Back to Press Releases

The Paley Center for Media Appoints New Members to Board of Trustees

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NEW YORK, NY and LOS ANGELES, CA—The Paley Center for Media announced today that Mitch Barns, Andy Bird, Cesar Conde, Joe Marchese, Katherine Oliver, and Edward Skyler will join the Paley Center’s Board of Trustees, and that Cynthia López will join as an ex-officio Board member.

"We are so thrilled that these media and business luminaries have agreed to lend their considerable talents and expertise to the Paley Center board,” said Maureen Reidy, president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media. “Their collective experience will be invaluable to the Paley Center as we continue to grow and as the media industry evolves into new sectors, develops new technologies, and explores new emerging markets.”

CEO, Nielsen

Mitch Barns is Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen.  He was appointed to this role in January 2014.  Since joining Nielsen in 1997, Mitch has lived and worked on three continents and has held leadership roles all across Nielsen’s business, spanning information and insights and the company’s segments of Watch and Buy.  Throughout 2013, Mitch served as President, Global Client Service, leading the efforts of Nielsen’s Watch and Buy client service teams worldwide to bring innovative solutions to clients.
Before that, Mitch was President of Nielsen’s U.S. Media business from 2011-2013, where he oversaw the development of its analytics practice, integrated its TV and Digital groups, and guided the transformation of the unit’s client service model to focus on driving performance improvement and value for Nielsen’s clients.
From 2008-2011, Mitch served as President of Nielsen’s Greater China business where he led its transition to a fast-growing, stand-alone region.  In the early 2000s, he was President of Nielsen’s BASES and Analytic Consulting businesses, which have since become the core of the company’s growing insights services. He first joined the company as part of Nielsen BASES, where he held various senior positions in the US and Europe.

He began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he spent 12 years in marketing research and brand management. Mitch holds a B.S. in business administration from Miami University and completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Chairman, Walt Disney International

As chairman, Walt Disney International, Andy Bird is responsible for Disney’s businesses outside of the United States. Reporting to Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Mr. Bird and his global team develop and implement strategies to increase Disney brand affinity and awareness in key international markets, introduce new customers and guests to Disney’s unique storytelling legacy and iconic characters, and invest in and maximize opportunities in emerging markets.
Since joining The Walt Disney Company in 2004, Mr. Bird has greatly expanded Disney presence around the world. During his tenure, Disney has: acquired UTV, one of India’s premier media and entertainment companies reaching almost 250 million consumers through film, television and interactive media; launched free-to-air Disney Channels in Russia, Turkey and Spain; launched Dlife, Japan’s first foreign-owned and free-to-air channel targeting women and families; increased local production, particularly for television content; and reorganized and integrated Disney’s international structure and leadership ranks.
Prior to joining Disney, Mr. Bird spent nearly a decade with Time Warner, joining in 1994 as senior vice president and general manager of Turner Entertainment Networks Limited. He rose to president of TBS International in 2000, and became responsible for all TBS broadcasting outside of the continental U.S.
Between 1989 and 1994, Mr. Bird held a number of positions in radio and television in Europe, including helping to start a music channel, producing and directing a popular London-based morning TV program, and producing a Saturday morning children's TV show. In 1992, Mr. Bird was tapped by Unique Broadcasting, the largest independent radio production company in the United Kingdom, to start up and operate Unique Television.
Mr. Bird began his career with Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, England, as breakfast show producer. After that, he moved to London to join the Virgin Broadcasting Company working at Music Box, a Pan-European music channel. Later, Virgin asked Mr. Bird to help launch and program a satellite-delivered national radio service called "Radio Radio." He became head of programming for the service, producing radio shows for leading comedians and television presenters.
A native of the United Kingdom, Mr. Bird is a Commander of the British Empire. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English language and literature from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1985.

Executive Vice President, NBCUniversal

Cesar Conde is Executive Vice President at NBCUniversal, where he oversees NBCUniversal International, which includes film and television distribution, home entertainment distribution, channels, film and television production, theme parks, and news. He is also responsible for leading strategic corporate priorities across NBCUniversal’s portfolio of assets domestically. Conde, who serves on NBCUniversal’s Executive Committee, reports to Chief Executive Officer Stephen B. Burke.
Conde joined NBCUniversal in October 2013 from Univision, where he served as President since 2009. Conde, who joined Univision in 2003, served in a variety of senior executive capacities and is credited with transforming it into a leading global, multi-platform media brand. Under his leadership, Univision’s main broadcast network became the number one network in America (July 2013) regardless of language for the first time in the company’s 50-year history, and experienced record ratings and profitability during his tenure.  With Conde’s oversight, Univision Networks’ portfolio grew from three to 14 broadcast and cable networks. Additionally, he was instrumental in the launch of the company’s first-ever English language network, Fusion, a joint venture with Disney’s ABCNews.
Social and community initiatives were core to Conde’s business approach at Univision and emphasized the importance of empowerment initiatives for the Hispanic community. He spearheaded the development of the “Es el Momento” national education initiative with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, led the “Ya es Hora” Latino citizenship and voter campaign and launched the network’s first “Teletón USA” broadcast to raise funds for disabled children in need of rehabilitation services.
Prior to Univision, Conde served as the White House Fellow for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002–2003.  Before his public service, he worked at StarMedia Network, the first Internet company focused on Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking audiences globally, and in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Salomon Smith Barney.
Conde is a Trustee of both the Aspen Institute and the Paley Center for Media, as well as a Full Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. He sits on the Boards for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He has been recognized on Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list four times, has been honored by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute with the “Corporate Leader Award,” and received I Have a Dream Foundation’s “Eugene M. Lang Achievement Award.” He holds a B.A. with honors from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Commissioner, NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment

Cynthia López is the Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. López joined the City of New York from American Documentary | POV, where she had worked since 2000. Previously, she served as executive vice president and co-executive producer of the award winning POV (Point of View) documentary series, where she was responsible for all aspects of the organization's development, working with key stakeholders in education, public policy and community development. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work.

During López’s tenure, POV earned numerous awards. In 2013 alone, it was one of only 13 nonprofit organizations worldwide to receive a $1 million MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Among its other honors are a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, two IDA Awards for Best Continuing Series, 32 additional Emmy Awards, 17 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 duPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Awards, three Academy Awards®, the Prix Italia and the Webby. López is the recipient of eight News & Documentary Emmy Awards.
Prior to joining POV, she served as acting executive director of the Deep Dish Satellite TV Network and executive producer of Hunter College’s Satellite TV Network, which included university, municipal, and public access channels that distributed Latino public interest programming. López is the founding chair of the board of directors of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). She also serves on the board of directors for Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB). In 2013, the Imagen Foundation cited her as one of the top 20 most influential Latinos in entertainment. 
CEO, true[X]

As the CEO of true[X], the leading engagement advertising platform, Joe Marchese has raised over $50M from top venture capital firms to develop technology that is shaping the future of premium advertising. In addition to his role as CEO of true[X], Joe is also the Chairman and co-founder of RESERVE, a reservation and payment technology company. He spent several years as a television executive at the cable network Fuse TV, where as SVP of Digital and Advertising he led consumer marketing, digital and multi-platform development. He also was chairman and co-founder of local technology company BlockBeacon, which was acquired by D&B.

With a provocative point of view that blends traditional and new media experience, Joe has published over 50 articles on the future of advertising in top-tier business publications, including Fortune and MediaPost. He has also been featured and quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, LA Business Journal, and more.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley University.  He is an avid fitness junkie and a regular participant in local and national marathons and triathlons, most often in support of Camp Interactive, a non-profit organization that teaches underserved kids tech-based skills and the basics of entrepreneurship. Joe lives in NYC with his wife Christie and their dog, Lord Voldemort.

Principal, Bloomberg Associates

Katherine Oliver is a principal partner at Bloomberg Associates, a newly established international consulting service founded by Michael Bloomberg as a philanthropic venture to help city governments improve the quality of life of their citizens, where she leads the Media and Digital Strategies team.
Katherine Oliver served as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in New York City from 2002-2013.  During that time, New York’s film and television industry saw its strongest growth in history. Strategic initiatives such as the Made in NY marketing and branding program generated direct spending of $7.1 billion annually, an increase of more than 50%, and saw jobs climb to an all-time high of 130,000.  Under Oliver, the City instituted the first and only municipal-based tax credit in the film industry, initiated a program to train minorities for work in film and TV production, appointed the City’s Chief Digital Officer, the first of its kind, and delivered a roadmap to establish New York City as the world’s top-ranked digital city. By the end of the Bloomberg Administration 300 feature films and over 100 TV shows were being shot each year in New York, and more than a quarter million people were employed in the tech industry.  Prior to the Bloomberg Administration, Oliver was the General Manager of Bloomberg Radio & Television, where she launched and built the company’s global media operations.
Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs, Citi
Edward Skyler joined Citi as Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs in May 2010. Mr. Skyler leads external and internal communications, government affairs, branding, corporate sponsorship and the Citi Foundation and shares leadership of Investor Relations. He is charged with ensuring that Citi's global dialogues with the public, governments and investors are effective and consistent.

Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Skyler served as a member of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's administration from 2002 to 2010, rising to the position of Deputy Mayor for Operations for the City of New York. In that capacity, he oversaw the performance of the City's main operational agencies and served as a top budget, legislative, and labor negotiator. Mr. Skyler oversaw four consecutive balanced and on-time City budgets; negotiated legislation to reform lobbying and "pay-to-play" practices; and spearheaded critical initiatives such as its sustainability agenda.

Before he was appointed Deputy Mayor for Operations, he served as Press Secretary and Communications Director during Mayor Bloomberg's first term. He managed all communications operations, including media relations and speechwriting. Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration, he worked in the Corporate Communications group of Bloomberg LP. He also served as Deputy Press Secretary to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Public Information Director at the Department of Parks & Recreation.

Mr. Skyler is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a law degree from the Fordham University School of Law, which he attended at night. A member of the New York State Bar Association, he has been honored by many civic organizations, including the Association for a Better New York. Mr. Skyler serves on the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund Leadership Committee and as an Executive Committee Member for the Citizens' Budget Commission and the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund. 


About The Paley Center for Media
The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The general public can access the collection and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry. For more information, please visit

For the latest Paley Center news, videos, and photos, please like on Facebook and follow on Twitter: