Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what they're inspired by on the daily. This week's post features Director of News Operations, Sharahn Thomas.
Name: Sharahn Thomas
Job Title: Director of News Operations
Where You're From: Lawrenceville, NJ
An Inside Look:
You're the Director of News Operations at NPR. What does that mean?
I oversee and manage the underlying environment which supports news production — tools, processes, and services used to produce and deliver content. I like to say that News Operations is like the grout between tiles. It's not the featured element, but it complements and holds the tiles together!
How did you get started here?
I was working as the Operations Manager and on-air talent at WNJT-FM, a member station in New Jersey, when I attended the Public Radio Conference in 1999. The NPR News recruitment manager at the time approached me and asked if I had a resume. The rest is history.
What's your favorite #nprlife moment?
Making "A Day in the Life of Elevator #3" with my NPR colleagues at the time. Those were good times.
What are some of the coolest things you've worked on?
The first Inauguration of President Obama. Also, working here when 9/11 happened is something I will never forget. That event and the days that followed marked the beginning of the change in the way we handle breaking news.
First thing you do when you get to the office?
Special Coverage. Lol...it just seems that way these days!
What's on your desk?
Lots of things. The most interesting items would probably be the deck of Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! playing cards featuring NPR reporters and hosts (some of them signed), and a non-fully-functioning lava lamp.
Favorite places in the city?
It may seem boring or cliché, but I always enjoy the National Mall. When I drive past or walk the grounds, I love thinking about all of the history that has taken place there.
What are your guilty pleasures?
The Real Housewives give me life! (I am not ashamed!), French fries, and the New York Times Sunday Style section.
What are you inspired by right now?
What is happening in our country right now — the conversations, the passion, and the calls to action. It's good to be informed and engaged no matter where you stand on the issues.
What is a question you wish you could be asked?
I don't have a question I wish to be asked. I will simply volunteer that I am very proud to work alongside the smart and dedicated members of the News Operations team.
What do you love about public radio?
I love that from almost anywhere in the country you can reliably tune into your favorite public radio shows on the radio, but from one place to the other the listening experience can be completely different due to the mix of local content of the member station.