Blaine Baggett is a producer, a director, and a writer. Most of all, he sees himself as a storyteller drawn to stories that matter. He is also Director of the Office of Communications and Education at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this capacity, he oversees the laboratory’s multiple communications activities in media relations, informal and formal education, television, Internet, internal communications and public outreach services. In short, his job is to tell the world about the universe.
Before joining JPL in 1999, Baggett was vice president of program development, scheduling and acquisitions for public television station KCET in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for the station’s national programs produced for PBS as well as overseeing the station’s local schedule.
His television productions have been recognized by virtually every major national and international awards competition, and he has likewise been honored with NASA’s highest awards. He was also one of NASA’s 40 national finalists for the first journalist in space competition, a competition put on indefinite hold following the loss of the space shuttle Challenger (see Awards). Besides considerable critical acclaim from reviewers, he holds especially in high esteem the praise his work received from journalism giants Fred Friendly and Bill Moyers.
Baggett is also a published author, having co-written with Jay Winter The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (BBC/Penguin) and with Ernest Volkman Secret Intelligence: The Inside Story of America’s Espionage Empire (Doubleday). Most recently he edited the memoir, Uncle Cragon’s War: A Memoir of WWII and the Hard Luck Division (Blurb).
Although he prefers being behind the camera and away from a radio microphone, his media appearances include: the Charlie Rose Show/PBS, CNN, Fox News, Larry King (radio), NPR’s Morning Edition, WNET/New York, KCET and KNBC/Los Angeles and many other broadcasting and newspaper outlets throughout the country.
A native of Mississippi, he graduated with academic honors from Millsaps College in Jackson. Following graduation, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. He began his career of telling stories that matter at Mississippi Educational Television and later served as creative director of advertising and video promotion for the PBS network in Washington, D.C.