United States Agency for Global Media

Profile photo

Brian Conniff

(Former) President, MBN

Brian T. Conniff served as President of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN) from June 2006 until July 2017. As President of MBN, Conniff oversaw and managed two television networks (Alhurra and Alhurra-Iraq); Radio Sawa; Afia Darfur radio; and their corresponding websites and social media properties.

According to international research firms such as Gallup, Alhurra and Radio Sawa peaked at an unduplicated weekly reach of more than 28 million people in the Middle East during Conniff’s tenure. Sponsored by the U.S. Government, MBN’s mission is to broadcast accurate, timely and relevant news and information about the region, the world and the United States to a broad, Arabic-speaking audience.

MBN’s most recent initiative under Conniff’s leadership was Raise Your Voice, a multi-media campaign that extends across all of MBN’s properties (TV, radio and digital) specifically aimed at addressing the themes used by ISIL to recruit fighters and destabilize governments and societies throughout the region, especially Iraq and Syria.

Prior to joining MBN, Conniff was the Executive Director of the BBG. He directed the agency’s strategic planning, budget formulation and allocation process, and provided oversight and coordination of all U.S.-funded international broadcasting entities—Voice of America, Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio/TV Martí), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, MBN, and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

From 1999 to 2002 Conniff served as the acting director of the IBB. In this capacity, Conniff was responsible for the day-to-day management of bureau activities, including the operations of the Voice of America, Radio and TV Martí, and a worldwide engineering and transmission network. During his tenure, IBB made the transition from a radio-based organization to a multi-media enterprise, significantly expanding the use of the internet and television. This modernization of the BBG’s delivery systems resulted in significantly increased audiences for U.S. international broadcasting.

Before joining the BBG, Conniff was the Inspector General for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from 1989 to 1995. Conniff previously worked for the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. General Accountability Office.