KQED Welcomes New Executive Director, Education

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After a national search, Michelle Parker has been hired as the Executive Director of KQED Education. She brings to the role a deep commitment to empowering underserved and underrepresented students to amplify their voices and become civically engaged.  

Michelle Parker headshot photo by Lynette Atkisson

Parker joined KQED nearly 6 years ago and has been serving as the Interim Executive Director for Education since November. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Foundation and Government Support. In that role, she worked closely with the previous executive director, Robin Mencher, to advance the growth and sustainability of KQED’s education services. During that time the Education Department tripled in size and focused on developing services that would meet the needs of students and the education community--becoming an education service that is a national leader in public media. Under Parker’s leadership, KQED Education will continue to improve students’ media making, media literacy and civic engagement skills and support teachers with free professional learning and high-quality, trusted content and curriculum.

“Michelle believes deeply in equity in education and in centering young people in our work,” says KQED’s Chief Content Officer Holly Kernan. “She brings empathy and humility in her approach to leadership. I am thrilled that Michelle will lead our talented team of educators, producers, and other media professionals to further KQED’s goals to elevate and foster diverse youth voices.”

Parker has also served in many education-related leadership roles in the community, locally and statewide over the past 15 years. She led the San Francisco PTA, where she supported and grew parent leadership at more than 60 schools, and she has chaired citizen oversight committees for San Francisco Unified School District. She has also served on various policy and finance-related task forces for parks, schools and the state department of education. Additionally, Michelle has worked within arts nonprofits to elevate student voices and storytelling, advance anti-racist instructional practices, and design programs supporting working artists.  


“I believe we can create more just and equitable communities by providing a high-quality education to our children and youth,” says Parker. “KQED has a critical role to play in this as we create opportunities for young people to develop skills to effectively use their voices to share what is important in their lived experiences and to strengthen their communities now and the future.” 

About KQED
KQED is a nonprofit, public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas.