Monday, April 18, 2011

BBG selects new Voice of America Director

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has selected award-winning broadcaster and communications executive David Ensor to serve as the next director of the Voice of America (VOA). VOA reaches an audience of 123 million people with unbiased news and information in 44 languages across multiple media platforms.

“The democracy uprisings of the past two months have shown the critical importance of the free flow of credible information in empowering people around the world. The Voice of America has been pursuing this mission for seventy years by providing great journalism and a clear presentation of America and its policies,” said Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the BBG which oversees all U.S. international broadcasting including the VOA. “David Ensor is uniquely suited to lead VOA in fulfilling this dual mission. We are deeply honored that he would continue to be of service to journalism and to his country by following in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow and John Chancellor.”

Ensor has been Director for Communications and Public Diplomacy of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan since January 2010 and will join VOA in June.

“David Ensor’s unique experiences and skills make him a solid fit for this role,” said Judith A. McHale, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, who serves as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s representative to the BBG, and who oversaw Ensor’s work in Afghanistan. “The State Department has been very fortunate to have David oversee our public diplomacy effort in Afghanistan, and we wish him well as he prepares to take the lead at VOA.”

Ensor is a winner of a National Headliner Award and an Emmy-nominated broadcast journalist whose 32-year career in television and radio news included extensive reporting on international affairs. Ensor covered the demise of Communism in Russia and Poland, armed conflicts in Bosnia, Chechnya, El Salvador, and Afghanistan, and the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks. He was CNN’s National Security Correspondent and prior to that, an ABC News correspondent, with assignments in Washington, Moscow, Rome, and Warsaw. Ensor reported from Washington for National Public Radio covering foreign policy and defense issues.

In welcoming David Ensor, the BBG thanked retiring VOA Director Danforth Austin for his outstanding leadership. The Board recognized Austin’s role in improving VOA's ability to engage with and grow audiences across multiple media platforms, integrating broadcast, online and social media while remaining steadfast to the principles of sound journalism enshrined in the VOA charter. Appointed to the post in October 2006, Austin has been one of the longest serving VOA directors.

Ensor is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and is fluent in French. He received a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley. Ensor holds the Knight’s Cross awarded by the President of Poland.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 165 million in 100 countries. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).
(VOA/Leticia King)