Independence Public Media of Philadelphia, Inc. Names Foundation President

Accomplished non-profit executive to head Independence Public Media Foundation

PHILADELPHIA--()--Independence Public Media of Philadelphia, Inc. today named Molly de Aguiar, immediate past managing director of the News Integrity Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York, as the president of the Independence Public Media Foundation.

de Aguiar will lead the Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF), which will fund and support media and media-makers to strengthen and connect diverse voices and foster greater understanding across communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. The foundation has expanded and enhanced its continuing educational and charitable mission since Independence Public Media relinquished its broadcast license in 2017 and received a one-time payment of $131.5 million through the FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction. Independence Public Media of Philadelphia Inc. was founded in 1981.

An experienced grant maker with familiarity to Philadelphia, de Aguiar brings expertise in public media and in connecting communities to IPMF.

“We are very fortunate to have Molly join us,” said René Smith, chair of the IPMF Board of Directors. “Her background with startup organizations, cultural programs, journalism enterprises and public media are a perfect fit for the foundation.”

de Aguiar was the first managing director of the News Integrity Initiative (NII), a global coalition of partners with a vision for news and information that builds trust and lifts up promising approaches to community problems. Prior to joining NII, de Aguiar spent 12 years at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation where she designed and directed its Informed Communities grants program, which attracted partnerships with national funders and helped New Jersey become a model for local journalism innovation.

“IPMF has a truly extraordinary opportunity to invest deeply in creative, community-led media,” said de Aguiar. “Grant making for news, information and storytelling can lift up unheard voices, help build resilient communities and shift public understanding of the positive narratives to be found in every corner of the region. I am excited to lead the foundation in a city I love and to honor WYBE’s original vision.”

IPMF will focus its giving in the Philadelphia region, which Smith said made de Aguiar’s eight years’ experience in the area attractive to the foundation. From 1997 to 2005, de Aguiar held roles at the Gesu School, Kimmel Center and the Free Library of Philadelphia. She is a member of the board of directors of Resolve Philadelphia and supported Philadelphia-based media organizations in her positions at Dodge and NII.

"There are some very exciting things happening in public media in Philadelphia right now,” said Cassie Haynes, Co-Executive Director of Resolve Philadelphia. “The timing of de Aguiar's arrival couldn't be better. This community is getting a powerhouse of a partner who brings a wealth of experience and the right kind of energy."

“We expect great things from Molly as she spearheads the foundation’s efforts to energize public media in the Philadelphia region,” Smith said.

The foundation expects to announce its current fiscal year grant awards before June 30.

About the Independence Public Media Foundation

The Independence Public Media Foundation funds and supports media projects, educational initiatives and research that connect communities and increase understanding among people in Greater Philadelphia. The foundation hopes to help residents create and share information, ideas, and stories that foster understanding and mutual respect, an engaged and informed citizenry and dynamic, thriving communities. For more information, visit


Tom Gailey

Release Summary

Independence Public Media of Philadelphia, Inc. names Molly de Aguiar president of the Independence Public Media Foundation.


Tom Gailey