American Documentary’s Executive Director Justine Nagan To Exit

Justine Nagan
Courtesy of AmDoc

EXCLUSIVE: Justine Nagan is stepping down as the executive director of American Documentary, Inc. She will leave the company in spring 2021. A search is underway for her replacement.

Nagan, an Emmy- and Peabody-winning producer, joined AmDoc as executive director in 2015 and has served as an executive producer for PBS’ POV, the longest-running independent documentary series on television, and America ReFramed (with World Channel in partnership with WGBH). She oversaw the premieres of nearly 100 projects including POV’s first episodic co-production, the docuseries And She Could Be Next, directed by Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia and executive produced by Ava DuVernay; and Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu and produced by Diane Quon. Nagan also launched POV Shorts in 2018, one of the first PBS series dedicated to short-form documentaries.

With Nagan at the helm, AmDoc added to its collection of Peabody Awards; News & Documentary Emmys, including Best Documentary; and Oscar nominations. She also significantly expanded the number of women and BIPOC filmmakers in the company’s broadcast programming as well as its direct support to documentary creators and launched new programs that focused on engagement, interactive storytelling and support for artists.

“It has been an honor to be a part of American Documentary, one of our nation’s premier media organizations. I look back on what we’ve accomplished over the past five years with tremendous pride,” Nagan said. “As a trusted curator for bold, risk-taking stories, AmDoc centers diverse, independent artists and promotes creative programming at a time of intense and necessary reflection in our country and in our field. This organization is a leading force for public media with an incredible staff and board who are committed to fulfilling our mission. I’m looking forward to supporting the transition to new leadership during this transformative time.”

The AmDoc board of directors’ transition team is spearheading the recruitment process and has retained an executive search company to help find a new executive director.

“Justine was hired with the goals of expanding the reach of American Documentary, including its digital and community outreach, developing new funding sources and maintaining the highest of profiles for the POV series in the world of independent documentary. She has accomplished all of those with intelligence and poise. We are confident that the new ED will take AmDoc even further while maintaining the high standards developed over the years as one of PBS’s ‘crown jewels,’” said Margaret Drain, chair of AmDoc’s board.

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