John Fahey, former CEO of the National Geographic Society, has been appointed a member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents. President Barack Obama signed the resolution Feb. 21 appointing him as a citizen regent. Fahey’s six-year term begins immediately. Fahey continues to serve as chairman of the National Geographic Society.
The 17-member Smithsonian Board of Regents includes nine citizen members, three members of the House of Representatives and three members of the Senate, as well as the chief justice of the United States and the vice president, both ex officio voting members. The Board of Regents is the governing body of the Smithsonian Institution.
Fahey takes the board position vacated by Roger Sant, a resident of Washington, D.C., who served two six-year terms as a regent. The Board of Regents meets four times a year at the Smithsonian. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. presides over the meetings as chancellor, and John McCarter is the Chair of the Board.
Fahey joined National Geographic in 1996 as the first vice president and CEO of National Geographic Ventures, the non-profit organization’s business subsidiary. He later served as president of the Society (1998–2010) and CEO (1998–2011).
During his tenure at National Geographic, Fahey led the organization into cable TV with National Geographic Channel and expanded the reach of the National Geographic magazine to include 39 foreign-language editions. He also spearheaded programs for fellows, explorers-in-residence and a variety of grant-making projects around the world.
Fahey currently serves on the board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the board of Johnson Outdoors Inc. He was selected as one of Advertising Age magazine’s top 100 marketers and by Irish American magazine as one of their top 100 Irish Americans. He is a resident of Washington, D.C.
Born in New York City, Fahey earned his bachelor’s degree at Manhattan College and his MBA at the University of Michigan. In 2008, he received the David D. Alger Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
John Fahey / Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution
John Fahey, former CEO of the National Geographic Society, has been appointed a member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents. President Barack Obama signed the resolution Feb. 21, 2014 appointing him as a citizen regent. Fahey’s six-year term begins immediately.