PULLMAN – Dennis L. Haarsager, general manager of Northwest Public Radio, today was elected to a one-year term as chair of the National Public Radio Board of Directors. Haarsager has been a member of the NPR board since November, 2005.

NPR is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming. A privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 860 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations, including Northwest Public Radio. It is governed by a 17-member board of directors.

Haarsager has more than 30 years’ experience as a public radio station executive. Since 1995, he has been associate vice president and general manager of Educational and Public Media for Washington State University’s public broadcasting and educational media organization. He served as its general manager for the preceding 17 years. His oversight includes the 13-station Northwest Public Radio network, two public television stations, the country’s most-trafficked interactive video network and on-campus instructional technology services.

Prior to coming to WSU, Haarsager served as state coordinator for Idaho Public Broadcasting and as director of administration for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Haarsager is active in numerous public broadcasting organizations. In addition to his NPR position, he serves on the boards of the Association of Public Television Stations, the Integrated Media Association and public television’s University Licensee Association. He chairs the Public Service Publisher Group, an initiative promoting on-demand distribution of public broadcasting content. He previously served two terms on the Board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and chaired the boards of public radio’s Station Resource Group and public television’s Small Station Association.

From 2001 to 2003, he took a half-time leave of absence to direct the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Digital Distribution Implementation Initiative and has also done consulting work for several other organizations.

Haarsager has a bachelor’s degree in political theory and methodology and a master’s degree in public administration, both from the University of South Dakota. He edits four weblogs – most actively, technology360.com – and has written several articles for public broadcasting and technology publications.

Northwest Public Radio is a regional public radio service of WSU.