Jana Bennett

Photograph of Jana Bennett

Jana Bennett OBE was appointed to the British Library Board on 13 May 2019.

Born in the United States, she moved to the UK as a teenager and was educated at Bognor Regis Comprehensive School, St Anne’s College, Oxford and the London School of Economics. She was co-editor of the academic journal Millennium before joining the BBC as a trainee news journalist.

At the BBC she worked on Newsnight and Panorama before being appointed the first female editor of Horizon in 1990 and, subsequently, Head of BBC Television’s Science and Features Department. In 1999, Jana moved to the United States to lead The Learning Channel, one of the Discovery networks.

In 2000 Jana was awarded an OBE for services to science communications and broadcasting. 

In 2002 she returned to the BBC as Director of Television in charge of all the BBC’s Television channels, sitting on the BBC Executive Board. She was also responsible for BBC Television’s Regional Out of London Strategy, as well as the BBC’s Learning and Knowledge-building Strategy across many genres. After more than eight years leading the television service she moved to the BBC’s international commercial arm, BBC Worldwide to become President of Worldwide Networks and Global iPlayer.

In 2013 she returned to the US to launch a channel for Arts & Entertainment Networks and subsequently became President of the History Channel there.
Jana is currently a non-executive director on the Board of Pew Research Center, the Washington-based, non-partisan fact tank; and a senior advisor and executive-at-large for Ozy Media.

Jana has also served as a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company (2006-2016), as a Trustee of The Natural History Museum (1996-2001) and as a Trustee of Comic Relief. Jana is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and the Royal Geographical Society.

Jana is a member of the Capital Projects Committee