The Broadcasting Board of Governors today welcomed visitors from Qatar as a part of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani, the Director of Development of the Qatar Media Corporation, and Yousef AlShrouf, a media advisor from the Amiri Diwan, are stopping in the US as part of an exploratory trip to understand how governments engage in public diplomacy and strategic communications.
The visit comes at a particularly important time as the Qatari government is working to professionalize and develop its media sector, while debating various media reforms.
Sheikh Abdulrahman and Mr. AlShrouf met with IBB Director Dick Lobo, VOA Director David Ensor, and MBN President Brian T. Conniff, as well as other senior management. The visitors toured a VOA control room, and learned about US international broadcasting, particularly to the Middle East, and discussed issues such as transparency, credibility and the dangers of disseminating propaganda to domestic audiences.
“We’re very happy to be able to share with Sheikh Abdulrahman and Mr. AlShrouf what we do here at BBG and show them some of the good work we are doing, especially in the Middle East. We are also very interested in hearing their perspectives,” said Bruce Sherman, Director of Strategy and Development.
In addition to the BBG, Sheikh Abdulrahman and AlShrouf will also visit public diplomacy officials at the White House as well as the State Department.