November 24, 2015 Washington DC 11:11 PM

Media Relations / Events

A Single Step: Journeys of Women Leaders


Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm 

 Panel Discussion and Reception to follow
Carlucci Auditorium
United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
2301 Constitution Ave NW 
Washington, D.C. 20037

The United-States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Voice of America will host a screening of Voice of America’s new documentary, A Single Step, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field. The five women profiled in this film are champions and agents of change, making the world a better place in China, Japan, Fiji, India, and Liberia.

Please join us for this 30-minute film, followed by a discussion with a top-flight panel of experts on how to reach out to youth around the world with a message of hope that young people, especially girls, can be involved and active in making positive global change. The panel will also consider progress made since the 1995 Women's Conference in Beijing, the empowerment of girls and women, and what remains to be done.

Opening Remarks By:

John F. Lansing joined the Broadcasting Board of Governors as Chief Executive Officer and Director in September 2015. With an extensive career in broadcasting, Mr. Lansing recently spent 9 years as President of Scripps Networks.

Cathy Russell currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. Prior to assuming this position, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education.


Tara D. Sonenshine was the former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2012 to 2013.


Beth Mendelson is the Senior Executive Producer of A Single Step. She is responsible for documentaries and special programming at the Voice of America. Beth’s 30-year communication career focuses on issue-oriented programming.

Kathleen Kuehnast is the Senior Gender Advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). Her work examines the impact of political and economic transitions on societal gender roles.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini is an author and a consultant to the United Nations on the subject of women and conflict.  In 2013, she was named gender adviser to the UN Department of Political Affairs' Standby Team of Mediation Experts. She founded the non-governmental organization International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) in 2006.

Ambassador Melanne Verveer is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.


A Single Step Trailer Link:

Please RSVP to Lindsay Damiano at (202)-429-3814 or

ISIS and the Digital War


Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. 


555 Pennsylvania Ave NW 

Washington, D.C. 20001

Please enter through the C St. entrance


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIS) has proved itself to be most adept at recruiting members and targeting adversaries through social media. On October 21st, Voice of America and the Newseum Institute will take a deep dive into the group's use of propaganda in the televised special: ISIS and the Digital War. 

VOA Reporter Mil Arcega and Newseum Institute COO Gene Policinski will lead the one-hour forum, exploring ways to cover the ISIS narrative. 

Panelists include: 

Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne is president of AMAR U.S. and the Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation. She travels regularly to Iraq and is currently leading the charity’s work to help and support many hundreds of thousands of the 3.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) forced from their homes by the ISIS invasion.  She is a World Health Organization Envoy for Health, and Honorary Adviser to the Prime Minister of Iraq in the field of Health. Baroness Nicholson served as a member of the British House of Commons from 1987 to 1997, when she became a Life Peer in the House of Lords.

Michael Weiss is a well-known American journalist specializing in Syria and the Middle East. His work led him to co-author the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. The book explains how ISIS evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain. Currently based in New York City, Weiss serves as a senior editor at The Daily Beast.  He also edits The Interpreter, an online translation and analysis journal devoted to all things Russian and Ukrainian.

Lorenzo Vidino, Ph.D., is an academic and security expert who specializes in Islamism and political violence in Europe and North America. Since April 2015, he has been the director of the Program on Extremism at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. He is the author of several books and frequent articles on conflict and terrorism. A native of Milan, Italy, he holds a law degree from the University of Milan Law School and a doctorate in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 


Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. A veteran multimedia journalist, he also writes, lectures and is interviewed regularly on First Amendment issues. Policinski, a founding editor of USA Today, oversees all programs of the Newseum Institute and is also a longtime proponent of diversity in journalism as an essential characteristic of a free press. He speaks and writes regularly on news gathering and reporting, newsroom diversity, and journalism ethics.

Mil Arcega is an award-winning anchor/ reporter for Voice of America. Originally from the Philippines, he grew up in Canada where he began his career in journalism. In 1997, he moved to Washington, D.C., to become a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor of NBC4. He currently hosts VOA’s The Correspondents, and covers global economics.

RSVP to by Friday, October 16, 2015

Bosnia: 20 Years After Srebrenica




​Twenty years after the worst massacre in Europe since World War II, Bosnia still faces formidable political and economic challenges.

The Voice of America will present a special panel to discuss the Srebrenica genocide and examine the events of that time both in historical terms and in the context of the country's future.


Honorable Stephen Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues

Kurt Volker, Executive Director, McCain Institute for International Leadership


Professor Daniel Serwer, Johns Hopkins University


Professor Tanya Domi, Columbia University


Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. 


Voice of America

330 Independence Ave SW 

Washington, D.C. 20237

In the Public Eye: Police, Cameras & the Constitution


Wednesday June 17, 2015

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


555 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC 20001

Voice of America, in partnership with the Newseum, is hosting a panel discussion that examines how new electronic devices are changing the relationship between police and the American public.

A studio audience comprised of members of Congress, reporters and law enforcement officials will watch a live discussion among a panel of top law enforcement officials and constitutional experts


Mickey Osterreicher, Chief legal counsel for the National Press Photographers Association

Gene Policinski, COO of the Newseum Institute

Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, The American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project

Terrance Gainer, former Chief US Capitol Police

Robert Villasenor, Tuscon Police Chief & member President's task force for 21st century policing

Jonathon Smith, Associate Dean at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

South Sudan Town Hall

Topic: The South Sudan Peace Process

Sub-topics: What has been the role of the media?  What has been the effective involvement of the international community? How should a peace process be conducted? Was it inclusive enough?

Moderator:  John Tanza Mabusu, Host and Managing Editor, VOA's South Sudan In Focus


Susan Page, Former U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan 

Garang Diing Akuong, South Sudan Ambassador to the United States

Sarah Cleto Rial , South Sudan Civil Society Activist

Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Response

Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

330 C St SW  Washington DC 20237




A Panel Discussion: Chibok Girls, Not Forgotten

The Voice of America presents a panel discussion on the kidnappings by Boko Haram of Chibok girls in Northern NIgeria and the challenges of rescuing the girls still held. 


Keynote Speaker: Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA)


Emmanuel Ogebe, Managing Partner, US Nigeria Law Group

Sandra Ekpenyong, Founder, Empowering Women, Empowering Voices

Dr. Ibrahim O. Salau, National President, Zumunta Association, USA​

Participation via Phone

Ibrahim Abdullahi, Lawyer, Founder of #bringbackourgirls​

Bukola Shonibare, Campaign Representative, Bring Back Our Girls Campaign

Hajiya Asabe, Principal, Chibok Government Secondary School, Borno, Nigeria

Dr. Emman Usman Shehu, Campaign Representative, Bring Back Our Girls

Participation via Skype

Doug Wead, President, Canyonville Christian Academy, Virginia, USA

R. Evon Idahosa, Esq. New York, USA


Tuesday, April 14th, 10:00 a.m.

330 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC 20237

Please RSVP to:

Video VOA Director David Ensor Speaks at George Washington University

VOA Director David Ensor Speaks at George Washington Universityi
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February 05, 2015
VOA Director David Ensor speaks to students at GWU about the role of international media.
VOA Director David Ensor Speaks at George Washington University
VOA Director David Ensor speaks to students at GWU about the role of international media.

Nigeria Decides: 2015 Elections and Security Challenges


Leo Keyen, Hausa Service Chief, Voice of America


Opening Remarks:

David Ensor, Director, Voice of America


Aliyu Mustapha, Managing Editor, Voice of America, Hausa Service


Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye, Ambassador of Nigeria to the US

Stephen M. Schwartz, Director of Nigerian Policy and Operations Group, US Department of State

John Momoh, Chairman, Channels TV, Lagos, Nigeria

Aminu Gamawa, Legal and Conflict Resolution Consultant

Closing Remarks

Negussie Mengesha, Africa Division Director, Voice of America

Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.  

RSVP to 


Voice of America
330 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20237

To enter the building use the C St. entrance
Photo ID is required. Department of Homeland Security requires a U.S. issued driver's license or a U.S./foreign passport for entry to a federal facility. 

VOA Swahili Service Celebrates 50th Anniversary

David Ensor, VOA Director (R), shakes hands with Aleck Che Mponda, retired pioneer VOA Swahili broadcaster (L), joined by Gwen Dillard, Director of the Africa Division (Center).

VOA’s Swahili service is marking its 50th Anniversary this May, with tributes to the reputation the service has built throughout its broadcasting history.

“It gives me enormous pride to congratulate them on 50 years of broadcasting. We are the first African language service… [and] we have developed over the years an audience that is very large, that is very loyal, that trusts Voice of America,” said Gwen Dillard, Director of the Africa Division. Dillard spoke Friday at a festive and music filled gathering of Swahili Service journalists and special guests.

Swahili Service chief Mwamoyo Hamza opened the event by sharing the rich history of the service, followed by congratulatory remarks from VOA Director David Ensor.  Special guests included Deputy Chief of Mission and Head of Chancery of the Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania, Lily Munanka, and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Lucy Kiruthu.  Also on hand, one of the first Swahili broadcasters, Alek Che Mponda, who is now retired but remains a fan.

In addition to being the first African Language at VOA, the Swahili Service is also the first in the Africa division to develop television programs for mobile devices.

“As human beings find more ways to communicate with each other, we are keeping up with that, and we are keeping up with that in Swahili as well,” added VOA Director David Ensor.
  • Swahili’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Program & Pin
  • Esther Githui-Ewart, a Swahili Service broadcaster, delivers welcoming speech.
  • Mwamoyo Hamza, Swahili Service Chief, greets the audience at the service’s 50th Anniversary celebration.
  • Gwen Dillard, Director of the Africa Division, delivers congratulatory remarks.
  • David Ensor, VOA Director, honors VOA Swahili service’s distinguished history.
  • David Ensor, VOA Director (R), shakes hands with Aleck Che Mponda, retired pioneer VOA Swahili broadcaster (L), joined by Gwen Dillard, Director of the Africa Division (Center).
  • Alan Heil (L) former Deputy Director of the Voice of America with Mwamoyo Hamza (R), Chief of Swahili Service.
  • Aleck Che Mponda, retired pioneer Swahili broadcaster (L) with Gwen Dillard, Director of the Africa Division (R)
  • Swahili Service employees serve food during Swahili Service 50th Anniversary Celebration.
  • Swahili Service 50th Anniversary Celebration Cake

Today, the service reaches out to its audience through shortwave, FM affiliate stations, the Internet and mobile platforms. It broadcasts to East and Central Africa, covering regional, international and U.S. news.  More than 7 million listeners tune in to its programs each week.

Ensor and Dillard foresee prospects for growth because a sizeable audience speaks the language.

“Swahili is the single largest language group in Africa and that is an impressive target audience,” said Dillard.

Ensor calls Africa “the land of opportunities” and hopes to develop more television programs in the Swahili service and expand on other African language services as well.​

Nigeria's Vice President Visits VOA

Nigerian Vice President, Namadi Sambo (right)

Nigerian VP Namadi Sambo (right) smiles as he looks over a poster that was used during an earlier VOA event with Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan.

Pictured from left to right are VOA’s Aliyu Mustapha and Halima Djimrao-Kane.

The Nigerian vice president, who was in Washington for talks with the Obama administration, also met with VOA Director David Ensor and officials of the Broadcasting Board of Governors during his stop at VOA.

Millions of people in Nigeria listen to VOA’s Hausa Service.