EVP of Corporate Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Special Events, BET Networks
Jeanine Liburd may be the master of multitasking. The Vassar graduate, wife, and mother of two young daughters is also the go-to person for BET’s slew of events, social awareness campaigns, and overall brand messaging. “Basically, anything we do outside the building is pretty much my responsibility,” says Liburd, who lives with her family in a townhouse in her native Brooklyn. That includes overseeing all activities surrounding the star-studded BET Awards, launching shows such as ratings giant The Game, and managing the annual conference “Leading Women Defined,” a power-packed gathering of dynamic women from all industries. Liburd, who has spent more than 10 years at Viacom, including a stint at MTV Networks before joining BET four years ago, says the best part of the job is “meeting the most creative and innovative people and having the opportunity to work on projects that really have an impact on people’s lives.”
THE HEAT IS ON: BET has generated some notable social campaigns, like the powerful Rap-It-Up initiative for HIV/AIDS awareness, but the network has also taken heat for some of its programming choices: “Debra [Lee, our CEO,] told me personally what we are doing to change the network and invest in the brand. That was all I needed. It’s about knowing and believing in the vision and understanding that in media you have to be patient.”
OFF THE GRID: When she’s not working, she and her husband of nine years, Michael Liburd (they met at a Morehouse-Howard homecoming game in Atlanta), escape with their kids to their upstate retreat in Garrison, New York. “We go there throughout the year. No meetings, no events, and the girls can run around,” she says.
VINEYARD BOUND: Come August, the family is off to Martha’s Vineyard, where Liburd has been vacationing since childhood. “I love that it has stayed the same. There is something to be cherished about that.” BET’s channel Centric will host its third annual blowout on the island in August as well. Liburd takes her hectic schedule in stride. “It’s about living in and appreciating the moment and finding your happiness there,” she says. “It’s cliché to say it takes a village. So I’ll say it takes a team.”
By Alexis Clark
Photography by Rayon Richards