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Kevin Klose To Be RFE/RL’s Acting President And CEO

Kevin Klose (2007 file photo)
Kevin Klose (2007 file photo)
Washington, DC -- The Broadcasting Board of Governors has announced that distinguished journalist and broadcast executive Kevin Klose will be the Acting President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Acting in its capacity as RFE/RL’s corporate board of directors, the Board voted unanimously to ask Klose to take on the position for up to one year, starting January 26.

“As a former chief of both National Public Radio and RFE/RL, Kevin is seasoned at leading broadcasters through critical transitions,” said Michael Lynton, the Board’s presiding governor. “There is no more qualified person to manage this key part of U.S. international broadcasting than Kevin. We are thrilled that he will return to public service as we implement our media strategy in priority countries from Iran to Russia and across Eurasia.”

Klose was president of NPR from 1998 to 2008, and was named President Emeritus in 2008. Before joining NPR, he was president of RFE/RL from 1994 to 1997, overseeing its relocation from Munich to Prague. In 1997-98, he directed the International Broadcasting Bureau at the U.S. Information Agency. Prior to this, he was an editor and reporter for The Washington Post for 25 years, including stints as Moscow bureau chief, city editor and deputy national editor. A tenured professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, Klose served as dean of the journalism college from April 2009 to July 2012. He will be on leave from his faculty position while serving at RFE/RL. He earned a B.A. from Harvard and is the author of five books, including Russia and the Russians: Inside the Closed Society.

“I am honored to be offered this opportunity and eager to lend a hand,” Klose said upon accepting the position with RFE/RL. “I look forward to re-connecting with many friends in Prague and Russia and to working with the entire RFE/RL team.”

“We are grateful that Kevin has agreed to take on this task, and we thank University of Maryland President Wallace Loh for the university’s swift response and flexibility,” said Dennis Mulhaupt, chairman of the RFE/RL corporate board. “Kevin understands well from first-hand experience the special challenge and public trust that RFE/RL represents. I’d like to thank my colleagues for their speedy work in addressing RFE/RL’s interim leadership needs – especially Susan McCue, the board’s vice-chair, who has spearheaded the effort to recruit Kevin. We look forward to working with him.”

“Kevin Klose’s deep experience in journalism and international broadcasting is unparalleled for this mission,” McCue said. ”His leadership and stable hand will build bridges to the future while ensuring that RFE/RL’s long tradition of journalistic integrity and courageous reporting is honored.”

BBG Board member Victor Ashe noted, “Kevin Klose brings years of experience and is the right person to lead the rebuilding. RFE/RL is fortunate to have him as we face and resolve many difficult and serious issues. Thanks to my colleagues for all they have done to bring this about.”

The Board plans to engage a professional search firm during the coming months to identify and hire a successor president.