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Brooke Runnette

Executive Vice President, National Geographic Society

Brooke Runnette

Brooke Runnette, the National Geographic Society’s Executive Vice President, Chief Program Officer, leads the Society’s impact agenda to empower world-changing science, exploration, and education; captivate and inspire global citizens; and advance solutions to sustain our planet for generations to come.

In this capacity, she is responsible for all grantmaking across this global nonprofit in the areas of science, exploration, storytelling, and education, as well as the Society’s signature programs, including National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, the Okavango Wilderness Project, and the Out of Eden Walk, among others. She also has oversight of the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration and its efforts to attract and cultivate explorers.

Prior to assuming her current role, Runnette’s career focused on using the power of media for education and social good. She was previously president of National Geographic Studios, where she was responsible for all television, film, and digital video production for the National Geographic Society. She and her team delivered creative, groundbreaking content, including innovative series, special events, and live programming that brought the unique stories of National Geographic’s explorers to the public.

She rebooted the National Geographic Explorer series for National Geographic Channel, which premiered with the award-winning episode Warlords of Ivory, featuring National Geographic Explorer of the Year Bryan Christy in a special investigation tracking the problem of illegal poaching across Africa using a GPS tracker hidden in a fake ivory tusk. This investigation became the centerpiece of an impact initiative around wildlife trafficking for the National Geographic Society.

Before heading National Geographic Studios, Runnette was president of National Geographic Television, served as an executive producer and director of development for special projects at Discovery Channel, and had a long career in broadcast journalism. She was a producer from 2002 to 2006, working with Ted Koppel at ABC News’ Nightline and previously produced for Frontline, CBS’s 60 Minutes II, and for Peter Jennings at ABC News, among others. Her many honors include Emmy and Peabody Awards.

Runnette grew up in Berlin and London. She graduated from Yale University with an interdisciplinary B.A. in special programs in the humanities.

Summit Sessions

The Next Generation