BBG Announces New Acting Board Chairman

WASHINGTON— The Broadcasting Board of Governors today announced the unanimous election of Kenneth Weinstein, who has served as a board member since October 2013, to the position of Acting Board Chairman, effective immediately. Weinstein takes over from Jeff Shell, who served as chairman of the board since August 2013. Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, will continue to serve as a board member.

“This transition illustrates BBG’s commitment to ensuring high caliber, accomplished leaders in the agency,” said outgoing Chairman Jeff Shell. “Ken is a consummate professional and a wonderful person to boot, whose contribution to the Board has been invaluable. He is the perfect person to work with CEO John Lansing as he continues to lead key reforms and advance growth at BBG.”

In his acceptance of the chairman role, Weinstein said, “Working to advance the mission of BBG throughout the world is truly an honor, and I am excited to work with my fellow Board Members and with CEO Lansing in this new capacity. CEO Lansing’s leadership has been crucial to our continual progress here at BBG. During his tenure, the agency’s total audience grew by 52 million to an estimated total 278 million people weekly, in 100 countries and 61 languages, even as he leads internal reforms that tighten processes, save money, and cultivate impact.

“I and other board members continue to support John’s leadership, having voted on Jan. 19 to reaffirm his authority, without objection, and I look forward to working together. I also want to thank Jeff Shell, whose unmatched dedication and strategic leadership of the Board have been critical to the transformation of the agency.”

Kenneth R. Weinstein is president and CEO of Hudson Institute, a free-market D.C. think tank founded by Herman Kahn.

A political theorist by training whose academic work focuses on the early Enlightenment, Weinstein has written widely on international affairs for leading publications in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including Bungei Shunju (Japan), Le Figaro (France), Le Monde (France), The Wall Street Journal, and the Yomiuri Shimbun.

He has been decorated with a knighthood in Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Weinstein previously served by presidential appointment and Senate confirmation on the National Humanities Council, the governing body of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Weinstein graduated from The University of Chicago (B.A. in General Studies in the Humanities), the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (D.E.A. in Soviet and Eastern European Studies), and Harvard University (Ph.D. in Government).

Additionally, on Jan. 24, the board noted the resignation of public diplomacy expert Matthew Armstrong, who served on the board since August 2013.

In noting Armstrong’s resignation, Weinstein said, “Matt was a pleasure to work with and his accomplishments are many. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”