Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), announced today that Robert R. Reilly is returning to U.S. civilian international broadcasting as Director of the Voice of America (VOA), a position he previously held from 2001 to 2002.
“Bob’s inimitable experience and proven leadership as both a public servant and a private citizen will greatly benefit the entire agency,” said CEO Pack. “Bob has dedicated his career to – and, indeed, succeeded in – promoting the national interest and advancing U.S. foreign policy. His respect for and profound knowledge of the legacy and traditions of VOA combined with a clear understanding of the network’s Charter will ensure that America’s exceptional experience is shared effectively with the world.”
“I have always been a firm adherent of VOA’s mission of telling America’s story to the world,” said Mr. Reilly. “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to serve VOA again.”
Mr. Reilly has spent 25 years in public service, beginning as a tank platoon leader in the 1st Squadron, 18th Armored Cavalry at Fort Lewis. After working in the private sector, he returned to government service, first at the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), then in the White House as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as Senior Advisor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Berne, Switzerland.
Mr. Reilly served for a decade in the International Broadcasting Bureau’s Office of Policy. In that role, he hosted the program “On the Line,” during which he interviewed officials and scholars. He became VOA Director as the network prepared to mark its 60th anniversary. Reflecting music’s historically integral role at the VOA, he instituted a series of live noontime concerts with notable artists, open to the public and broadcast globally. Mr. Reilly also presided over the network’s 60th-anniversary celebration, which was headlined by President George W. Bush, who said to an international audience, “Through a world war and a cold war, in crisis and in calm, the Voice of America has added to the momentum of freedom.”
After leaving VOA, Mr. Reilly was a key aide on information strategy to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and a Senior Advisor to the Iraq Ministry of Information during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then taught at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. During the last five years, he has served as the Director of the Westminster Institute, an educational foundation that concentrates on issues involving religious freedom, individual dignity, and U.S. foreign policy. He has written a number of books, essays, and articles throughout his career, including many on the subject of public diplomacy.
Dr. Elez Biberaj, who had been serving as Acting Director of VOA since June 2020, is returning to his former position of Eurasia Division Director, responsible for VOA’s multimedia programming targeting Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, and the Balkans.
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