Accomplished non-profit executive to head Independence Public Media
Public Media of Philadelphia, Inc. today named Molly de Aguiar,
immediate past managing director of the News Integrity Initiative at the
Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New
York, as the president of the Independence Public Media Foundation.
de Aguiar will lead the Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF),
which will fund and support media and media-makers to strengthen and
connect diverse voices and foster greater understanding across
communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. The foundation has
expanded and enhanced its continuing educational and charitable mission
since Independence Public Media relinquished its broadcast license in
2017 and received a one-time payment of $131.5 million through the FCC
Broadcast Incentive Auction. Independence Public Media of Philadelphia
Inc. was founded in 1981.
An experienced grant maker with familiarity to Philadelphia, de Aguiar
brings expertise in public media and in connecting communities to IPMF.
“We are very fortunate to have Molly join us,” said René Smith, chair of
the IPMF Board of Directors. “Her background with startup organizations,
cultural programs, journalism enterprises and public media are a perfect
fit for the foundation.”
de Aguiar was the first managing director of the News Integrity
Initiative (NII), a global coalition of partners with a vision for news
and information that builds trust and lifts up promising approaches to
community problems. Prior to joining NII, de Aguiar spent 12 years at
the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation where she designed and directed its
Informed Communities grants program, which attracted partnerships with
national funders and helped New Jersey become a model for local
“IPMF has a truly extraordinary opportunity to invest deeply in
creative, community-led media,” said de Aguiar. “Grant making for news,
information and storytelling can lift up unheard voices, help build
resilient communities and shift public understanding of the positive
narratives to be found in every corner of the region. I am excited to
lead the foundation in a city I love and to honor WYBE’s original
IPMF will focus its giving in the Philadelphia region, which Smith said
made de Aguiar’s eight years’ experience in the area attractive to the
foundation. From 1997 to 2005, de Aguiar held roles at the Gesu School,
Kimmel Center and the Free Library of Philadelphia. She is a member of
the board of directors of Resolve Philadelphia and supported
Philadelphia-based media organizations in her positions at Dodge and NII.
“There are some very exciting things happening in public media in
Philadelphia right now,” said Cassie Haynes, Co-Executive Director of
Resolve Philadelphia. “The timing of de Aguiar’s arrival couldn’t be
better. This community is getting a powerhouse of a partner who brings a
wealth of experience and the right kind of energy.”
“We expect great things from Molly as she spearheads the foundation’s
efforts to energize public media in the Philadelphia region,” Smith said.
The foundation expects to announce its current fiscal year grant awards
before June 30.
About the Independence Public Media Foundation
The Independence Public Media Foundation funds and supports media
projects, educational initiatives and research that connect communities
and increase understanding among people in Greater Philadelphia. The
foundation hopes to help residents create and share information, ideas,
and stories that foster understanding and mutual respect, an engaged and
informed citizenry and dynamic, thriving communities. For more
information, visit www.IndependenceMedia.org.