USAGM Watch Commentary
Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, may be beginning to realize that current senior executives at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and the Voice of America (VOA) may have tried to cover up their management failures when they presented themselves earlier as whistleblowers. Some media reporters may also be coming to the same conclusion.
The latest press release from House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) expresses concern over how USAGM and VOA are being managed by longtime senior executives. Some of them have returned to their former key positions after the departure of former Trump-appointed agency CEO Michael Pack who had accused some of them of mismanagement and security violations–charges they all denied and claimed “whistleblower” status. Rep. McCaul seems to believe that some of the allegations of mismanagement against some of the current USAGM and VOA executives may in fact be true. The current acting USAGM CEO is Kelu Chao, a former longtime Voice of America senior manager.
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Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul has released the following statement highlighting his concern with the rehiring of a USAGM executive who was fired after repeated reports of mismanagement, misuse of funds and falsification of credentials, and after a thorough investigation initiated by career civil servants. The employee was allowed to continue working at senior levels in the agency while a second investigation was ongoing. Once it was concluded, the agency’s only offered justification failed to account for various facts and admitted the employee lied to investigators – yet ultimately exonerated the person. The House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans have since been contacted by multiple credible whistleblowers at USAGM asking for a full examination of her rehiring and the suspect basis for the agency’s sudden about-face.
“I am incredibly concerned the Biden Administration rehired an executive at USAGM who has been credibly accused of misusing taxpayer funds and falsifying her own credentials – a concern that is shared with many staffers at USAGM, including multiple whistleblowers who have contacted my office and other Members of Congress. I have made repeated requests to the agency for an explanation, and have requested a detailed accounting of all individuals involved in the rehiring process. But so far, no response has been offered. Congress needs answers about what is being done to address continued accusations of mismanagement – which sadly have spanned multiple administrations. This is further proof of the critical need for the Biden Administration to nominate competent, non-partisan individuals to the USAGM advisory board immediately.”
In addition, the committee is looking into reports that surfaced last week of plagiarism at Voice of America and whether managers delayed action on the plagiarism for months.
END OF REP. MICHAEL McCAUL PRESS RELEASE