Full Name
Carolyn Bernstein
Job Title
Executive Vice President of Scripted and Documentary Films
National Geographic

Carolyn Bernstein is executive vice president of Scripted and Documentary Films at National Geographic, where she oversees the award-winning National Geographic Documentary Films banner and the network’s premium, fact-based scripted content.

Under Bernstein’s leadership, National Geographic Documentary Films has garnered critical success with award-winning, culture-defining documentaries like E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s Oscar® and BAFTA Award-winning “Free Solo,” Feras Fayyad’s Oscar-nominated “The Cave” and most recently Sara Dosa’s Oscar-nominated “Fire of Love” and Oscar-nominated “Bobi Wine: The People’s President.”

With Bernstein at the helm, National Geographic Documentary Films recently released Alex Pritz’s Oscar-shortlisted, Peabody-winning and three-time Emmy®-nominated “The Territory,” Matthew Heineman’s Oscar-shortlisted and News and Doc Emmy-winning “Retrograde,” Oscar-nominated “Bobi Wine: The People’s President,” following the Ugandan opposition leader and musician during his 2021 presidential campaign, and “The Mission,” the gripping story of murdered missionary John Chau from Emmy winners Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine.

Bernstein has also spearheaded a robust scripted slate for the network, pushing the boundaries of the yellow border through fact-based scripted content that honors Nat Geo’s commitment to telling captivating true stories that inspire a deeper connection to our world. Most recently, Bernstein led Nat Geo’s Emmy-nominated and Rotten Tomatoes “Certified Fresh” limited series “A Small Light,” which centers on the inspiring story of Miep Gies, who hid the Frank family from the Nazis during the Holocaust. 

Under her tenure, Nat Geo’s 20-time Emmy-nominated “Genius” franchise has premiered four seasons, including “Genius: Einstein,” starring Geoffrey Rush; “Genius: Picasso,” starring Antonio Banderas; and “Genius: Aretha,” starring Oscar-nominated actress Cynthia Erivo. The most recent fourth season, “Genius: MLK/X,” focused on Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and hails from the acclaimed creative team of Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Bythewood.

Bernstein joined National Geographic Channel in January 2016 from Endemol Shine Studios and Shine America, where she served as executive vice president of Scripted Television and was executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning series “The Bridge” (FX). 

Before joining Shine America, Bernstein was executive vice president of Drama Development at The WB television network. While there, she developed many successful and long-running series, including “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill” and “Supernatural.”

She began her career at CAA working in the Motion Picture Literary department.

Bernstein is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University and currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Carolyn Bernstein