Douglas F. Bodwell spent his early life in New Hampshire where he attended public school in Keene, and St. Paul's School in Concord. He went on to receive a A.B. from Columbia in 1964 and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1973.
After graduating from Columbia, Bodwell planned service programs and determined recipient eligibility for the New York City Welfare Department. During the following two years, as Assistant Director of the Columbia College Fund, he planned fundraisers, organized volunteers and created a parents fund. From 1967 to 1968, he worked at Fisk University as Assistant to the President. Here he not only reorganized the public relations office and established the development office, but he also advised the president on student unrest. Bodwell left this position to work for the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, DC in 1968. He started at ACE as the Assistant Director of the Academic Internship program, a job that required him to administer a program giving nine-month internships for training in academic administration to faculty and staff members. In 1972, he became a staff associate in the Office of Academic Affairs for ACE helping with the association's activities with faculty, students and curriculum. He also aided military personnel by working with the Serviceman's Opportunity College.
From 1974 to 1998, Bodwell worked for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)as director of the Office of Education, an office he created. As CPB's chief education officer, he planned, developed goals, and assigned activities to senior management while also retaining complete authority for the Office of Education. While at CPB, Bodwell worked on the Annenberg/CPB project as first advisee to the president, Deputy Director, and finally as the Director of the project. His duties for the project included the development of a $10 million annual funding project for educational telecommunications, as well as work on funding and planning for The Brain, The Constitution: that Delicate Balance, Congress: We the People, The Mechanical Universe, and For All Practical Purposes: Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics. From 1983 to 1985 he served as Executive Assistant to the President of CPB. In this job, he advised and assisted in policy and administrative matters, while also developing projects with Corporations in Support of Public Television. In addition, he advised on Kids America and Project Literacy US. In 1990, Bodwell launched a project on President and Governors' Year 2000 Education Goals. He also helped fund instructional television, conducted national surveys, promoted educational television nationally, and obtained funding for the Emmy award winners 3-2-1 Contact, Reading Rainbow, and Square One TV.
Douglas F. Bodwell died in 1998.