BBG Watch Commentary

David Ensor at Global Forum Wroclaw

Global Forum WroclawAfter a confrontation on Tuesday with Voice of America (VOA) editors who told him they do not have enough news material for their broadcasts and the web, VOA Director was attending at U.S. taxpayers’ expense an international gathering in Wroclaw Poland and plans to fly next to Kyiv, Ukraine.

Needless to say, VOA English News is not covering this event despite the presence of a number of U.S. Senators, high-level U.S. State Department officials, former high-level U.S. officials, and several top leaders from EU countries, including Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy. The U.S.-based Atlantic Council is one of the main organizers of this international gathering.

Despite Director Ensor’s presence in Wroclaw, the Voice of America English news website had nothing on this event and the 2014 Atlantic Council Freedom Awards, one of which went to the people of the Kyiv Maidan.

U.S. Senators attending the event were: Sen John McCain, Chris Murphy, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.  House members attending the event were: Tim Murphy from Pennsylvania and John Shimkus from Illinois. Also there were former U.S. ambassadors to Poland Dan Fried, Lee Feinstein, and Victor Ashe, who is also a former member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and Ensor’s former boss. U.S. Ambassador to Poland Steve Mull US was also at the event, as well as Radek Sikorski, Polish Foreign Minister, and Steve Hadley, President Bush’s National Security Adviser.

The VOA Charter says: “2. VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thoughts and institutions.”

President Obama with Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev in Warsaw,  June 3, 2014.
President Obama with Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev in Warsaw, June 3, 2014.

During President Obama’s visit to Poland this week, VOA English News at one point did not update its news report from Warsaw for more than 11 hours and failed to report on the Lech Walesa Solidarity Award for Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev. Secretary of State John Kerry attended the award ceremony. Dzhemilev also met with President Obama. VOA English News also did not report on President Obama’s meeting with Central and Eastern European leaders who together welcomed the election of President-elect Petro Poroshenko and discussed the situation in Ukraine.

As Director Ensor continues his foreign travels, the Voice of America Ukrainian Service still does not have enough people and resources to update its news website and social media pages on a frequent basis.

At the meeting last Tuesday, Director Ensor and his senior executives made an honest admission that after several years at the Voice of America they still do not know how the VOA news reporting is organized and how it functions. They initiated a study that will take until September, which should give Mr. Ensor plenty of time for more international travel during the summer while Rome burns. Check the posts listed below for more information.

READ: VOA Editor to Director Ensor: “Nobody Believes Anything Management Has to Say Anymore”, BBG Watch, June 5, 2014.

READ: Ensor – Staff Meeting – Expert Describes Squandering of VOA’s News and Digital Potential, BBG Watch, June 6, 2014.

READ: Employees speak out on VOA’s management problems and Royce-Engel bill, BBG Watch, June 6, 2014.



June 5-7, 2014

Honoring our Progress ― Securing our Future
25 Years — the Fall of Communism
15 Years — NATO Enlargement
10 Years — European Union Enlargement


Baroness Catherine Ashton
Vice President and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
President, Economic Council of the Polish Prime Minister
Elżbieta Bieńkowska
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
General James E. Cartwright
Former Vice Chairman, US Joint Chiefs of Staff
Judy Dempsey
Nonresident Senior Associate and Editor in Chief of Strategic Europe, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Rafał Dutkiewicz
Mayor of Wrocław
Carl Gershman
President, National Endowment for Democracy
Stephen J. Hadley
Former U.S. National Security Adviser and Principal, RiceHadleyGates LLC
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
President of the Republic of Estonia
Frederick Kempe
President & CEO, Atlantic Council
Vitali Klitschko
Mayor of Kiev; Leader of the UDAR Party, Ukraine
Jan Kulczyk
President of Supervisory Board, Kulczyk Investments; Founder, CEED Institute
John McCain
U.S. Senator
Christopher Murphy
Senator, US Senate
Miklos Németh
Former Prime Minister of Hungary
Radosław Sikorski
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
Damon M. Wilson
Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council
Marcin Zaborowski
Director, Polish Institute of International Affairs
Frances G. Burwell
Vice President, Atlantic Council
Alan Riley
Professor of Law, City University London
Stephen Mull
U.S. Ambassador to Poland
Marie Mendras
Research Fellow and Professor, Sciences Po
Ulrike Guerot
Senior Associate, Open Society Initiative for Europe
Piotr Buras
Head of Warsaw Office, European Council on Foreign Relations
David Ensor
Director, Voice of America
Witold Orłowski
Chief Economic Advisor, PwC
Pavol Demeš
Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Bratislava
Jerzy Pomianowski
Executive Director, European Endowment for Democracy
Tomasz Siemoniak
Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland
Jakub Wiśniewski
Director, Department of Foreign Policy Strategy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski
Member of the European Parliament
Matthew Kaminski
Member of the Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal
Włodzimierz Karpiński
Minister of Treasury of the Republic of Poland
Ryszard Schnepf
Polish Ambassador to the United States
Paula Dobriansky
Former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs
Lee Feinstein
Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Maciej Popowski
Deputy Secretary General, European External Action Service
Mateusz Morawiecki
President of the Management Board and CEO, Bank Zachodni WBK
Karel de Gucht
European Commissioner for Trade
Thomas Biersteker
Director, Graduate Institute Geneva
Rolf Nikel
Ambassador Designate of Germany to the Republic of Poland
Ana Palacio
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain
Konrad Szymański
Member of the European Parliament
Tim Murphy
Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Bogusław Fiedor
Deputy Rector, Wrocław University of Economics
Joëlle Jenny
Director for Security Policy and Conflict Prevention, European External Action Service
Kateryna Kruk
Euromaidan Activist and Social Media Journalist
Zoltán Pogátsa
University of Western Hungary
John Shimkus
Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Bogdan Klich
Former Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland
Jiří Schneider
Senior Fellow, Prague Security Studies Institute
Pavlo Sheremeta
Minister of Economics of Ukraine
Ihor Lutsenko
Ukrainian Activist and Journalist
Matthias Schaefer
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Warzyniec Smoczyński
Managing Director, Polityka Insight
Dr. Thomas Enders
CEO of Airbus Group
Fatih Baltaci
Chairman, AKFEL
Karl Moor
Senior Vice President and Chief Environmental Counsel, Southern Company
Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko
Nima Rashedan
Sahar Mohamed Talaat
James Miller
President, Adaptive Strategies, LCC
Alexander Vershbow
Deputy Secretary General of NATO
Dan Fried
Coordinator for Sanctions Policy,U.S. Department of State
Jan Cieński
Warsaw Correspondent, Financial Times
Kinga Brudzińska
Analyst, Polish Institute of International Affairs
Michael Wohlgemuth
Director, Open European Berlin
Jerzy Kozminski
President and Chief Executive Officer, Polish-American Freedom Foundation
Zbigniew Brzeziński
Former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter
Tom Malinowski
US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Anne Applebaum
Legatum Institute Director
Sebastian Płóciennik
Senior Research, Polish Institute of International Affairs
Andrzej Bobiński
Analyst, Polityka Insight Business
Mikheil Darchiashvili
Deputy Minister of Defense of Georgia
Jacek Protasiewicz
Vice President of European Parliament
Konstantin Von Eggert
Former Editor-in-Chief, BBC Russian Service Moscow Bureau
Eugeniusz Smolar
Former President of the Center for International Relations
Walter Slocombe
Senior Counsel, Caplin & Drysdale
Julia Taleb
Independent Journalist
Tod Lindberg
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Ron Johnson
U.S. Senator, United States Senate
Ievgen Vorobiov
Analyst, Polish Institute of International Affairs


The Atlantic Council Freedom Awards recognize extraordinary individuals and organizations that defend and advance the cause of freedom around the world. These awards embody the Council’s mission to strengthen transatlantic leadership on global values. Inaugurated in Berlin on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the 2009 Freedom Awards recognized the efforts of the American, German, Polish, Czech and Slovak, as well as the allied troops of NATO, to bring about a peaceful end to the Cold War. In 2010, on the 30th anniversary of Solidarity’s founding, Wrocław, Poland became the permanent European home of the Freedom Awards in recognition of Poland’s unique role in spreading the message of solidarity and freedom globally. Each year the awards celebrate past triumphs of freedom, but also those who continue the struggle today.


Baroness Catherine Ashton, Vice President and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia
Miklós Németh, former Prime Minister of Hungary
People of the Maidan to be accepted by Vitali Klitschko, Ruslana, and Ihor Lutsenko introduced by Radosław Sikorski
The Polish American Freedom Foundation and Jerzy Koźmiński introduced by Zbigniew Brzezinski

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