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Paula Madison

Paula Madison was appointed the Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal in May 2007. When the announcement was made, it was the first time in the history of NBCUniversal that a senior executive has had diversity as his or her sole responsibility. As the liaison between the company and key national and local leaders, Paula also serves as the diversity spokesperson for NBCUniversal. Paula is responsible for working with the company’s business executives to ensure the organization is an industry leader in developing the programs and culture that will enable the company to better reflect the makeup of its increasingly diverse, globally-based customers, clients and audiences.

This appointment speaks not only to the critical importance of diversity as a strategic priority for NBCUniversal, but is a testament to Paula’s rich history in the media marketplace and tireless leadership in this arena. Paula’s rise to this historic position began shortly after graduating from Vassar College. She worked as a newspaper reporter in New York and Dallas/Fort Worth. After a few years at television stations in Texas and Oklahoma, Paula returned to her native New York City by joining NBC’s owned and operated station WNBC in 1989 as Assistant News Director. Paula rose to be the station’s Vice President and News Director in March 1996.

Four years later, Paula was appointed President and General Manager of KNBC, NBC’s owned and operated station in Los Angeles. She was the first African American woman to become general manager at a network-owned station in a top five market. In April 2002, when NBC purchased the Telemundo network, Paula was additionally named Regional General Manager of the Spanish language network’s stations, KVEA and KWHY. In July 2006, she added another duty to her existing responsibilities – Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, NBC Universal. She was not a complete stranger to this role, however. While leading KNBC, Paula held the position of Vice President, Diversity, and then Senior Vice President, Diversity, for the NBC network from February 2000 to May 2002.

Paula’s commitment to rigorous journalism led to a 1996 Peabody Award for WNBC’s investigation, “A License to Kill.” Her journalism and avid dedication to the community helped KNBC earn local area Emmy, Golden Mike and Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. Honored for corporate leadership and community outreach, Paula was named one of the “75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2005 and included in the Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 100.” Paula also received the “Citizen of the Year Award” from the City of Los Angeles Marathon in 2004 and the Anti-Defamation League’s “2003 Deborah Award.” In 2007, she was named in Essence Magazine’s “Women of Influence” issue. The following year, Paula was honored by The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation with the “First Amendment Service Award” and the Houston Association of Black Journalists’ coveted “Pinnacle Award.” In 2009, Ebony Magazine listed her in the “Power 150 in Media.” The same year, Paula received the National Association of Black Journalists’ “Legacy Award,” for her extraordinary work in the promotion of fair inclusion and representation of minorities in the media. In 2010, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa appointed Paula as Library Commissioner for the nation’s second largest public library system.

A native of Harlem, New York, Paula and her husband reside in Los Angeles.