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Home | EducationMakers, MediaMakers | Marita Rivero
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Food: Spaghetti
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Season: Summer
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Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 10/19/2016

Museum director and television station general manager Marita Rivero was born November 25, 1943 in Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, to Grace Beresford Hughes Rivero and Manuel Rivero. Her parents were professors at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where her mother taught English and Latin, and her father was the founding chairman of the university’s physical education department, as well as a coach for nearly four decades. Rivero attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, earning her B.S. degree in psychology in 1964.

In 1970, Rivero became a producer of public affairs television at WGBH, a National Public Radio member station in Boston, Massachusetts, which carried the inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered the following year. She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1976 to work as a consultant to PBS, the National Science Foundation, and the Communications Task Force of the United States Congressional Black Caucus. Rivero returned to radio production in 1981, when she became general manager, and eventually vice president, of WPFW Pacifica in Washington, D.C. She remained there until 1988, when she returned to Boston as general manager of WGBH Radio. After ten years in that role, Rivero was tapped to act as executive-in-charge of Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery. Rivero then served as executive to This Far By Faith, which aired in 2003. Rivero was promoted to general manager of radio and television at WGBH in 2005. In 2013, Rivero stepped down as WGBH general manager. In 2015, Rivero was named executive director of the Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket, where she had volunteered since her return to Boston in the late 1980s.

Rivero has been honored with several awards for her achievements. These include, a 2007 Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, for Achievement in Arts & Education; the first Image Award for Vision and Excellence from Women in Film and Video/New England; and induction into the YWCA's Academy of Women Achievers. She has served as chair of the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, chair of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and chair of the National Association of Community Broadcasters. She also served on the boards of NPR, The Partnership, the Kokrobitey School of Ghana, and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, as well as the Boards of Visitors of the Dimock Community Health Center, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Partners Healthcare and the YWCA.

Rivero lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Marita Rivero was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 19, 2016.

Speaker Bureau Notes: