Patrick Butler

President and Chief Executive Officer

Patrick Butler is president and chief executive officer of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS). Butler joined APTS on January 1, 2011, after 18 years as senior vice president of The Washington Post Company, where among other duties he founded and led Newsweek Productions, which produced more than 200 hours of non-fiction programming, including the HealthWeek series that ran on public television for five years and Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History, which won the Emmy Award for Best Documentary of 2003.

He earlier served as Washington vice president of Times Mirror, the corporate parent of the Los Angeles Times, and was a founder of the Times Mirror Center for The People & The Press, which now operates as the Pew Research Center.

Butler also served as government relations vice president for RCA Corporation and as director of corporate public relations for Bristol-Myers Company. He was founder and president of Patrick Butler & Company, a communications consulting firm whose clients included leaders of government and business and actor Cary Grant.

In government service, Butler was special assistant to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker, Jr. (R-TN) and advisor to the White House Chief of Staff during Baker’s service with President Reagan. Butler was also a speechwriter and the associate editor of the White House Editorial Office for President Gerald R. Ford. He was chairman of the impeachment task force for U.S. Representative Lawrence J. Hogan (R-MD), a member of the House Judiciary Committee during its consideration of articles of impeachment against President Nixon in 1974.

Butler was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the National Council on the Humanities, where he served as chairman of the public programs committee for the National Endowment for the Humanities under chairman Lynne V. Cheney. During his tenure, Butler helped secure NEH funding of Ken Burns’s public television series The Civil War.

Butler is the retired vice-chairman of the board of trustees of American University and of the Foundation for the National Archives. He is chairman of the corporate advisory board of SOME (So Others Might Eat) and chairman emeritus of the Maryland Public Television Foundation. He is a member of the boards of America’s Public Television Stations (ex officio), the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, the DC College Access Program and the Better Angels Society supporting the work of Ken Burns.

Butler has also served on the boards of the Pew Research Center, Ford’s Theatre, IREX, Alfred University, the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance, the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information, the American University School of Communication, Friends of Cancer Research, American Ireland Fund and Greater Washington Sports Alliance.

Butler received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 from American Public Television, a leading provider of programming for public television stations.

Butler majored in Political Science at the University of Tennessee and earned a Master of Arts in Communication (with distinction) from American University. He also earned a Certificate in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has been accepted as a Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was a guest lecturer (The First Amendment in the 21st Century) at the 75th anniversary commemoration of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs.

Butler is married to Donna Norton Butler, and they have three daughters and three grandchildren.