The Voice of America Deals With White House’s False Claim of ‘Largest Audience to Ever Witness an Inauguration’

Posted: 1:26 am ET
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The VOA Charter signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976 provides that VOA serves “as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” The Charter says that VOA news “will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.”  VOA broadcasts about 1,800 hours of radio and television programming each week to an estimated global audience of 236.6 million people. It is broadcasts in 47 languages.

On the White House Press Secretary’s first briefing of January 21, The Voice of America initially repeated Mr. Spicer’s false claim about the inauguration crowd but took down the tweet after being called out in public for it. A couple of hours later, The Voice of America posted and tweeted its AP-written Factcheck: Trump and Spicer’s Statements on Inaugural Crowd Size.

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@StateDept Nominations Forgotten By the Senate Time Lords of the 114th Congress

Posted: 5:34 pm PT
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The following are civilian nominations submitted by the President to the Senate for confirmation during the current 114th Congress and have not made it out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) when the Senate adjourned on December 10, 2016.  Senate rules provide that “nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session at which they are made shall not be acted upon at any succeeding session without being again made to the Senate by the President…” These nominations have sometimes been returned to the President at the end of the first session and are always returned to the President at the end of the Congress.

The Senate will convene at noon on January 3, 2017, for the 115th Congress.  We expect that the career nominations in the Foreign Service lists will be resubmitted in January. All other nominations are dead at this point; the incoming Trump Administration will make its own nominations for ambassadorships, as well as the top ranks at State, USAID, BBG and related posts.

Ambassadors

2016-09-28 PN1802 Department of State | Jeffrey DeLaurentis, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Cuba.

2016-09-22 PN1763 Department of State | Tulinabo Salama Mushingi, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Senegal, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

State Department

2016-09-19 PN1758 Department of State | Justin H. Siberell, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank and status of Ambassador at Large.

2016-09-19 PN1757 Department of State | Tina S. Kaidanow, of Maryland, a career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Political-Military Affairs).

2015-07-08 PN628 Department of State | Mari Carmen Aponte, of the District of Columbia, to be Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the Organization of American States, with the rank of Ambassador.

2015-01-08 PN48 Department of State | Jennifer Ann Haverkamp, of Indiana, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Foreign Service

2016-11-15 PN1810 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jim Nelson Barnhart, Jr., and ending Anne N. Williams, which 20 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.

2016-11-15 PN1809 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jeanne F. Bailey, and ending Robert Henry Hanson, which 9 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.

2016-11-15 PN1807 Foreign Service | Nomination for Alexander Dickie IV, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.

2016-11-15 PN1806 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning David Charles Miller, and ending Scott S. Sindelar, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.

2016-09-06 PN1704-1 Foreign Service | Nomination for Leslie L. Johnson, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on September 6, 2016.

2016-07-13 PN1643-1 Foreign Service | Nomination for Edward Peay, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on July 13, 2016.

2016-07-13 PN1642-1 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Michael Ashkouri, and ending Ethan N. Takahashi, which 4 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on July 13, 2016.

2015-06-10 PN573-6 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jeffries Blunt de Graffenried, Jr., and ending Debbie Patrice Jackson, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on June 10, 2015.

2015-02-26 PN230-3 Foreign Service | Nomination for David Elliott Horton III, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on February 26, 2015.

2015-01-13 PN72-8 Foreign Service | Nomination for Daniel Menco Hirsch, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on January 13, 2015.

2015-01-13 PN71-2 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning David J. Barth, and ending R. Douglass Arbuckle, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on January 13, 2015.

Broadcasting Board of Governors

2016-11-29 PN1918 Broadcasting Board of Governors | Richard Stengel, of the District of Columbia, to be Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

2016-11-29 PN1917 Broadcasting Board of Governors | Richard Stengel, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors for a term expiring August 13, 2017.

United Nations

2016-09-13 PN1751 United Nations | Cynthia Ryan, of the District of Columbia, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Seventy-first Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

2016-09-13 PN1750 United Nations | Valerie Biden Owens, of Delaware, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Seventy-first Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Asian Development Bank

2015-02-26 PN229 African Development Bank | Marcia Denise Occomy, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Director of the African Development Bank for a term of five years.

2015-02-26 PN228 Inter-American Development Bank | Mileydi Guilarte, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Alternate Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank.

 

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Obama Nominates Ambassador Ryan Crocker to the Broadcasting Board of Governors

On May 10, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate retired Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to serve as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker is the Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University, a position he has held since October 2012.  He is also the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia, a position he has held since March 2013.  From 2011 to 2012, he served as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  Previously, Ambassador Crocker was Dean and Executive Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.  His 37-year career in the Foreign Service included service as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon.  He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees of Whitman College.  Ambassador Crocker is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service.  Ambassador Crocker received a B.A. from Whitman College.

Ambassador Crocker takes over Victor Ashe’s term expiring on August 13, 2013. He was nominated for a new term at the BBG that expires on August 13, 2016.  We have posted here previously that Matthew Armstrong was also nominated for the BBG. He takes over the BBG position previously held by Dana M. Perino with a term expiring on August 13, 2015.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media. The BBG’s mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. Broadcasters within the BBG network 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).

The nine-person Board currently has three positions vacant pending a nomination by the President and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  A January 2013 OIG report says that the word most commonly used to describe the BBG was “dysfunctional.”  And that “This dysfunction is attributable largely to the Board’s structure, internal governance issues, and dynamics.”

 

— DS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officially In: Matt Armstrong to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)

On April 11, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Matthew C. Armstrong to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The WH released the following brief bio:

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.  Previously, Mr. Armstrong was an adjunct professor of public diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California.  In 2010, he founded and served as President of the MountainRunner Institute and published a blog on public diplomacy and strategic communication.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Diplomacy Council and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies.  Mr. Armstrong received a B.A. and an M.P.D. from the University of Southern California.

Matthew Armstrong, Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy gives his remarks during a reception hosted in his honor by Deputy Ambassador James B. Cunningham on Monday, Oct 17, 2011. (Department of State)

Matthew Armstrong, Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy gives his remarks during a reception hosted in his honor by Deputy Ambassador James B. Cunningham on Monday, Oct 17, 2011. (Department of State)

BBG Watch, a website that covers the BBG and maintained by former and current BBG, VOA and RFE/RL employees and their supporters released the following statement:

“BBG Watch welcomes the nomination of Matt Armstrong to serve on the BBG board. His expertise in public diplomacy will strengthen this very important institution and will help other BBG members and any future CEO in their efforts to reform the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), the worst managed organization within the federal government. We hope that Mr. Armstrong will help to transform the IBB from a centralized bureaucracy bent on increasing its power into a lean support organization that serves rather than issues commands to individual media entities.”

I have blogged previously about Matt Armstrong and ACPD (see Matt Armstrong Joins the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public DiplomacyPD Commission KIA by Congress; Welcome Back, Matt ArmstrongU.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy Re-Authorized – Where the Heck Is It?).

Sorry to see that he won’t be returning to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD).  So now, we’ll have to wait and see how much work the re-authorized ACPD gets to do with “support” from the “R” bureau.

–DS