New York, N.Y. – April 13, 2021 – Erika Dilday has been named the executive director of American Documentary Inc. (AmDoc) and executive producer of its award-winning documentary series POV on PBS and America ReFramed on WORLD Channel, the board of directors announced today.
Dilday, who is the organization’s first Black executive director, begins the job in May and joins AmDoc from Futuro Media Group where she has been the CEO since 2017. Prior to Futuro Media Group, Dilday was the executive director of the Maysles Documentary Center where she oversaw community cinema, filmmaking programs and produced Albert Maysles’ final film - the award-winning documentary In Transit.
A producer, journalist and media executive, Dilday has held strategic planning and financial management roles at The New York Times, National Geographic Television and CBS. In line with AmDoc’s own vision to amplify new voices and new narratives for public television, Dilday’s career has centered on presenting critical voices to the diversity of American experience. She has focused on telling stories about marginalized communities that lead to dialogue and social action. Under her leadership, Futuro expanded its audio documentary storytelling to include award-winning long-form series and investigative specials as well as an innovative program that provides community voices with the platform to tell their own stories.
Dilday is a graduate of Harvard College, the Columbia School of Journalism and Columbia Business School. In 2020 she was a Knight Nieman fellow at Harvard University where she authored a piece for the Nieman Reports on authentic journalism in communities of color. Her latest documentary production project is the film, Civil War with Director/Producer Rachel Boynton. Dilday is a 2016 recipient of the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Award and a 2017 National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Fellow.
"Ensuring that diverse voices and authentic narratives are centered as part of the public media landscape was a major reason I pursued a career in this industry in the first place. American Documentary is a place that has, since its founding nearly 35 years ago, elevates these stories. I'm thrilled to be joining an incredible team of creative professionals who passionately pursue the organization's mission. I can't think of a better place to call home," said Erika Dilday.
"It was clear to the Board that Erika's experience and commitment to independent voices were the perfect fit for AmDoc at this time. She's a visionary and we believe that, as Executive Director, she will be a tremendous asset to the organization going forward," said Margaret Drain, Chair of AmDoc's Board of Directors.
“PBS is one of the top destinations for documentary film and we are dedicated to reflecting the full range of the American experience across our screens. As the longest-running documentary series on public television, POV has helped to pave the way in amplifying unique, thought provoking stories and we are thrilled to welcome Erika into the public media family,” said Sylvia Bugg, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming.
In her new position, Dilday will oversee all aspects of AmDocs programs and operations, including production and programming, community engagement and education, digital strategy, development, business affairs, communications and overall management of the POV series. She will also serve as executive producer of America ReFramed, a year-round showcase of independent documentaries featuring contemporary American stories that airs on the WORLD Channel.
Dilday will succeed Justine Nagan who joined AmDoc in 2015 and guided the organization through a period of tremendous growth. Under Nagan's leadership, AmDoc gained industry accolades and critical acclaim including Peabody Awards, News & Documentary Emmys®, and several Oscar® nominations. Nagan significantly expanded the number of women and BIPOC filmmakers in its broadcast programming as well as its direct support to documentary creators. During her tenure, she grew the organization's leadership team to launch new programs that focused on engagement, interactive storytelling and support for artists. Chris White will continue to serve as the executive producer for POV and America ReFramed.
Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. It's on POV where American television audiences were introduced to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, The Act of Killing and American Promise and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Nanfu Wang, and Laura Poitras. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries.
Over a generation, POV has championed accessibility and innovation in nonfiction storytelling. POV Engage works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present hundreds of free screenings every year, inspiring dialogue around today's most pressing social issues. The series' interactive arm, POV Spark, creates and advances experiential forms of storytelling and programming, redefining U.S. public media to be more inclusive of emerging technologies and interactive makers.
POV films and projects have won 42 Emmy Awards, 26 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
About America ReFramed
America ReFramed is a co-production of the WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc. The series curates a diverse selection of independent documentaries that brings to national audiences compelling stories which illuminate the changing contours of our ever-evolving country. Viewers will be immersed in stories that span the spectrum of American life, from the streets of towns big and small to its exurbs and country roads. The documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future.
America ReFramed is the recipient of a Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism. The series has earned several Christopher, GRACIE, Telly and Cine Golden Eagle Awards, as well as multiple nominations for Emmy, Independent Documentary Association and Imagen Awards.
About American Documentary
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust, Park Foundation, Sage Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Abby Pucker, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.