New Interim Management Structure Takes Effect at the BBG

Rob Bole, Suzie Carroll, and André Mendes

L-R, Robert Bole, Director of Global Strategy; Suzie Carroll, Director of Global Communications; André Mendes, Director of Global Operations

The Broadcasting Board of Governors today established an interim management structure for its International Broadcasting Bureau that appoints three senior executives to manage the day-to-day operations of the agency and helps pave the way for a future Chief Executive Officer.

Under this interim management structure, André Mendes will serve as Director of Global Operations, Robert Bole will serve as Director of Global Strategy, and Suzie Carroll will serve as Director of Global Communications. Mendes, Bole and Carroll will provide oversight and direction to the Directors of the Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, as well as the other offices of the federal agency until a CEO is hired.

“The Board proposed this structure to leverage the strengths of three exceptional leaders and set the stage for important agency reforms,” said Jeffrey Shell, chair of the BBG’s governing board.

BBG Governor Matt Armstrong will serve as the Board’s Management Liaison and will provide support to the interim IBB management team. In addition, the Board has created a Special Committee on Creation of a Chief Executive Officer.

“We believe the BBG needs a CEO to be fully effective and to support all operational aspects of U.S. international broadcasting,” he said.  “We are consulting with both Congress and the Administration on meeting that goal.”

Mendes has directed the IBB’s Office of Technology, Services and Innovation (TSI) for the past four years.  He provides executive leadership in the planning, development, and operation of all agency engineering and technical systems, including a world-wide satellite and transmitting station network, as well as planning for the use of new technological improvements and efficiencies.  Before joining the agency, Mendes served as senior vice president, strategic planning and global CIO for Special Olympics International.  Previously, he served as Chief Technology Integration Officer for the Public Broadcasting Service, where he was responsible for both Information Technology and Broadcast Engineering during a $1.8 billion transition to digital television.

Deputy TSI Director Terry Balazs, will serve as Acting TSI Director, given Mendes new leadership role.

Robert Bole joined the BBG in 2011 as Director of Innovation to lead the agency’s use of technology to improve storytelling, news delivery and crisis response.  As head of the Office of Digital and Design Innovation, he directed the agency’s digital strategy and worked with journalists to innovate digital media products, focusing on engaging and connecting audiences. Previously, Bole served as the Vice President of Digital Media Strategies at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he helped lead the creation of a unified digital distribution platform. He also created a strategy to improve public media’s use of social media to engage citizens in journalism, civic dialogue and education. Prior to that, Bole worked for the One Economy Corporation, a global non-profit organization that leverages the power of technology in underserved communities around the world.

As Bole assumes his new role in the IBB, ODDI’s Director of Technology, Adam Martin, will serve as Acting Director of Innovation.

Suzie Carroll has been with the BBG since 2012.  As BBG Executive Director, she serves as the principal liaison for the Chairman and members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and manages implementation of Board priorities.  Before being tapped by the Board to be its Executive Director, she served as the agency’s Congressional Coordinator for a year, cultivating support from Capitol Hill for high-priority agency initiatives, conducting day-to-day interactions with Congress, and coordinating these activities with counterparts at the BBG’s networks. Carroll joined the agency from the Peace Corps, where she served as Acting Director and Deputy Director of Congressional Relations. As a member of the Peace Corps’ senior staff, she was responsible for developing and implementing legislative strategy.  Prior to that, Carroll held positions, focusing on government affairs and legal services in Washington, DC and Los Angeles.

Carroll will continue to serve as BBG Executive Director in addition to her new duties.

IBB Deputy Director Jeff Trimble will now take on a new role with the Global Strategy team working to advance collaboration and coordination across the BBG.  Trimble will play a leadership role on the content side of the operation to strengthen the BBG’s position in a period of increased global competition.

The IBB is responsible for the agency’s strategic planning and oversight, including U.S. international media’s innovation strategy, and transmission, marketing, and program placement services.  The IBB is also responsible for integrating activities across the federal and BBG-funded grantee networks for greater organizational efficiency.  The IBB manages the agency’s communications, financial operations, and legal support along with a global network of transmitting sites, an extensive system of leased satellite and fiber optic circuits, and rapidly growing Internet and mobile audience platforms and services.  It provides research and evaluations of broadcasts, VOA editorials, and human resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, procurement, security, information technology, and other essential administrative support for the agency.

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