Courteney Monroe is chief executive officer (CEO) of National Geographic Global Networks, based in Washington, D.C. She oversees global programming, operations and marketing for the portfolio of National Geographic Channels around the world, which includes National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, Monroe is responsible for all operations of National Geographic Studios, the in-house television production unit. In this role, Monroe works closely with Fox Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice, partnering with the best in the creative community to position National Geographic Channels as a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming.
Monroe is harnessing the power of the National Geographic brand, along with the clout of its global reach, to position NGC as the world’s premium science, adventure and exploration network. She is disrupting the factual space by taking epic, audacious programming swings aimed at a broader, more upscale audience — programming that is more closely aligned with National Geographic Society’s mission and editorial, and is developed and produced in collaboration with A-level creative talent.
This spring 2017, Monroe will launch the network’s first-ever scripted anthology series, Genius, from executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Based on Walter Isaacson’s critically acclaimed book “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” Genius will star Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”) as Einstein and Howard will make his directorial debut in a scripted prime-time drama.
Last fall, Monroe was instrumental in the largest rebrand in National Geographic history, which touched across all of National Geographic Partners and National Geographic Society. The rebrand aligned with the network’s premium programming strategy and coincided with the November 2016 global premiere of MARS, also from Grazer and Howard, the epic genre-busting series that followed the thrilling quest to survive Mars and the story of those who became a multi-planetary species, seen by over 36 million viewers to date. Along with the new look, National Geographic introduced the tagline, “Further,” which embodies the relentless pursuit to go deeper, to push boundaries, and to be pioneering.
Monroe made a bold programming move with the unprecedented rollout of Before the Flood, a climate change feature documentary from Academy Award-winning executive producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens. Strategically timed ahead of the U.S. Presidential elections, the rollout included a limited theatrical release, a global television debut on October 30, and the availability of the film on a record number of digital and streaming platforms worldwide. Before the Flood reached more than 60 million people worldwide and surpassed a record-setting one billion minutes viewed across linear, digital, streaming and social platforms – making it arguably one of the most watched documentaries in history and the most watched National Geographic film ever.
Additional projects Monroe spearheaded include the partnership with Fox Searchlight for the global theatrical release of the critically-acclaimed feature documentary He Named Me Malala, an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai; and The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, a global series exploring mankind’s quest to understand the divine, from executive producer Morgan Freeman and Revelations Entertainment, premiered in April 2016 to record ratings, marking the highest-rated and most-watched series of all time for NGC US.
Prior to becoming global CEO, which was announced after the formation of National Geographic Partners in November, when 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society expanded their joint venture agreement to include all of the media assets of National Geographic, Monroe served as CEO of National Geographic Channels U.S. and first joined the network as chief marketing officer (CMO).
As CMO, she managed the Channel’s brand and all aspects of marketing — including brand strategy, creative, consumer marketing, digital platforms, social media, partnership marketing, ad sales marketing and licensing and merchandising. She also oversaw consumer and trade communications. Under her leadership, NGC launched unprecedented marketing campaigns for the network’s popular Killing franchise, which garnered the highest total viewership in network history.
Before joining National Geographic Channels U.S., Monroe was executive vice president, consumer marketing and digital platforms, for Home Box Office (HBO), responsible for the marketing of the HBO and Cinemax brands and their programming, across all platforms.
During her tenure at HBO, Monroe oversaw award-winning marketing campaigns for many of HBO’s highest-profile properties, such as “Sex and the City,” “The Sopranos,” “Entourage,” “True Blood,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones,” the HBO miniseries “The Pacific” and many more. She also led the development, deployment and marketing of HBOGO and MAXGO, the company’s digital streaming services.
Before joining HBO, Monroe held marketing positions at American Express and Salomon Brothers. She also worked in account management at BBDO.
Monroe’s many accolades include The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 (2015); Multichannel News Wonder Women (Class of 2015); the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement (2006); Media Industry News’ 21 Most Intriguing People (2007); Marketer of the Year by Brandweek (2007); and television’s Next Wave of Leaders by Broadcasting & Cable magazine (2009). In 2010, she was presented with the Brand Builders’ Award by PromaxBDA, Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News. In 2013, she was named a Woman to Watch by Advertising Age and, most recently, a 2014 Woman to Watch by Multichannel News.
Monroe holds a B.A. from Williams College and an M.B.A. from The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.