Broadcasting Board of Governors Chairman Jeff Shell, along with Governors Matt Armstrong, Michael Meehan, and Ken Weinstein, hosted an agency-wide staff meeting November 18. The meeting included recognition of the 2013 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award winners from each of the BBG networks and presentation of a Distinguished Honor Award to IBB Director Dick Lobo, along with an open and informal discussion with staff across the networks.
“The Board knows well the hard work that goes in to what all of you do to bring the light of truth to some of the darkest corners of the world,” BBG Chairman Jeff Shell observed to staff participating in Washington, D.C., Miami, Prague, Jerusalem, Kabul, and elsewhere.
Winners of the 2013 Burke awards were recognized for their exceptional integrity, bravery, and originality in reporting. This year’s winners were Bashar Fahmi, Alhurra Television correspondent of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks; Hamid Mohmand, Kabul bureau chief for Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Afghan Service; Pisethvicheyanandh Chor “Anandh” of Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service; Vanessa Ruiz of TV Martí; Idriss Fall, French-to-Africa Service, Voice of America; along with Scott Bobb, Central News Division, Voice of America.
Shell presented IBB Director Dick Lobo, who retires November 30, the Distinguished Honor Award for his service to the agency. The certificate cited Lobo’s “more than three years of dedicated service to U.S. international media and exemplary leadership of the International Broadcasting Bureau, including oversight of strategic planning, implementation, and day-to-day management of technical and professional operations.” It sent on to say, “As the longest-serving IBB Director in the history of the BBG, Lobo played a critical role in furthering the agency’s mission, and leading innovation throughout the agency and its grantee networks.” Lobo announced on October 23 that he will retire after decades of public and private sector service and an award-winning career as a broadcast executive.
During this introductory staff meeting for three new members of the Board, the Governors also answered questions about legislation to create the position of a Chief Executive Officer for U.S. international media, the structure of the agency, and other topics with staff working across the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
The next public meeting of the Board will be held on December 18, 2013.