WASHINGTON, DC – Looking back on decades of distinguished public and private sector service, and capping an award-winning career as a broadcast executive, International Broadcasting Bureau Director Richard M. Lobo today announced that he will retire on November 30.
“The proposed implementation of the plan, which I helped formulate, to create the position of CEO and to subsequently abolish the IBB Director’s position creates the ideal time for me to step aside,” Lobo wrote in his resignation letter to President Barack Obama. “After more than five decades in broadcasting, I intend to retire and return to my native state of Florida.”
“The agency and, in fact, the country owes Dick a debt of gratitude for what he did at the IBB,” said Jeff Shell, chair of the agency’s board. “Dick was instrumental in developing the proposal for establishing a CEO to streamline the agency as well as leadership of the IBB during a challenging period of uncertainty and tightening budgets.”
Shell made particular note of Lobo’s steady leadership during the BBG’s most recent challenge: maintaining crucial news and information programs for audiences worldwide in spite of a partial government shutdown that included furloughing approximately 40 percent of the agency federal workforce.
The White House has not announced its intent to nominate a successor. Shell had asked Lobo to remain on the job for a few weeks more so the Board could work out an interim leadership plan for the IBB.
President Obama appointed Lobo to the post in September 2010. He is the longest-serving IBB Director in the agency’s history.
Lobo provides day-to-day management of agency operations including oversight of the technical, professional, and administrative support, as well as strategic guidance and management of other programs. In addition, he serves as the principal liaison for the Board with other U.S. government agencies, foreign governments, and private-sector organizations.
Among his signature accomplishments has been to implement the Board’s vision to step up innovation throughout the BBG and its grantee networks by establishing and cultivating the IBB’s Office of Digital and Design Innovation.
Lobo was recently appointed to the Latin Advisory Committee of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Before moving to Washington, Lobo was president and CEO of WEDU (PBS) Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota and chairman of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service. Lobo also served as president of WTVJ in Miami, where he began his career as a reporter. He was station manager of WNBC-TV in New York, and vice president and general manager of NBC stations in Chicago and Cleveland. He has served as director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, appointed by President Clinton.
Under his direction as president of WTVJ, the station won the Peabody, the duPont, and the Edward R. Murrow Awards for its coverage of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Andrew.
Lobo was honored in 2012 with the Gold Circle Award by the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for outstanding service to broadcasting. He has also won an Emmy Award for broadcast editorials, and was honored with the New York Black Citizens for a Fair Media’s Community Service Award, the Wall Street Chapter of IMAGE’s Hispanic Executive Award, and the Leadership Award of the Chicago Latino Committee on the Media.
Lobo has served as a member of the TV Board of the National Association of Broadcasters and on the board of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. He is a recent inductee into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame. The Sarasota Chapter of the American Jewish Committee presented Lobo and his wife with its Civic Achievement Award.
He is an Alumnus of Distinction of the University of Miami School of Communication, where he majored in journalism/radio-TV-film. Lobo is a Captain (Retired) in the U.S. Army Reserve. A second generation Floridian, grandson of Cuban immigrants, he is married to Caren Lobo and has three children and five grandchildren.
The IBB manages a global network of transmitting sites and an extensive system of leased satellite and fiber optic circuits, along with a rapidly growing Internet delivery system servicing the 61 language services of the BBG networks. For the agency’s federal components, the IBB provides research, manages the evaluation of broadcasts and is responsible for VOA editorials, along with support services including human resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, procurement, security, administrative, and graphics.