Kennesaw State MPA Graduate Named CEO of GPB

KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec 1, 2023)Bert Wesley Huffman GPB CEOGrowing up the son of a lifelong public servant, Bert Wesley Huffman said a knack for knocking on doors, building relationships and raising money ran through his veins. But so, too, did providing a service to the community. 

After more than 15 years working in various fundraising and media jobs in the Atlanta area, a decade of which he spent at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Huffman was named CEO of GPB in August. The Kennesaw State University alum said though he never could have imagined himself in the position years ago, he believes his passion for education, arts, media and service to the state of Georgia placed him exactly where he belonged.

“I was the kid that carried a briefcase and wore a bowtie. I always had these aspirations where I wanted to be something, and I knew I could be something, but I don’t know that it ever dawned on me that it would be this exactly,” Huffman said. “I honestly never thought I’d be CEO of anything, but this has been a magic moment when my whole career has synthesized.”

Huffman grew up in the small north Georgia mountain town of Blue Ridge, where his father served in various civic roles. Huffman earned an associate of arts degree at nearby Young Harris College, before moving to Tennessee Wesleyan University for a Bachelor of Arts degree, his heart set on becoming an actor.

But, he said, his introduction to development work in his first job as an admissions recruiter at Tennessee Wesleyan marked “a beautiful entry into fundraising.” Soon, Huffman said he knew he wanted to continue his career in nonprofit work and started work in the Master of Public Administration program at KSU in 2003. He graduated in 2005.

Huffman said the program brought together his established knowledge of fundraising and relationship building with the deep understanding of government and public administration skills he needed to advance his career and lead.

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