WASHINGTON (ABC7) — National Geographic Society is synonymous with exploring our planet.
The organization has been around 132 years, but for the first time ever, a woman is in charge.
NGS is headquartered here in D.C., and was founded in 1888 to focus on science, geography, history, and much more.
When you look at all of the CEOs in these 132 years, it doesn't take long to see that Jill Tiefenthaler is not like the others.
“To sit in the same seat that Alexander Graham Bell sat in over 100 years ago and has a lot of privilege and honor but also weight and the same is true for being the first woman CEO I feel a tremendous honor but also a lot of responsibility," Tiefenthaler told ABC7 News.
Tiefenthaler was just named CEO in August, after nine years as president of Colorado College.
She says the iconic yellow picture frame was always a part of her life.
“I always loved seeing the magazines and, as a little girl in Iowa not getting to see a lot of the world, I saw a lot of my world through National Geographic... I grew up on a farm in Iowa we raised popcorn and they're still raising popcorn and selling it it's a very good business during COVID, laughs, lots of people staying home watching movies!”
But now that she's at the helm of this world-renowned non-profit, her first mission is equality and inclusivity. Her statement on National Geographic's website says: "Black lives matter, silence is not an option."
“National Geographic has a lot history of being out there in the world but often through the lens of white American men and we really tried to change that over the last couple of decades.”
And in this era of virtual learning, Tiefenthaler is working to bring National Geographic's treasure trove of images, information, and exploration to kids everywhere.
“We have an incredible resource library for both teachers and support teachers during this transition to digital learning but also for parents, we just put up a parents' tool kit.”
Just go to NationalGeographic.org to find great activities for kids. This includes live feeds with explorers who are unable to travel right now because of COVID-19, so they have time to host interesting conversations with students.