Leslie Wilcox

President and CEO, PBS Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

APTS trustee Leslie Wilcox heads Hawaii’s public television system, a PBS community licensee bridging the ocean to serve six volcanic islands which are home to 1.4 million people, constituting the most ethnically diverse population in the country.

Leslie is a former longtime print and broadcast journalist and co-founder of a statewide charity serving the working poor. She is a member of OSBE and serves as a director of the native minority consortium, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC). 

In part on the strength of HIKI NO (Hawaiian for "can do"), the nation's first statewide student news network, Leslie and team are closing in on a $30 million goal to complete a new multimedia home in Honolulu in May. The building will have three studios for robust local programming; flexible collaborative spaces for staff, teachers, students, filmmakers and community; and a Learning Zone for digital innovation. PBS Hawaii will partner with Centralcast, N.Y., for joint master control services.

HIKI NO, in which students across the state meet PBS journalism standards in a weekly prime time newscast, is in the process of becoming an elective course at public, private and charter schools.

The four-year-old student news network,  now with 90 schools gaining 21st-century workforce skills, was established with seed money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It is entirely grant-supported, having attracted funding from the Knight, Kellogg, Gerbode and Stupski Foundations as well as Hawaii sources.