Brian Conniff, President, Middle East Broadcasting Networks

As President of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN), Brian T. Conniff oversees the operation of the popular radio network Radio Sawa, as well as two television channels: Alhurra and Alhurra-Iraq. MBN broadcasts news and information in Arabic to the Middle East and according to international research firms such as ACNielsen, Alhurra and Radio Sawa have an unduplicated weekly reach of an estimated 30 million people. Sponsored by the U.S. Government, MBN’s mission is to broadcast accurate, timely and relevant news and information about the region, the world and the United States to a broad, Arabic-speaking audience.

Conniff joined the BBG in 1999 as the Acting Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). Conniff was responsible for the day-to-day management of bureau activities, including the operations of the Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, and a worldwide engineering and transmission network.  During his tenure, IBB made the transition from a radio-based organization to a multi-media enterprise, significantly expanding the use of the Internet and television.  This modernization of the BBG’s delivery systems resulted in significantly increased audiences for U.S. international broadcasting.

Conniff became Executive Director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in 2002. He directed the agency’s strategic planning, budget formulation and allocation process, and provided oversight and coordination of all U.S.-funded international broadcasting entities – Voice of America, Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio/TV Marti), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Radio Sawa/Alhurra TV), and the International Broadcasting Bureau.

Prior to joining the BBG, Conniff was the Inspector General for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from 1989 to 1995. Conniff previously worked for the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. General Accountability Office.