An experienced media professional, Joanne Chiang DeHerrera ’01 has been involved in some of television’s most exciting and successful sports-related broadcasts. During her almost 20 years with NBC Sports Group, Herrera helped produce the coverage of five different Olympics Games and Super Bowl 52; provided production support for Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football; and managed the production of 11 series and documentaries for the Golf Channel. Today, DeHerrera continues to excel as director of marketing and brand experience for TMRW Sports Group, a sports media startup founded by golf greats Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.


“As a Chinese-American woman in a male-dominated field, Joanne exemplifies the ideals of inclusion and fostering diverse perspectives through her corporate leadership and initiatives in support of women in sports media and other underrepresented identities,” said Ebony Rose ’02, who became friends with DeHerrera through their mutual involvement with SU Cheerleaders and Alpha Delta Pi. “Throughout her career, Joanne has found ways to chart her own path by staying true to herself while challenging the status quo and pushing professional boundaries.”


After graduating from Southwestern with her bachelor’s degree in communications, DeHerrera was accepted in the NBC Page Program, where she was a talent assistant and seating coordinator for Saturday Night Live. Her strong work ethic and logistical skills led to the opportunity to join NBC Sports, where she steadily moved up the ranks as she earned a reputation as one of the most respected women in sports television.


“She puts everyone first and always makes everyone she comes in contact with feel involved and important,” said Elyse Noonan, vice president of talent development and negotiations at NBC Sports. “It is hard to have a bad day when you are around Joanne. Her positive attitude and leadership skills and tactics make you feel greatness and strength each day.”


DeHerrera has received numerous accolades for her work, including eight Sports Emmy Awards. She has been a vocal advocate for women in the field and strives to highlight diverse perspectives both in front of and behind the camera. From 2017 to 2020, she served as co-chair of the Women’s Network at the Golf Channel, a group within the NBCUniversal Diversity and Inclusion team, where she organized opportunities for members to engage and cultivate leadership and networking skills while building camaraderie.


“Joanne has exemplified excellence, persistence, and the Be Southwestern spirit since her undergraduate days,” said Megan Schubert Leese ’01. “The multiple Emmys she has won are just a by-product. The true achievements are the incredibly seamless productions that all of us enjoy at home.”

DeHerrera’s personal accomplishments are just as impressive as her professional ones. Her husband, Israel, remembers her consoling NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol, whose son had recently died in a plane crash, during the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Everyone in the control room froze when Ebersol became emotional, but DeHerrera walked over, handed him a handkerchief, and patted him on the back. Ebersol wiped away his tears and went back to work. DeHerrera has also raised money for friends whose son was diagnosed with cancer and served as a mentor to many interns and production assistants.


“To say that Joanne is beloved by her family, friends, and co-workers would be a massive understatement. They know they can always count on her for a favor or for emotional or physical support,” Israel DeHerrera said. “Joanne always exudes effervescent energy and a positive attitude. She is eternally optimistic but firm in her convictions and ideals. She just makes the world a better place.”

For her outstanding professional accomplishments and exemplification of Southwestern’s core values,the Southwestern University Alumni Association is proud to honor Joanne Chiang DeHerrera with the Distinguished Professional Award.