WNET To Honor Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit at 18th Annual Gala Salute

Mar 24, 2011, 11:57 ET from WNET

Event Will Benefit Parent Company Of New York Public Broadcasters THIRTEEN and WLIW21

WNET Life Trustee Ralph M. Baruch To Receive The WNET Distinguished Service Award

Tony Award-Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell To Perform

NEW YORK, March 24, 2011 -- WNET New York Public Media, parent company of public broadcasters THIRTEEN and WLIW21, announced today it will honor Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit at its 18th annual Gala Salute in recognition of his invaluable support and commitment to the institution and the New York community.  The event will take place Thursday, April 7 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City.  

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110324/DC71112LOGO )

Need to Know co-anchor Jon Meacham and Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC, will co-host the evening. Mr. Pandit will be interviewed about his career as a leader in the global financial services industry and will offer his perspective on the unique role that public television plays in American media.

"WNET is a cultural and educational institution with a standard of excellence that sets it apart," said Citi CEO Vikram Pandit.  "The diversity and breadth of programming informs and entertains people of all ages and provides an enduring value to our community.  We are proud to support them."

"Vikram Pandit is an extraordinary individual with a deep commitment to public television and WNET," said WNET Board Chairman James S. Tisch. "We are honored to salute him at this year's gala."

"WNET's mission is to create innovative programming and vital educational services for viewers, educators and families in the New York region and beyond," said Neal Shapiro, President & CEO of WNET.  "Vikram's leadership and generosity have helped us achieve our goals and create a lasting impact on audiences of all ages."

In continuing to recognize individuals who have played a vital role in the institution's success, WNET will present Life Trustee Ralph M. Baruch with the WNET Distinguished Service Award.  This honor will be awarded annually to an individual with personal achievements, civic contributions and an abiding commitment to the institution's mission. Baruch has served on WNET's Board since 1998.  He is the founder of Viacom and served as its President, Chairman and CEO for 17 years. He is also the founder and a director of the International Academy of Arts and Sciences. Baruch has served on the Board of Trustees of Lenox Hill Hospital for over 20 years and is an Honorary Trustee of Carnegie Hall. He lives in New York City and in Bedford Hills, New York, with his family.

The evening's presentation will also include a special performance by Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell.  No stranger to public television, Mitchell headlined Great Performances' presentation of South Pacific in 1996. He most recently appeared on PBS' Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square as a special guest artist.  

This year's Dinner Chairs include: Merryl H. and James S. Tisch and Cheryl and Philip Milstein.

The Honorary Committee includes: Bob Abernethy, Steve Adubato, PhD, Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, Ken Burns, Ric Burns, Philippe de Montebello, Niall Ferguson, Renee Fleming, Neal Gabler, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Christina Ha, Gwen Ifill, Rick Karr, Jim Lehrer, Barry Lewis, Consuelo Mack, Edie Magnus, Jon Meacham, Bill Moyers, Judith Davidson Moyers, Rafael Pi Roman, Alison Stewart, Stanley Tucci, Laura Savini Webb and Paula Zahn.

Past honorees who are invited to attend the 2011 Gala include (in alphabetical order): Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, William F. Baker, Antonio Banderas, Tony Bennett, Michael R. Bloomberg, Meredith Brokaw, Tom Brokaw, Ken Burns, Ric Burns, Joan Ganz Cooney, Lewis B. Cullman, Oscar de la Renta, Jamie Dimon, Charles F. Dolan, Placido Domingo, William J. Flynn, Albert R. Gamper, Jr., Henry Louis Gates, Jr., William B. Harrison, Jr., Gerald Hassell, The Henson Family, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Gwen Ifill, Kevin Kline, Henry R. Kravis, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert MacNeil, Peter Martins, Thomas J. Moran, Bill Moyers, Judith Davidson Moyers, George D. O'Neill, Governor George E. Pataki, Philip J. Purcell, Steven Rattner, Elizabeth Rohatyn, Charlie Rose, Walter V. Shipley, Michael I. Sovern, Sy Sternberg, Rosalind P. Walter, William C. Weldon, Judy and Josh Weston, Elie Wiesel, and Peter Yarrow.

About the Honoree

Vikram Pandit is the Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup, the leading global financial services company, which has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

Born in India, Pandit moved to the United States at age 16. He enrolled in Columbia University, earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering. Pandit received his Ph.D. in Finance from Columbia in 1986.

He joined Morgan Stanley in 1983 and ultimately rose to the post of President and Chief Operating Officer of the company's institutional securities and investment banking businesses.

Pandit left Morgan Stanley to become a founding member and chairman of the members committee of Old Lane, LP.  When Citigroup acquired Old Lane in 2007, Pandit became Chairman and CEO of Citi Alternative Investments.  He later led Citi's Institutional Clients Group, and in December 2007, was named CEO of Citigroup.

Upon his appointment, Pandit embarked on a plan to refocus, recapitalize and restructure Citi during the toughest economic climate since the Great Depression. At Citi, Pandit has made Responsible Finance a priority and has refocused the company around its historic core strengths of serving clients and supporting economic growth.  

Mr. Pandit serves on the boards of Columbia University, Columbia Business School and the Indian School of Business. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

About WNET New York Public Media

WNET New York Public Media is a pioneering provider of television and web content.  The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Tavis Smiley, Need To Know, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrackAngelina Ballerina: The Next Steps and Cyberchase to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET pursues a single, overarching goal -- to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit www.wnet.org.

About Citigroup:  

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.