Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks Get New Leaders
The U.S. Agency for Global Media announced Tuesday that Stephen Yates will be the next president of Radio Free Asia and Victoria Coates will lead the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
Yates, who was an aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney, replaces acting president Parameswaran Ponnudurai.
“In the free world’s struggle against tyranny and aggression, one of our best tools is factual and undaunted journalism,” Yates said in a statement. “RFA’s role in telling the truth on behalf of those subject to censorship is a crucial mission that I intend to empower.”
USAGM CEO Michael Pack cited former work “on Asian issues in many senior government positions” and fluency in Mandarin among Yates’ credentials, and said the United States needs to counter “misinformation and disinformation disseminated by repressive regimes, most notably China.”
Coates was a longtime security adviser to President Donald Trump but left that position earlier this year to become a senior adviser at the Department of Energy with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
In a statement announcing her selection, Coates said the region is key in the competition for information.
“MBN is a beacon of truth and transparency in a frequently crowded and conflicted space, and I am honored to accept this opportunity to lead our efforts to both combat misinformation campaigns and promote American leadership and values,” Coates said.
Earlier this month, Pack appointed new leaders for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and Voice of America.
Pack has now named new leaders for each of the news networks that USAGM oversees. Shortly after Pack arrived at USAGM, he fired the heads of RFA, RFE/RL, OCB and MBN. The head of VOA resigned at that time.