BBG Watch Commentary

BBG Watch congratules Jeff Shell, Matt Armstrong and Ambassador Ryan Crocker on becoming new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). We are especially encouraged that new BBG Chairman Jeff Shell has demonstrated willingness to reach out to outside supporters of U.S. international broadcasting. Departing BBG member Ambassador Victor Ashe has joined the Advisory Board of the independent and nonpartisan Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – which works to promote media outreach from the United States to countries without free press.

Jeff Shell
Jeff Shell

BBG Press Release

New BBG Governors Sworn In

AUGUST 7, 2013


Washington, DC  – Jeffrey Shell took the helm as Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors today after being sworn in at BBG headquarters.  Shell is joined by fellow Board members Matthew Armstrong and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who were also appointed by President Obama on August 5, 2013 and sworn in – in Hawaii on Aug. 6 and in Texas on Aug. 7 respectively.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is a bipartisan board appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate; the Secretary of State serves ex officio.

Jeffrey Shell is president of NBC Universal International, a position he has held since 2011.  He previously served as president of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011.  Prior to joining Comcast, Shell held a number of positions, including CEO of Gemstar TV Guide International and President of the FOX Cable Networks Group.  As president of the FOX Cable Networks, he oversaw the operations of FOX’s entertainment and sports cable programming businesses. He currently serves on the board of the National Constitution Center. Shell earned a B.S. in Economics and Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.



Matthew C. Armstrong is an author, speaker, and strategist on issues related to public diplomacy.  In 2011, he served as executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.  Previously, Armstrong was an adjunct professor of public diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California.  In 2010, he founded and served as President of the MountainRunner Institute and published a blog on public diplomacy and strategic communication.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Diplomacy Council and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies.  Armstrong earned a B.A. and an M.P.D. from the University of Southern California.


Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker is dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University – a position from which he had taken a leave of absence to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. His is also the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia. Prior to resuming his position as dean, Ambassador Crocker was a Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University.  His 37-year career in the Foreign Service included service as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon.  He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees of Whitman College.  Ambassador Crocker is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service.  He earned a B.A. from Whitman College.