BBG Watch Commentary

Apparently the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives, external affairs and public relations staffers did not think this was important news, because as of 12:30 AM, March 1 it did not get a separate news item on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) website, but merely received a link in one of BBG’s “BBG Media Highlights.” ( It’s a shame that an international news organization would not post promptly more information about a presidential nominee to its Board, but this reflects a pattern of recent Voice of America (VOA) news reporting that misses many important U.S. and international news stories, including some that involve the White House and President Obama).

Karen Kornbluh, Council on Foreign Relations Photo
Karen Kornbluh, Council on Foreign Relations Photo

According to the White House press release of February 27, 2014, President Obama has nominated “Karen Kornbluh, of New York, to be a Member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors for a term expiring August 13, 2016, vice Michael P. Meehan, term expired.”

We are sorry that Michael Meehan, who together with BBG members Ambassador Victor Ashe and Susan McCue was instrumental in saving Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) from a devastating management crisis, may soon be leaving his post at the BBG. We welcome, however, the nomination of Ambassador Kornbluh because of her communications policy, public diplomacy, foreign policy, economic policy, rule of law, and women’s issues experience.

A bio of Ambassador Karen Kornbluh is posted on the Council on Foreign Relations where she is Senior Fellow for Digital Policy. Her nomination to the BBG must still be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Ambassador Karen Kornbluh served as U.S. ambassador in Paris to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She spearheaded development of the first global Internet Policymaking Principles. She worked with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to launch the OECD’s Gender Initiative and the Middle East-North Africa Women’s Business Forum.

Previously, she served as policy director for President Obama when he was in the Senate. She served in the Clinton administration as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury Department, and as director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission.

Read more.