BBG Watch EXCLUSIVE
BBG Watch has confirmed with several sources that the White House has narrowed down its search for the new CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). According to our sources, key members of the congressional committees concerned with foreign affairs told them they are pleased that the search has reached what seems to be its final stage.
Congressional sources are also pleased that the White House agrees with them the next BBG CEO must have broad public media, public diplomacy, and government service experience to bring major reforms to the ailing federal agency in charge of the Voice of America (VOA) and other U.S. taxpayer-funded media outlets serving audiences abroad.
In a new article in The Daily Signal, the Heritage Foundation blog, public diplomacy scholar Helle Dale listed four characteristics required for the new CEO in charge of U.S. media outreach abroad. Sources told BBG Watch that the candidate currently at the top of the White House’s list meets all four of these requirements.
1. A CEO who has demonstrated success in managing a large and complex bureaucracy. The Broadcasting Board of Governors is nothing if not complex, with multiple broadcasting entities, sometimes overlapping service areas and missions, and entrenched bureaucracy already in place. It also has some difficult stakeholders—the chief being the White House, the State Department, and Congress.
2. Someone who is prepared to undertake major structural reforms and who can provide a set of fresh eyes and an open mind. In other words, someone not vested in the status quo.
3. Someone with a solid grasp of the mission of U.S. international broadcasting and experience of the way the media works. In addition, he or she should have a substantial understanding of U.S. foreign policy and the importance of U.S. public diplomacy, of which U.S. international broadcasting is a part.
4. Someone who has the trust and backing of the president and the National Security Council to make the agency perform up to its potential.
SEE: US International Broadcasting Needs Deep Reform. Here’s What Trump Should Look for in Choosing Its Leader. Helle Dale, The Daily Signal, April 19. 2017
BBG Watch has learned from our sources that the name of the current top candidate for the BBG CEO position has not been mentioned before in media reports. In addition to having broad public broadcasting, public diplomacy and government service experience, the candidate has created a number of award-winning news-related media products, published works on political philosophy, and managed an NGO organization, sources told BBG Watch. After being nominated by President Trump, the new CEO must also be vetted and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.