new Board members are:

  • Joseph Abruzzese, President, Advertising Sales, Discovery Communications
  • Maryam Banikarim, SVP & CMO, Gannett Co., Inc.
  • Dermot Boden, Chief Brand Officer, Citigroup, Inc.
  • Linda Boff, Global Executive Director, Digital,
    Advertising & Design, GE
  • Monique Bonner, VP, Americas Marketing, Dell Inc.
  • Lee Brown, Head of Global Sales, Tumblr
  • Toby Byrne, President, Advertising Sales, Fox
    Broadcasting Company
  • Paul Chibe, VP, U.S. Marketing, Anheuser-Busch
  • Harris Diamond, Chairman & CEO, McCann Worldgroup
  • Paul Edwards, Executive Director, Global Marketing
    Strategy, General Motors
  • Michele Fabrizi, President & CEO, MARC USA
  • Rob Frederick, VP & Director, Corporate
    Responsibility, Brown-Forman
  • Betsy Frost Webb, General Manager, Media and Agency, Management, Microsoft
  • Todd Goldstein, Chief Revenue Officer, AEG
  • Julie Hamp, Chief Communications Officer, Toyota Motor North America
  • Tim Jones, CEO, Zenith Optimedia NA
  • Michael Kassan, Chairman & CEO, MediaLink
  • Lesya Lysyj, CMO, Heineken USA
  • Tom Noland, SVP, Corporate Communications, Humana, Inc.
  • Steve Pacheco, Director, Advertising, FedEx
  • Jo Ann Ross, President, Network Sales, CBS Television
  • Michael Senackerib, CMO, Campbell Soup Company
  • Paul Sturman, President & General Manager, Pfizer
    Consumer Healthcare
  • Deborah Van Valkenburgh, SVP, Strategic Brand
    Management, PNC Financial Services

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 70-year history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit You can also visit or follow the Ad Council on
Twitter @AdCouncil.

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