WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack resigned yesterday after being informed by the Biden Administration that he would be removed. President Biden designated longtime USAGM journalist Kelu Chao as acting CEO and former president of Middle East Broadcasting Networks Brian Conniff as deputy director. Robert Reilly has also been removed as VOA director, and Yolanda López has been named as acting director. Deputy VOA director Elizabeth Robbins was also relieved of her duties. Jeffrey Shapiro resigned from his position as director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
The incoming team is composed of long-standing veterans of U.S. international broadcasting. Kelu Chao has served for nearly 40 years at VOA having risen through the ranks from an intern, field reporter, editor, Mandarin service chief, East Asia division director, and acting VOA director, to her current position as VOA program director. Brian Conniff has held numerous executive positions within USAGM, formerly the BBG, including executive director of the Board, acting director of the International Broadcasting Bureau and president of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
It is expected that President Biden will nominate a permanent CEO in the near future.