Farewell to Robin Mencher

After 14 years of extraordinary service as the Executive Director of KQED Education, Robin Mencher will be taking on a new role as Executive Director of Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay, a nonprofit agency that offers social, mental health, and legal services to immigrants, refugees, children and families of color, seniors and Holocaust survivors in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Robin’s visionary leadership grew KQED’s education services into what they are today: a highly trusted and effective set of resources that elevate youth voices and increase youth civic engagement, while also increasing the capacity of educators to teach media literacy and media making skills. Central to all of these services is a mission to reach underserved youth and improve equity and access. From the development of content properties like the award-winning Above the Noise video series and Do Now activities, to the launch and continued development of services like KQED Teach and KQED Learn, to her leadership in the launch of the California Public Media Education Service in partnership with other PBS stations throughout the state, Robin has set the bar for what a public media education service can achieve for our communities. KQED Education was also at the core of the public media system’s response to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robin has worked tirelessly to maximize KQED’s impact in young people’s lives, forming deep, strategic partnerships across philanthropy, public media and education organizations, like the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). 

“These are unprecedented times,” says San Bernardino County superintendent and CCSESA president Ted Alejandre, “All of us are doing as much as we can to support all of our 6.2 million plus students in the state of California. It’s just a pleasure for us, the superintendents across our 58 counties, to partner with other collaborators to make sure that students get the support they need.”

KQED will soon begin a national search for a new Executive Director of KQED Education. In the interim, KQED Education will be led by Michelle Parker, who has worked closely with Robin to advance the growth and sustainability of KQED’s education services over the past five years. KQED’s innovative, dedicated and expert education team will continue to advance our goals to elevate young people’s voices as we continually adapt to the disruption to learning brought on by the pandemic.

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Robin’s last day will be November 20th. We wish her continued success in her new endeavor and will dearly miss her presence and dedication to KQED.