Toby Graff serives as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for USA Network and heads up the Public Affairs division. USA’s Public Affairs division was created in 2011 in support of the network's commitment to using the power of the media to make a difference in the lives of viewers. Graff reports to Chris McCumber, co-president of USA Network, and is based in New York.
In her role, Graff and the Public Affairs department will focus on developing and implementing all pro-social initiatives, creating cause marketing promotions tied to original programming, handling government relations and managing charitable giving for USA and emerging networks, Cloo and Uni HD. In order to expand the reach and impact of the networks’ pro-social and charitable efforts, Graff and her team forge partnerships with nonprofit and industry organizations, foundations, talent and business and governmental leaders. Additionally, the department is the liaison to NBCUniversal in managing USA's involvement in corporate social responsibility initiatives such as “Green Is Universal” and “Education Nation.”
Graff, who most recently served as senior advisor on USA’s Characters Unite campaign to combat prejudice and discrimination and promote tolerance and respect, oversees all of the on-air, digital, community, employee, press and sponsorship elements of the signature public service initiative. In concert with all units of USA, Public Affairs continues to grow Characters Unite to include more extensive original programming, PSAs, content on charactersunite.com, grassroots outreach and legislative advocacy -- all designed to inform, support and inspire audiences to bridge cultural divides and overcome social injustices.
Previously, Graff served as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications for Lifetime Networks. In this capacity, she oversaw communications strategy; the network’s award-winning public service campaigns on issues such as breast cancer, domestic violence, heart health and women’s political participation; corporate giving; and participation in industry and charitable events. She developed the “Every Woman Counts” initiative to encourage women to vote and lead, and the “Extraordinary Women” weekly vignette series to profile female leaders in many fields. Under Graff’s leadership, Lifetime helped get five pieces of critical legislation signed into law, including a bill to eliminate the backlog of untested DNA evidence from rape kits and two bills to combat slavery of women.
Prior to joining Lifetime, Graff served as Deputy Press Secretary for then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. She also worked on health care and welfare reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and on three presidential campaigns.
Graff and the public affairs initiatives she spearheaded have received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Governors Emmy® from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and awards from organizations such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the YWCA of the U.S.A, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) and more. She was named one of Broadcasting & Cable’s 2005 “Next Wave of Women” in the industry and participated in WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Program in 2007. She has served on the Board of Trustees of JWI (Jewish Women International); the Education Advisory Board of New York City League of Women Voters; the Communications Advisory Board of RAINN; and the Advisory Council of the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition. She earned a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and holds a B.A. with distinction from Boston University.