About the Project DirectorGeorge A. Colburn, Ph.D., is President and Director of Operations for Starbright Media Corporation (SMC) and its associate company, Contemporary Learning Systems (CLS), a 501(c)3 company that specializes in media-based educational programming. Colburn’s best known national television credit is as SMC’s writer and producer of a major documentary series on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s military and political careers, 1941–1961. Produced in association with Gancie Television, and entitled The Eisenhower Legacy, the five-hour series was hosted by Gen. Colin L. Powell (U.S. Army, retired) and aired on The Disney Channel and The History Channel. He later wrote and produced The Eisenhower Era, a 20-part classroom series for Disney Educational Productions that was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
In the 1990s he also wrote and produced three one-hour primetime specials on Eisenhower for the Discovery Channel which were hosted by the late John Chancellor of NBC News. For these programs, Colburn interviewed more than 130 witnesses to the history of the Eisenhower era, including Presidents Nixon, Bush, Reagan and Ford, who all knew Ike, General John S. D. Eisenhower, his son, and other close observers of the major events of that period, including Pamela Churchill Harriman, former CIA Agent (later Director) William Colby, Herbert Brownell, Ike’s Campaign Manager in 1952 (later Attorney General, 1953–1957), and numerous British, French, German and Russian officials, including the son and son-in-law of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
His other credits include Navajo Code Talkers: In Their Own Words, a television special completed in 2007 about six Navajo Code Talkers returning with family members to the Pacific battlefields of WWII. Colburn is currently directing production of Tomorrow’s America, a planned public television special on the history of immigration and the current “Great Wave” of immigration that is transforming the nation. The programs will also be edited for classroom use and Internet release.
In addition to his television production work, Colburn has been recognized nationally as a leading producer of distance education programming linked to major television series. Currently he is in production on a multimedia and interactive course entitled Making It New, utilizing The American Experience series and book by Sir Harold Evans, They Made America. It will be available to colleges and universities in the fall of 2010. His credits at the University of California and as an independent producer include more than two dozen national, media-based educational programs, linked to major documentary series, including The Ascent of Man (Jacob Bronowski), Connections (James Burke), Cosmos (Carl Sagan), and The Heart of The Dragon (International Emmy winner).