Washington, D.C. — Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), today announced that Stephen Yates will be the next President of Radio Free Asia (RFA). Headquartered in Washington, with eight bureaus and offices overseas, RFA brings award-winning, domestic journalism and uncensored content to people in six Asian countries that restrict free speech, freedom of the press, and access to reliable information.
“Stephen has lived in the region, is fluent in Mandarin, and has worked on Asian issues in many senior government positions,” said CEO Pack. “He will make an excellent head of RFA, especially at a time when America needs to be vigilant in countering the misinformation and disinformation disseminated by repressive regimes, most notably China.”
“I’m ecstatic to join RFA and its journalists on the front lines of truth and freedom,” said Mr. Yates. “In the free world’s struggle against tyranny and aggression, one of our best tools is factual and undaunted journalism. RFA’s role in telling the truth on behalf of those subject to censorship is a crucial mission that I intend to empower.”
Mr. Yates is an international affairs strategist with over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors at the intersection of politics, policy, and media. Among his roles, he has served as Deputy National Security Advisor in the White House’s Office of the Vice President and as a language analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense. Mr. Yates earned his MA in International Relations and China Studies from Johns Hopkins, SAIS and BA in Chinese summa cum laude from the University of Maryland.
RFA’s mission is to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press. Working in some of the world’s harshest media environments, the network utilizes on-the-ground reporters and stringers as well as vast networks of cultivated in-country sources, citizen journalists, and eyewitnesses. They provide leads, tips, images, and video – often at great personal risk – to ensure delivery of accurate and timely news and information.
Parameswaran Ponnudurai, who was serving as RFA’s Acting President, will return to his previous role as the network’s Vice President of Programming.
Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in 9 East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media. RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from USAGM.
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