Pat Mitchell

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  • Pioneering Media Executive and Legendary Activist
  • Editorial Director, TEDWomen
  • Emmy Award-Winning Producer
  • Author, "Becoming a Dangerous Woman"


Groundbreaking media icon and global advocate for women's rights Pat Mitchell is the editorial director of TEDWomen. Raised in a small town in Georgia with no money or connections, Mitchell became a consummate media game-changer. She was the first woman president of PBS and of CNN productions, and also a visionary, award-winning TV and film producer, fully engaged on the front lines of cultural change. Throughout her remarkable career, Mitchell has focused on sharing the stories of women-- all women, from all backgrounds, and walks of live-- as a way of creating change in the world. 

Mitchell is the bestselling author of Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World, an intimate and inspiring memoir that provides both riveting anecdotes and awe-inspiring lessons from her life. The book covers everything from navigating the power paradigms of Washington DC and Hollywood, to Michell's experiences traveling to war zones with Eve Ensler and Glenn Close, to pressing Fidel Castro into making a historic admission about the Cold War. 

A powerful, dynamic speaker, Mitchell has spent her life redefining power on her terms. At speaking engagements worldwide, she encourages others to be braver and bolder, to dismantle the barriers to full equality they see in their own lives, and to embrace risk to create a more equitable world.

 

 

 

 

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A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Pat Mitchell
  • USC Annenberg
  • Acumen
  • Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
  • University of Miami
  • Skoll Foundation
  • TED
Virtual Keynote - Becoming a Dangerous Woman | Simmons Leadership Conf. [29:52] - Get Sharable Link
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Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World

Pat Mitchell has nothing left to prove and much less to lose -- she's become a "dangerous woman." What makes Mitchell dangerous is her lifelong insistence on redefining power on her terms, and in leveraging that power to manifest a better world. In this powerful call to action, Mitchell invites all ...

Pat Mitchell has nothing left to prove and much less to lose -- she's become a "dangerous woman." What makes Mitchell dangerous is her lifelong insistence on redefining power on her terms, and in leveraging that power to manifest a better world.

In this powerful call to action, Mitchell invites all women, men and allies to join her in embracing the risks necessary to create a world where safety, respect and truth burn brighter than the darkness of our current times. Highlighting the ways in which feminism needs to rapidly evolve, Mitchell dives into key issues such as equal pay, work-life balance, and female leadership. She also shares candid anecdotes from her own unlikely path to power-- from a childhood spent on a cotton farm in the South to her unprecedented rise in media and global affairs-- as well as eye-opening, first-hand lessons from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and business.  Ultimately, Mitchell leaves audiences empowered, and encourages them to be braver and bolder, to dismantle the barriers to full equality they see in their own lives, and to embrace risk to create a more equitable world.

Being Part of the Narrative: The Power of Women's Stories

Groundbreaking media icon and global advocate for women's rights Pat Mitchell has dedicated her career to sharing the stories of women-- all women, from all backgrounds, and walks of life-- as a way of creating change in the world. On the frontlines of three media revolutions-- as the first woman in ...

Groundbreaking media icon and global advocate for women's rights Pat Mitchell has dedicated her career to sharing the stories of women-- all women, from all backgrounds, and walks of life-- as a way of creating change in the world. On the frontlines of three media revolutions-- as the first woman in broadcast journalism, one of the first women to start her own media company, and as the first woman president of PBS and of CNN productions-- Mitchell has seen firsthand the remarkable things that can happen when women's voices and truths are heard. 

In these captivating, candid, and empowering remarks, Mitchell dives into the value and power of storytelling and how it is intrinsically related to female mentorship and leadership. Highlighting the beauty that is found when we see and hear narratives we can relate and aspire to, Mitchell empowers women to share their own story, receive the wisdom of those who came before them, and pave the way for those yet to come. 

 

Media and Its Transformational Power

At every step of her career, Pat Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist, an Emmy award-winning, and Oscar-nominated producer, to tell women’s stories and increase the representation of women onscreen and off.  In these illuminating remarks, Mitchell d ...

At every step of her career, Pat Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist, an Emmy award-winning, and Oscar-nominated producer, to tell women’s stories and increase the representation of women onscreen and off. 

In these illuminating remarks, Mitchell dives into the power of media to shape and change the world we live in. Addressing key issues of representation, and sharing her own experiences as a woman rising through the ranks in a male-dominated field, Mitchell highlights the ways in which all forms of media-- print, film, digital, and television-- are able to move the needle on issues of equality, and collectively manifest a better world. 

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Biography

Pat Mitchell started her professional journey as an English instructor at the University of Georgia and Virginia Commonwealth University.  An innate curiosity and the need to feel challenged led her to accept a position as a writer/researcher for the popular newsweekly, LOOK magazine. Only nine months later, LOOK stopped publishing, and Mitchell, an unemployed single mother living in New York City with her young son, was advised to "try television."

Over the next three decades, she created a body of award-winning work in front of the cameras as a news reporter and news anchor, national talk show host and White House correspondent, as well as behind the cameras as a creator and producer of documentaries and series, many of which focused on women’s stories, challenges and accomplishments.

In the mid-'80s, she left a secure position at NBC to establish an independent production company to create, produce and host the groundbreaking and Emmy-award-winning daytime series, "Woman to Woman," which was the first national program produced and hosted by a woman. "Woman to Woman" also became the first television series to be added to the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Radcliffe College.

In 1992 Mitchell approached media entrepreneur Ted Turner about producing a documentary series on the history of women in America. The resulting 10-hour series, A Century of Women, was broadcast in 1993 on the Turner cable networks and syndicated around the world. Turner convinced Mitchell to join Turner Broadcasting, and as president of Turner Original Productions and later CNN Productions, Mitchell was the executive producer of hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, many of which were awarded Emmy’s and Peabody Awards for Excellence; several were nominated for Academy Awards for best documentary.

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Hollywood Reporter and featured in Fast Company’s special report, The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.

In 2012, The Women’s Media Center honored Mitchell with their first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Mitchell has also been recognized with the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Leadership, and was honored by the Center for the Advancement of Women for her accomplishments and contributions in the world of communications in creating a more equitable society for women. She is also one of 12 Americans awarded the prestigious Bodley Medal from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Mitchell was recently appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as one of nine commissioners to develop a plan to build a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. The commission delivered its report to Congress in 2016.

In addition to her accomplishments both on and off the screen, Mitchell is known for her humanitarian efforts and for her work as a dedicated member of numerous nonprofit boards. She is chair of the Sundance Institute and the Women’s Media Center. She is also a founding board member of V-Day, a global movement to end violence; a founding member of Mikhail Gorbachev's global environmental organization, Green Cross International; a board member of Acumen Fund; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the International Women’s ForumLearn more about the causes and projects to which she is committed.

Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature (watch the 2012 commencement address she gave at her alma mater). She has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from several colleges and universities and is a much sought-after public speaker, advisor and consultant to foundations and corporations on issues of women’s empowerment and leadership development. She is the author of Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World. She and her husband, Scott Seydel, have six children and 12 grandchildren and reside in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia.