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Management And Governance

RFE/RL Senior Management

Tadeusz A. Lipien

President and Chief Executive Officer

Tadeusz (Ted) A. Lipien is President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Before joining the organization in December 2020, he worked in or wrote about U.S. international broadcasting for over 40 years, beginning as a radio announcer for the Voice of America (VOA) in 1973. Lipien reported on developments in Poland and Eastern Europe, becoming Chief of VOA’s Polish Service in 1982 during the Solidarity trade union’s struggle for democracy. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he took a hiatus from journalism to build a network of VOA and RFE/RL affiliate stations in Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and, eventually, Iraq and Afghanistan. Lipien then became the Director of the Eurasia Division at VOA, where he expanded television and multimedia digital programming. In 2005, he was named Acting Associate Director of VOA. He retired from VOA in 2006, going on to found Free Media Online, an NGO covering international broadcasting and media freedom, and to co-found the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting, a non-profit supporting media outreach to countries suffering from censorship and human rights violations. His articles on U.S. international broadcasting have been published in American Diplomacy Journal, National Review, The Washington Times, and The Washington Examiner. His views on media have been quoted by CNN, NBC, FOX, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is the author of a book published in English and Polish and editor of other books and articles. Lipien earned a B.A. in International Relations with distinction from George Washington University.

Daisy Sindelar

Vice President and Editor in Chief

Daisy Sindelar was named Vice President and Editor in Chief of RFE/RL in August 2019, and served as Acting President from June to December 2020 and from December 2018 to July 2019. Prior to these appointments, Sindelar served as Director of the Current Time digital network, a 24/7 Russian-language global network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with Voice of America. Sindelar has been with RFE/RL since February 2001 and contributed in various journalistic and editorial roles within our Central Newsroom. She advanced from Senior Correspondent to a management role as Regional Director, European Desk. Previous to joining RFE/RL she was managing editor of The Moscow Times and editor-in-chief of The St. Petersburg Times. Sindelar holds a B.A. in Russian studies from Bryn Mawr College, in addition to completing post-graduate journalism studies at the University of Florida and advanced Russian language studies at the Herzen Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg.

Mark Kontos

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer / Treasurer

Mark Kontos was selected as RFE/RL Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Treasurer of the Corporation in February 2020, and is based in Washington, DC. Prior to his appointment, Kontos served for twelve years as Senior Vice President, CFO, and Treasurer of MITRE Corporation, which operates a series of U.S. Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) that serve the public interest through systems engineering and applied sciences for large-scale, complex problems of importance for defense, intelligence and civilian agencies of the US government. Kontos has also served as CFO of Battelle Memorial Institute and AK Steel Corporation, and in senior level roles at Citibank/Citigroup. Kontos earned a BA in Political Science from Beloit College and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Stephanie Schmidt

Budget Director / Assistant Treasurer

Stephanie Schmidt has served as RFE/RL's Budget Director and Assistant Treasurer of the Corporation since 2016. , was appointed Acting Chief Financial Officer on September 1, 2018; Schmidt also served as Acting CFO from September 2018 to February 2020, and or a 15-month term in 2015-2016. Schmidt joined RFE/RL in 2007, working in Prague in administrative and project management with the News Division, then transferring in 2011 to Washington as Budget Officer. Schmidt has managed RFE/RL's budget through such challenges as U.S. government shutdowns, sequestration, the forcible closures of RFE/RL operations in Azerbaijan and Pakistan, and the transfer of Radio Free Iraq, as well as the recent period of growth that has brought additional funding for new programming initiatives for Russia and its periphery. Before joining RFE/RL, Schmidt worked at various international NGOs and think-tanks and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kosice, Slovakia (1999-2001). Schmidt earned a B.A. in International Studies from American University, cum laude, and also holds a M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Benjamin Herman

General Counsel / Secretary

Benjamin Herman is RFE/RL's General Counsel and the Secretary of the Corporation. He graduated from Brown University in 1991 with a degree in Russian Studies, earned a Master's degree in Czech Language and Literature from UC Berkeley in 1994, and graduated from Stanford Law School in 1998. After receiving his law degree, Herman spent four years as an associate at the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell before joining RFE/RL in 2002.

Corporate Governance

RFE/RL, Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation, funded by the U.S. Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media. CEO Michael Pack oversees all aspects of U.S. international media, providing day-to-day management of USAGM’s operations.

Under IRS rules, RFE/RL, Inc. is a private, nonprofit Sec. 501(c) 3 corporation. Chartered in Delaware, it receives federal grants as a private grantee. RFE/RL maintains a corporate office in Washington, D.C.

Role of USAGM

In addition to providing oversight, the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of all U.S. international public service media, including Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, and the non-profit corporations that are BBG grantees: Radio Free Asia, RFE/RL, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). USAGM also provides oversight of the work of the Open Technology Fund, which finances the development and distribution of cutting edge technologies and techniques to counter efforts by repressive regimes and closed societies to block access to objective news and information.

RFE/RL’s corporate officers

  • Tadeusz A. Lipien, President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Daisy Sindelar, Vice President & Editor in Chief
  • Mark Kontos, Chief Financial Officer (Treasurer)
  • Stephanie Schmidt, Budget Director (Assistant Treasurer)
  • Benjamin Herman, General Counsel (Secretary)