Tim T. Kelly

Last updated
Tim T. Kelly
Timothy T. Kelly
Alma mater University of Colorado
OccupationMedia executive, film producer, conservationist

Timothy “Tim” T. Kelly is an American media executive, film producer, and conservationist. He is recognized for his role in moving the National Geographic Society from a primarily print-based organization to a multimedia global force in television and digital media. Kelly engineered the launch of the National Geographic Channel in 1997, and was named President of National Geographic in 2011. He also served as President and CEO of the National Geographic Global Media group [1] [2] and President and CEO of National Geographic Ventures. Kelly announced he would be leaving National Geographic in September 2012. [3]


Career at National Geographic Society

Kelly joined the National Geographic Society as an executive producer in its television division. In 1985, he created the award-winning National Geographic Explorer series [4] and went on to serve as President of National Geographic Television. Under his leadership, the National Geographic Television won 138 Emmy Awards. [5]

In 1997, Kelly oversaw the development of the National Geographic Channel. The channel was launched in Europe and Australia initially, and expanded into the United States in 2001. As of 2012, it has a presence in 173 countries. [6] In 2012, he also presided over the launch of Nat Geo WILD, a sister channel focused on animal-related programs. [5]

Kelly also created National Geographic Films—which won an Academy Award for March of the Penguins (2005) and received an Oscar nomination for Restrepo (2010) [5] —and National Geographic Cinema Ventures group, which distributes films to both theatrical and giant-screen movie outlets globally. He was executive producer of Imax Films such as: Mysteries of Egypt, Lions 3D, Forces of Nature, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, The Last Lions and Lewis & Clark.

Personal life and education

An avid outdoorsman, Kelly is recognized for his work in developing the role of storytelling in conservation. He serves on the board of the American Prairie Foundation, [7] a private nonprofit that is creating a wildlife conservation area of 3,500,000 acres (14,000 km2) in northeast Montana through a combination of private and public lands.

Kelly also serves on the board of Great Plains Conservation Trust, which is dedicated to perfecting ecotourism as conservation movement. The Trust manages over one million acres of African wilderness as well as safari camps that work to preserve the natural habitats of iconic wildlife and to support local people.

Tim Kelly grew up in Colorado and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from the University of Colorado.

Related Research Articles

National Geographic Society American non-profit scientific and educational institution

The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology, and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. The National Geographic Society's logo is a yellow portrait frame—rectangular in shape—which appears on the margins surrounding the front covers of its magazines and as its television channel logo. Through National Geographic Partners, the Society operates the magazine, TV channels, a website, worldwide events, and other media operations.

National Geographic is an American pay television network and flagship channel owned by National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and the National Geographic Society (27%), with the operational management handled by Walt Disney Television.

Nat Geo People Defunct Pay television channel

Nat Geo People was an international pay television channel owned by National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and the National Geographic Society (27%). Targeted at female audiences, with programming focusing on people and cultures, the channel is available in 50 countries in both linear and non-linear formats.

Nat Geo Wild Global television channel focused on wildlife programming of National Geographic

National Geographic Wild is a global pay television network owned by National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and the National Geographic Society (27%). The channel primarily focuses on wildlife and natural history non-fiction programming. It is a sister network to National Geographic TV.

<i>National Geographic Explorer</i>

National Geographic Explorer is an American documentary television series that originally premiered on Nickelodeon on April 7, 1985, after having been produced as a less costly and intensive alternative to PBS's National Geographic Specials by Pittsburgh station WQED. The first episode was produced by WQED and featured long-time Explorer cameraman Mark Knobil, who is the few staff members with the franchise during all 24 seasons. The program is the longest-running documentary television series on cable television. Presented every Sunday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the original series was three hours in length, containing five to ten short films. Although the National Geographic Society had been producing specials for television for 20 years prior to Explorer, the premiere of the series required an increase in production from 4 hours of programming a year to 156 hours. Tim Cowling and Tim Kelly were the executive producers for the series during this transition.

Fox Networks Group Subsidiary of Disney that oversees Foxs international television assets

Fox Networks Group (FNG) is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that oversees international television assets that were acquired from 21st Century Fox. It produces and distributes more than 300 entertainment, film, sports and factual channels in 45 languages across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, using several brands, including Fox, National Geographic, FX, Fox Sports, and BabyTV. Among their non-linear brands were Fox Play and Fox Plus. These brands reached over 1.725 billion households around the world.

National Geographic Oceania is a subscription television documentary network in Oceania that features programmes on subjects such as nature, science, culture and history, plus some reality television and pseudo-scientific entertainment programming. It is the Oceanian version of the National Geographic Channel Asia Pacific. Since 2020, it has been the only Disney-owned network in Oceania to broadcast as a linear television channel, with the Disney Channel and Disney Junior having been shut down in favour of the streaming service Disney+.

Nat Geo Music is a television music channel operated as a part of National Geographic Global Networks, which is a business unit of National Geographic Partners. The channel works in conjunction with the Society's music division National Geographic Music and Radio (NGMR).

Enric Sala is a former university professor who saw himself writing the obituary of ocean life, and quit academia to become a full-time conservationist as a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Sala’s present goals are to help protect critical marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He also produces documentary films and other media to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy environment, and to inspire country leaders to protect more of the natural world.

Chris Palmer (film producer)

Chris Palmer is a Hong Kong-born English environmental and wildlife film producer and director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University. He was executive producer for the Oscar nominated film Dolphins. He is author of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom (ISBN 1578051487), Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King (ISBN 193895405X), and Now What Grad: Your Path to Success After College (ISBN 1475823665).

National Geographic was a South Korean documentary television channel operated by the Asian operations of National Geographic Global Networks. The channel broadcast non-fiction television programmes, with most of shows coming from the National Geographic Society.

National Geographic Wild (Canadian TV channel)

Nat Geo Wild is a Canadian English-language Category B specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment and National Geographic Global Networks. The channel airs programming devoted to wildlife, nature, and animals.

Sandesh Kadur

Sandesh Kadur is an Indian wildlife film producer and conservation photographer known for his contributions to BBC Planet Earth II. Sandesh's films have been shown on various television networks including National Geographic Channel, BBC, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

National Geographic Wild (European TV channel) Pan-European pay television channel

National Geographic Wild is a Pan-European pay television channel that features documentaries produced by the National Geographic Society. It features documentaries about nature, wildlife, natural phenomenon, and earth. The channel replaced Adventure One in Europe on 1 March 2007.

Alon Shtruzman is an Israeli media executive and television producer. He is CEO of Keshet International, Keshet Media Group's global distribution and production arm. He is one of the founders of Israel’s multi-channel industry, commissioned thousands of hours of programming, including the original "In Treatment" (BeTipul) and introduced Israel’s initial video on demand (VOD) service. Shtruzman was featured in Variety’s "Dealmakers Impact Report" for rolling out Keshet International and setting production outposts in the UK, US and Australia.

Casey Anderson (naturalist)

Casey Anderson is an American filmmaker, wildlife naturalist, television host, animal trainer and actor who is best known as the host and executive producer of the Nat Geo WILD channel television series, Expedition Wild and America the Wild with Casey Anderson, and for being the trainer and "best friend" of Brutus the Bear, a grizzly bear that he adopted as a newborn cub. Brutus, trained by Anderson, has appeared in many films, documentaries, television commercials, and live educational shows across the United States.

National Geographic Partners American media company; joint venture of The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society

National Geographic Partners, LLC is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the namesake non-profit scientific organization National Geographic Society. The company oversees all commercial activities related to the Society, including magazine publications and television channels. The company's board of managers is evenly divided between the Society and Disney.

David Hill is an Australian-born American executive producer who served as the president of Fox Sports from 1993-2000, and as a senior EVP of 21st Century Fox for twenty-four years.

<i>The Hot Zone</i> (American TV series) American television series

The Hot Zone is an American anthology drama television series, based on the 1994 non-fiction book of the same name by Richard Preston and airing on National Geographic.

National Geographic Global Networks is a business unit within National Geographic Partners that oversees the National Geographic-branded television channels: National Geographic, Nat Geo Kids, Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo Wild and National Geographic Studios. The unit itself was a joint operation between 21st Century Fox (21CF) and the Society, but it was later integrated into the new joint venture National Geographic Partners which they formed in 2015. On March 20, 2019, 21CF's share in National Geographic Partners was assumed by Disney, following its acquisition of most 21CF businesses.


  1. "National Geographic Creates Global Media Group — Tim Kelly Named President". National Geographic Society.
  2. "Nat Geo names Tim Kelly president". Variety. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  3. Walsh, Barry (18 September 2012) "Tim Kelly Leaving National Geographic Society", Realscreen.com.
  4. "National Geographic Explorer". IMDB.
  5. 1 2 3 Walsh, Barry (18 September 2012). "Tim Kelly leaving National Geographic Society". real screen. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  6. "National Geographic Channel Profile". M&M Global. Archived from the original on 2011-02-02.
  7. "American Prairie Reserve Board". American Prairie Reserve. Retrieved 23 December 2012.