PRI Appoints Kathy Chan and Robert Ryan to Board of Directors to Enhance Business and Digital Expertise

CONTACT: Julia Yager, PRI, 612.330.9231,


MINNEAPOLIS, September 12, 2017 — Public Radio International (PRI), leader in and producer and distributor of multi-platform storytelling and award-winning journalism that empowers people to benefit their lives and the world, has elected Kathy Chan and Robert Ryan to its Board of Directors. Kathy and Robert add valuable digital expertise and business acumen to PRI’s Board; Kathy is co-founder of growth-stage investment firm, 137 Ventures, whose investments include SpaceX, Spotify, and Eventbrite. Robert spent 25 years at Medtronic, a medical technology company, as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

“Now more than ever, PRI creates a more informed and empathetic citizenry through our distinctive blend of programming, journalism and engagement delivered through broadcast, mobile platforms and podcasts,” said President and CEO of PRI, Alisa Miller. “We’re thrilled to welcome Kathy and Robert to our board, and look forward to learning from their expertise as we help public media thrive in today’s complex media environment.”

About Kathy Chan: Kathy Chan is an entrepreneur, startup advisor and investor. She works across a diverse range of technology verticals from enterprise software to aerospace, among many others. Previously, she was an operating partner at Khosla Ventures, a leading Silicon Valley venture fund best known for its risky bets in new areas including consumer health, energy, food, agriculture, and robotics. In 2010, Kathy co-founded growth-stage investment firm, 137 Ventures whose investments include SpaceX, Spotify, and Eventbrite. Kathy started the fund after having been an early Facebook employee, where she focused on communications and marketing. During her tenure, she worked closely with Facebook’s executive, engineering, and business teams to develop key messages about the company’s products and corporate strategy. Since 2008, she has served as a senior advisor to South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual technology conference known for jump-starting innovative entrepreneurs and companies.    

About Robert Ryan: Robert Ryan served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Medtronic, Inc., a medical technology company, from 1993 until his retirement in 2005. Robert was vice president, finance, and chief financial officer of Union Texas Petroleum Corporation from 1984 to 1993, controller from 1983 to 1984 and treasurer from 1982 to 1983. Prior to 1982, Robert was vice President at Citibank and was a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Robert is a board member of Stanley Black & Decker and General Mills, and is a former board member of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, UnitedHealth Group Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Citigroup, Inc., Medtronic Foundation, and Hazleden Foundation. 


About PRI: PRI is building a more informed, empathetic, and connected world by creating multi-platform content that empowers people to benefit their lives and the world. PRI’s award winning content reaches more than 20 million people each month, through over 900 public radio stations in the U.S. and, and millions more through podcasts and social media. An affiliated company of WGBH, PRI produces PRI’s The World®, The Takeaway (a co-production with WNYC), and Studio 360® from PRI and Slate. It produces in-depth reporting on topics including gender equity (Across Women’s Lives), international security, and American identity and immigrant life (GlobalNation). It represents public radio programs including Science Friday, q from the CBC and The Tavis Smiley Show.  Major philanthropic supporters include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Ford Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Annenberg Foundation.