Juan Sepúlveda is senior vice president for station services at PBS, where he represents the perspective of its independent member stations in the ongoing management and strategic direction of PBS to ensure that its programs, products, and services support each station’s connection to its community and audience. He also works closely with stations, the PBS board of directors, station affinity groups, and other national public media organizations to focus on issues of sustainability.
Mr. Sepúlveda joined PBS from the Democratic National Committee where he was senior advisor for Hispanic affairs. Prior to that, he served as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where he designed and led the first-ever Hispanic Policy Conference along with a series of Hispanic Community Action Summits across the country that brought together representatives of offices and federal agencies with Latino community leaders to build relationships and partnerships to tackle key community issues.
His national strategy consulting organization, the Common Enterprise, which grew out of a national Rockefeller Foundation initiative, took him to more than thirty-five states where he worked with communities in urban and rural settings as varied as the Appalachian region in the Southeast and numerous towns in the Deep South to American Indian tribes and Urban Indian communities in the Northwest and Midwest to rapidly growing cities on both coasts and the Southwest and many more places in between. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Sepúlveda hosted “Conversations” on PBS member station KLRN.
Mr. Sepúlveda grew up in a working class Mexican-American neighborhood in Topeka, Kansas, and has been involved in community organizing and politics since the age of sixteen, when he was the first high school student hired to work for the Kansas Secretary of State. He also worked closely with the late Willie Velasquez and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and permanently moved to San Antonio, Texas, in the late 1980s, making it his new home. He completed a political biography of Velsquez and an organizational history of Southwest Voter, The Life and Times of Willie Velasquez—Su Voto Es Su Voz (Your Vote is Your Voice), published by Arte Público Press.
Mr. Sepúlveda is the third Latino ever awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He graduated from Harvard College with a BA degree in government. He also holds a BA degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from the Queen’s College, Oxford University and a JD degree from Stanford Law School.