Photo: Victor Ashe with Russian human rights leader Lyudmila Alexeeva and Radio Liberty reporter Kristina Gorelik.
For Immediate Release
August 4, 2013
The independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) has released the following statement on the departure of former U.S. Ambassador Victor Ashe from his post at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG):
Victor Ashe: A Man of Decency and Effectiveness
Victor Ashe’s tenure with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has been marked by faithful service and diligent attention to the issues and people who make up U.S. international broadcasting and bring a free voice to those throughout the world where censorship and suppression are the norm.
Rather than become enmeshed in bureaucratic inertia, or turn a blind eye to the problems, Ambassador Ashe has made the agency relevant by insisting upon its adherence to its mission. He raised legitimate concerns as a public servant. He fought for transparency, accountability, and responsibility to the U.S. taxpayer. He addressed the concerns of journalists, broadcasters and other rank-and-file BBG employees.
Victor Ashe won great respect for his refusal to accept status quo and for asking questions why the BBG continually ranks as the worst managed federal government agency with the lowest employee morale.
Because he raised such concerns, as his tenure continued, Victor Ashe endured unjust attacks from the bureaucracy. Nonetheless, he never lost his calm, his decency, and his concern for others. Instead, he maintained his focus on the journalists and media freedom, and opened doors that may never be shut again.
Victor Ashe welcomed the public to attend open BBG Board meetings and pushed for them to be streamed online. He advocated that the public be permitted to speak and participate in the dialogue about U.S. international broadcasting
Victor Ashe has won the respect of journalists and NGOs throughout the world. He received the Glasnost Award in Russia for his defense of fired Radio Liberty reporters who were later rehired in large part thanks to his efforts.
CUSIB hopes that current and future Governors who serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors will follow in the footsteps of Victor Ashe’s bipartisan approach to the oversight of this agency, and realize, with humility, the importance of their role and their mission for the 70 percent of the world’s population that lacks full freedom and free press.
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.
For further information, please contact:
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB)
New York, New York
Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Ted Lipien, co-founder and Director