WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2013)—Daniel Beaupré has been tapped to head the National Geographic Bee. His appointment as National Geographic’s executive director, geography competitions and student experiences, was announced today. Previously director of education partnerships with National Geographic Live, Beaupré is just the second Bee director in the contest’s 25-year history, replacing Mary Lee Elden who retired earlier this year.
The National Geographic Bee was developed by National Geographic in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Each year, more than 4 million fourth- through eighth-graders take part in the contest, which awards top prizes of college scholarships totaling $50,000.
In his new role, Beaupré will oversee the annual school-, state- and national-level National Geographic Bees and the biennial National Geographic World Championship as well as two other experiential, student-focused programs: National Geographic Live student matinees in the United States and a growing number of international cities, and the Giant Traveling Maps project. Reaching a combined 5.5 million students annually, the programs Beaupré will lead deliver powerful, on-the-ground experiences that engage students in geography, exploration, science, human cultures, photography and adventure.
“For more than a decade, Dan has been an educator and leader of student-focused programs, giving him a wealth of knowledge that will serve him well in this position,” said Greg McGruder, vice president of public programs at National Geographic. “His experience makes him the ideal candidate to steward the National Geographic Bee into a new era.”
Beaupré joined National Geographic 13 years ago, coordinating the D.C.-area JASON Project. In 2006 he joined the National Geographic Live staff as director of education partnerships, leading efforts to reach students in innovative ways through a student matinee program as well as the popular Giant Traveling Maps, a project Beaupré created in 2006.
A former teacher, Beaupré taught history and English for six years and has authored articles, book reviews and curriculum for The History Teacher, The Social Studies and several PBS productions. He is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Danish-American Fulbright Commission and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and in 1998 he received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House. He holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.
Beaupré is not the only new member of the National Geographic Bee team. In June, National Geographic announced that award-winning journalist, speaker, producer, television host and filmmaker Soledad O’Brien will be the new moderator of the Bee. O’Brien replaces “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who moderated the National Geographic Bee since its inception in 1989.
About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines, National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, films, books, DVDs, radio, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.