Andres Ilves, a veteran broadcast journalist, has been named director of Radio Farda (www.radiofarda.com), a Persian-language service aimed at young listeners in Iran, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (www.bbg.gov) announced.
Ilves, whose appointment is effective immediately, is currently the director of Radio Free Afghanistan, which broadcasts in Dari and Pashto. A graduate of Princeton University, Ilves started working for U.S. international broadcasting in the 1980s.
“Andres’ strong commitment to broadcasting will help provide the people of Iran with the information they need about their country and the outside world,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the BBG, which supervises all U.S. nonmilitary international broadcasting including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio/TV Marti, Radio Sawa and Radio Farda.
Launched in December 2002, Radio Farda broadcasts news, information, public affairs and entertainment to Iran 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Based in Washington and Prague, Radio Farda is a collaboration between RFE/RL and VOA. The radio’s target audience is listeners under 30 who make up about 70 percent of Iran’s population.
Since pro-democracy protests got under way in Iran in early June, Radio Farda, broadcast on AM, shortwave, digital audio satellite and by Internet, has played an important role in providing information to people inside the country.
As director of Radio Free Afghanistan, which is run by RFE/RL, Ilves has helped coordinate a 24-hour stream of news and information to Afghanistan, which includes 12 hours of programming from VOA in Dari and Pashto. Ilves will continue to serve as director for the Prague-based Radio Free Afghanistan until a replacement is found.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is a nine-member, presidentially appointed body which supervises all U.S. government-supported international broadcasting, including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA, Radio Free Asia, Radio and TV Marti, and Worldnet Television. Current governors are Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Edward E. Kaufman, Norman J. Pattiz, Robert M. Ledbetter, Jr., Joaquin Blaya, Blanquita W. Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Steven Simmons and and Secretary of State Colin Powell, who serves as an ex officio member.