Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) CEO Michael Pack issued the following statement on agency personnel and security policies.
“I initiated an across-the-board contract freeze when I started in June. That type of action is regularly taken by new leadership at an organization, whether it’s in the public or the private sector, to ensure that resources are being optimally used. I then discovered that, in violation of security protocols and HR personnel practices, J-1 visas applications and renewals were being approved with little, if any, discernment. Since then, I have been working to address the situation through the creation of a review process that will both support USAGM’s mission and safeguard the security of the agency, its employees, and U.S. national security.
Alas, the issue of J-1 visas is additionally wrapped up in the severe security violations that were left unaddressed for 10 years – issues revealed in multiple U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Office of the Director of National Intelligence reports that had been buried and largely disregarded by previous agency leadership. I have been on the job for less than three months. USAGM faces a decade-worth of gross managerial incompetence that imperiled the organization’s viability and the safety of our country. And while I inherited the mess, I’m committed to cleaning it up so that USAGM, once again, serves the American people, fully focusing on our mission and on clearing the detritus of past dysfunctional leadership.”
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