Shae Hopkins is the executive director and chief executive officer of Kentucky Educational Television (KET), the only statewide media network in Kentucky, reaching into eight states and across 10 media markets. A 36-year veteran of KET, Hopkins was appointed Executive Director and CEO in January 2010.
Hopkins has overseen the development of a wide range of educational content and services, including the new online early childhood resource Let’s Learn Kentucky, as well as nationally utilized resources in PBS Learning Media, the high school equivalency preparation system FastForward and other workforce resources.
She has led an expansion of local programs and documentaries, including the new nightly statewide public affairs series Kentucky Edition, as well as nationally broadcast programs including Big Family: The Story of Bluegrass Music, The Farmer & the Foodie, Angels on Horseback: Midwives in the Mountains, and others.
Under her leadership, KET has achieved numerous technical and facilities milestones, including establishing production studios in the Kentucky Capitol and on Main Street in Louisville, completing the largest spectrum repacking project in the public broadcasting system, providing 3.0 broadcast in Louisville, implementing localized emergency alerting communications, and converting the technical infrastructure of the KET Network Center for NexGen TV.
Over the last decade, KET has been recognized with more than 35 national and 29 state awards, 111 regional Emmy nominations and 23 Emmy awards, and numerous other awards. Hopkins has been recognized personally with various industry awards, including the National Advocacy Award from America’s Public Television Stations (2011), Kentucky Daughters of the American Revolution Media Award (2015), two regional Emmy Awards (2016), and a gold Telly Award (2020).
Hopkins previously served in progressive management positions at KET, including Deputy Executive Director, where she was responsible for day-to-day operations and oversaw the development of a wide range of content and production, as well as the network’s digital transition for HD production and distribution systems, and the creation of the Kentucky Channel. She also led KET’s private fundraising for more than a decade and was the founding president of the Commonwealth Fund for KET, helping to establish KET’s first endowment.
Hopkins serves on the Organization of State Broadcast Executives Board (Chair 2018/19), National Educational Telecommunications Association (Chair 2013/14), Public Television Major Market Group, University of Kentucky College of Communications National Advisory Board, Union College Board of Trustees, and the Kentucky Broadcasters Association Board of Directors. She previously served on the PBS Board of Directors (2013-2019) and chaired the PBS Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee (2018-2019). Hopkins was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as a founding member of the Digital Promise Board of Directors (2011 – 2021).
A national leader in public broadcasting, KET is recognized for its commitment to educational services and creation of resources for early childhood, P-12, adult education, teacher professional development, and literacy.