Diane Zeleny, Director of Communications at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has been named Director of Communications and External Relations of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). Zeleny will act as the Board’s primary strategist on communications and outreach activities, and as the Board’s chief advisor for Congressional and external relations.
“Diane Zeleny is an excellent addition to the staff at a critical moment,” said BBG Chairman, Walter Isaacson. “The Board expects to enact major reform of international broadcasting for the 21st century, and Diane’s international broadcasting experience, foreign affairs background, and communications expertise will be key to getting us there.”
Zeleny also will advise the Board on agency-wide communications strategy and guidelines and will coordinate communications operations of the BBG’s media networks — VOA, RFE, RFA, MBN, and OCB.
“Diane brings a perfect mix of policy knowledge, keeping Congress informed, and creativity that will help U.S. international broadcasting adapt and succeed in a world where media platforms are rapidly changing,” said BBG Governor Dana Perino.
“As we look for ways to improve the efficiencies and streamline the operations of the five networks of U.S. International Broadcasting, Diane’s expertise will help the board achieve our goals of doing more with less and saving the taxpayers money,” said BBG Governor Michael Meehan, co-chair of the Strategy and Budget Committee.
Zeleny joined RFE in 2007. She served two years at RFE’s Prague headquarters before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2009. As Director of Communications and Government Relations, she managed RFE’s relationships with the U.S. and European media, Congress, and the governments of the 21 countries to which RFE broadcasts. Prior to this position, Zeleny spent over 15 years at the Department of State. From 2005-2007, she served as the Director of Communications to the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and as the first Director of the Department of State’s European Media Center in Brussels. Zeleny worked at NATO headquarters where she managed the defense organization’s public affairs and outreach to the United States. She also served at U.S. Embassy Paris and at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Zeleny has a B.A. from the University of Iowa where she studied at the Writer’s Workshop and received a double major in French and English. Fluent in French, she also speaks some Turkish and German. She grew up in Chicago and now resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.
Zeleny will assume her duties on June 6.