BBG Watch Commentary

Susan McCue
Susan McCue

AFGE Local 1812, a union representing the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) workforce, posted on its website an article praising BBG Governor Susan McCue who has been nominated by President Obama to join the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and will be leaving her public service at the BBG.

AFGE Local 1812 has been demonized for years by International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives, who manage U.S. international broadcasting for the BBG, but continued to warn BBG members, members of Congress and American taxpayers that IBB executive staff was making the federal agency “dysfunctional and defunct,” in the words of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and destroying its international news mission.

Finally, a few BBG Governors launched their own inquiries and discovered that the union was essentially correct. Contrary to claims by IBB executives, union leaders and members had good ideas and showed reasonable attitude toward reforming the agency, embracing innovation, and protecting core news gathering activities in support of freedom and democracy abroad.

One of the BBG Governors singled out for praise by the AFGE Local 1812 union is Susan McCue.

Susan McCue is President of Message Global, a strategic advocacy firm she founded in 2008. In 2006, she became the founding President and CEO of the ONE Campaign. From 1999 to 2007, Ms. McCue served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Previously, from 1997 to 1998, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. From 1992 to 1997, she was Senator Reid’s Communications Director. Ms. McCue was Press Secretary for Senator Tom Harkin’s 1996 Senate campaign. She began her career as a research assistant for reporters at the National Journal and The New York Times. Ms. McCue is also a Member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and is the Vice Chair of Humanity United. She received a B.A. from Rutgers University.

Former BBG member, Ambassador Victor Ashe, was also highly popular with the BBG workforce and singled out for praise by the AFGE Local 1812 union in a previous article.

The article also expresses hope that the new BBG Chairman Jeff Shell and new BBG members will be able to carry out necessary reforms, starting with changing the culture of mismanagement and intimidation.

A GOVERNOR AND A GENTLEMAN by American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1812.

The latest article also praises BBG Governor Michael Meehan and former Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Tara Sonenshine who until her departure from the State Department last summer had represented Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry at BBG meetings.



by American Federation of Government Employees, AFGE Local 1812

AFGE-Local-1812The AFGE Local 1812 wishes to salute the dedication, integrity and hard work of Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Board Chair Susan McCue. She has been nominated by President Obama to join the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and will be leaving her public service at the BBG.

We were not surprised that President Obama would turn to someone as competent as Ms. McCue, and entrust her with additional responsibilities, but she will be sorely missed in her BBG and RFE/RL positions.

Like another former Governor, U.S. Ambassador Victor Ashe, as well as BBG Governor Michael Meehan, and former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine, Ms. McCue was a strong defender of BBG journalists, arguing for more resources and better management from the compromised International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). She played a key role in resolving the management problems which escalated into a diplomatic crisis at the Russian Service of Radio Liberty over the reckless firing of valued and respected reporters and she also helped to recruit Kevin Klose to lead RFE/RL, where he has started to rebuild the broadcasting station’s credibility.

The departure of Susan McCue from the BBG, following that of Governor Ashe, will present a big challenge to new BBG members. The new BBG Chairman, Jeff Shell, and other new BBG members will be tasked to continue the reforms which could prevent the further implosion of U.S. international broadcasting, especially at the Voice of America (VOA). Or be pressured to unravel them. That is, if as we suspect the entrenched IBB executive staff engages in the same type of tactics that resulted in Governor Ashe’s departure.

We salute Ms. Susan McCue as a Governor of integrity, a fighter for good governance, and the normalization of relations between management and BBG journalists and contractors.

Our warmest wishes to her in her new responsibilities at the MCC. Their gain is definitely our loss.