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Management And Governance

RFE/RL Senior Management

Thomas Kent

President

Thomas Kent is a specialist in international reporting, Russian affairs and journalistic ethics. He joined Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on June 27, 2016 after a career of more than 40 years at The Associated Press. Most recently, he was AP’s standards editor, responsible for the fairness and accuracy of the news agency’s content in text, photos, video, audio, interactives, and on social networks. He also served with AP as international editor, World Services editor, Moscow bureau chief, Brussels-based correspondent for European institutions and NATO, chief of operations in Tehran during the Iranian revolution, correspondent in Sydney, Australia, and Hartford, Connecticut, and foreign desk editor in New York. He founded the "Create Your Own Ethics Code" project for the Online News Association. He has written and spoken worldwide on journalistic ethics, including ethical issues for such new journalistic platforms as virtual reality and automated newswriting. An advisor to the Ethical Journalism Network, Kent has been a board member of the Organization of News Ombudsmen, a Pulitzer Prize juror in international reporting and an advisor to the Society of Professional Journalists on revisions to its ethics code. He was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, holds a degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University and speaks Russian, French and Spanish. He has taught and advised at Columbia University since 1996.

Nenad Pejic

Vice President/Editor-in-Chief of Programming

Nenad Pejic, who was named an Interim Manager of RFE/RL by RFE/RL's Board of Directors effective March 2, 2014, became Editor-in-Chief of Programming in December 2013. Pejic joined RFE/RL in 1993, when he was named the first Director of RFE/RL's Balkan Service. Prior to joining RFE/RL, Pejic held various positions with Sarajevo Television including head of the News Department, Belgrade correspondent, and Program Director. He also served briefly as the Head of Publications and Public Relations at the European Institute for the Media. Pejic lectures regularly at universities in Germany, Ukraine, Georgia, and Montenegro; international events such as NATO summits and the Salzburg Seminar; and to a number of non-governmental organizations around Europe.

Corporate Governance

RFE/RL, Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation, funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). BBG chairman Jeffrey Shell serves as the chair of RFE/RL's corporate board.
Under IRS rules, RFE/RL, Inc. is a private, nonprofit Sec. 501(c) 3 corporation. Chartered in Delaware, it receives federal grants as a private grantee. RFE/RL maintains a corporate office in Washington, D.C.

RFE/RL's corporate board is made up of all members of the BBG:

Jeffrey Shell
Jeffrey Shell was named Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group in September of 2013. He served as Chairman of NBC Universal International from 2011-2013 and as President of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011. Chairman Shell was appointed to the BBG in August 2013.
Read More on BBG Site

Matthew Armstrong
Matthew C. Armstrong is an author, speaker, and strategist on issues related to public diplomacy. In 2011, he served as executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Governor Armstrong was appointed to the BBG in August 2013.
Read More on BBG Site

Dr. Leon Aron
Dr. Leon Aron is Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a position he has held since 1993. He was a weekly Contributor at the Voice of America’s Russian language radio and television show Gliadya iz Ameriki (Looking from America) from 1990 to 2004.
Read More on BBG Site

Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker is dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University -- a position from which he had taken a leave of absence to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. Ambassador Crocker was appointed to the BBG in August 2013.
Read More on BBG Site

Michael Kempner
Michael W. Kempner is the Founder, President, and CEO of MWW, a public relations firm he founded in 1986. He is board member of Goodwill Industries International and a Founding Board Member of ConnectOne Bancorp. He served on the White House Council for Community Solutions from 2010 to 2012.
Read More on BBG Site

John Forbes Kerry
On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry became the 68th Secretary of State of the United States. Previously, Mr. Kerry served 28 years in the United States Senate, with the last four as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary Kerry serves on the BBG ex officio.
Read More on BBG Site

Ambassador Karen Kornbluh
Ambassador Karen Kornbluh is the Executive Vice President of External Affairs for Nielsen, responsible for global public policy, privacy strategy, and corporate social responsibility. Prior to joining Nielsen, Kornbluh was the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 2009-2012. Previously, she was Policy Director for then Senator Barack Obama.
Read More on BBG Site

Kenneth Weinstein
Kenneth Weinstein has been President and CEO of Hudson Institute since 2011. Since joining Hudson Institute in 1999, he has held several other positions, including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Fellow, and Director of the Washington Office. Governor Weinstein was apointed to the BBG in October 2013.
Read More on BBG Site

RFE/RL’s corporate officers:

  • Thomas Kent, President
  • Stephanie Schmidt, Acting Chief Financial Officer (Acting Treasurer)
  • Ben Herman, General Counsel (Secretary)

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Role of the BBG

In addition to providing general oversight, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of all civilian U.S. international broadcasters, including Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, and the non-profit corporations that are BBG grantees: Radio Free Asia, RFE/RL, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra, Radio Sawa).

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