WASHINGTON – With the announcement of three new members, the Broadcasting Board of Governors met today at its Washington, D.C. headquarters to examine in detail the function, structure and activities of the International Broadcasting Bureau. The IBB manages the transmission, distribution, digital media development, marketing, and support services for the U.S. international media networks under the BBG.
BBG Chair Jeff Shell thanked the members of the Interim Management Team, Suzie Carroll, Rob Bole and André Mendes, who together have been leading the IBB. “It is rare to find three people who can not only work well together, but who can also make change happen. This group has exceeded expectations; they are impressive public servants.”
At the conclusion of the “deep dive” look at achievements and challenges for IBB, Governor Ryan Crocker observed, “You’ve demonstrated impressive achievements and innovations that have taken IBB to an immeasurably better place than it was five years ago.”
Shell also welcomed to the Board three new members: Ambassador Karen Kornbluh and Michael Kempner, who were in attendance, and Dr. Leon Aron. Shell thanked departing Governor Michael Meehan, calling him the “glue between the last board and this one” and noting his “incredible impact and dedicated work” on issues from budget to strategy to Internet Anti-censorship. Meehan has served on the board since 2010.
Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Motsyk joined the meeting to express his thanks to the VOA Ukrainian service for their coverage of Ukraine and to present VOA’s Myroslava Gongadze with the Order of Princess Olga, a Ukrainian civil decoration bestowed on “women of outstanding personal merit.”
Office of Cuba Broadcasting Director Carlos García Pérez updated the board on the Martí’s coverage of the historic normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.
Shell noted the latest in a series of threats against BBG journalists including the pre-trial detention of Khadija Ismayilova who works with RFE/RL, an attack on Alhurra reporter Omar Al Obaidi and his cameraman in Iraq, detention of the brothers of Shohret Hoshur, a reporter for RFA’s Uyhgur service, and the ongoing lack of news of Alhurra’s Bashar Fahmi who was last seen or heard from during a reporting trip in Aleppo, Syria, more than two years ago.
A video of the meeting, as well as documents related to board decisions, will be available on here.