NEW YORK, NY—Markle Foundation President Zoë Baird today named Alice Cahn to lead the foundation’s Interactive Media for Children Program. Cahn, who will be a Managing Director at Markle, moves from Children’s Television Workshop, where she currently serves as President of the Television, Film, and Video Group, and is responsible for CTW’s global creative development and production.
Said Zoë Baird, “I am delighted that Alice has joined the Markle Foundation. She has been a major figure in entertaining and educational children’s media for many years. Alice is now in a position to create the models and expectations for how interactive media can best benefit children.” She added, “As children’s waking hours become increasingly influenced by interactive media and toys, it is critical that we encourage the development of quality content. Alice’s extraordinary track record as a leader in children’s television and her desire to turn her attentions to new media bode well for the next generation of media consumers and for the field at large.”
Said Alice Cahn, “I am so proud of what we have accomplished at The Workshop: debuting DRAGON TALES as a top-rated series on PBS; Amy Tan’s SAGWA slated for PBSKids Online and Television; increased audiences and impact for SESAME STREET across the screens; and much more. My move to The Markle Foundation is an opportunity to take what I’ve learned about children, families and the impact of media and apply it more broadly to new and emerging technologies. I intend to build partnerships that create motivating, responsible, engaging content and delivery systems that positively impact children and families. The Markle Foundation is an exciting institution on the cutting edge, working to advance public benefit from new information technologies.”
About Alice Cahn
Alice Cahn currently serves as President of the Television, Film, and Video Group at Children’s Television Workshop, where she is responsible for all CTW’s domestic and international creative development and television production as well as home video and audio production and the development and production of film projects for the nonprofit organization. Prior this, she served as Director of Children’s Programming at PBS, where her responsibilities included strategic planning, the direction of all PBS children’s projects, and the development of series including: Teletubbies, Wishbone, Kratts’ Creatures, Arthur, and Where in Time is Carmen San Diego.
Prior to her tenure at PBS, Ms. Cahn designed national outreach programs that linked television, businesses, and education at the Los-Angeles-based Education First!, and served as Program Director for Children’s Instructional Television at KQED, Northern California Public Broadcasting. Alice Cahn received her Masters in Educational Technology from San Francisco State University and holds a New York Teacher’s License, K-8.
About Markle’s Interactive Media for Children Program
Markle’s Interactive Media for Children Program is a multi-faceted program of research, investments, and public education that works to create and support quality interactive media for children. The program includes:
A major commitment to gain in-depth knowledge about the impact and potential of new media to help children learn and grow; specifically, efforts include the setting of a national research agenda on how interactive media can contribute to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and developmental needs of children. Work with and support for key content producers and companies to help them pursue innovative and quality products and services, and on-line activities including games, toys, and programs; and, Large-scale public education efforts intended to create a market and demand among parents and users for this information and for products, specifically taking into account parents’ needs and concerns, and creating tools and guidance that they can use to make informed decision.
In addition to developing new initiatives, Ms. Cahn will direct projects already underway at Markle, including the foundation’s current initiative with Dr. Ellen Wartella, Dean of the College of Communications at the University of Texas, to develop a research compendium on children’s use of interactive technologies. Another ongoing initiative in this program area is Markle’s recent partnership with the Ad Council to create a first-of-its-kind multimedia public education campaign to help parents make informed decisions about their children’s use of these new media.
The Interactive Media for Children Program is one of four major areas of concentration for the Markle Foundation. After 30 years of work in mass media and the public interest, last July the foundation announced its intention to focus exclusively on realizing the potential of emerging media and technology to improve people’s lives. It was also announced at that time that Markle would invest over half of its assets—$100 million—over the next three to five years out of the belief that models and expectations for what the new media can accomplish will be formed during this time and that a unique window of opportunity exists to create higher expectations for it on a large scale.
Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org.