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Sanford J. Ungar (1999-2001)

VOA Director Sanford J. Ungar (1999 - 2001)
VOA Director Sanford J. Ungar (1999 - 2001)

Sanford “Sandy” Ungar, a journalist, author, and educator, served as the 24th Director of the Voice of America. Prior to becoming VOA Director, Ungar served as Dean of the School of Communication at American University and had an extensive and varied career as an international journalist. He has worked at Foreign Policy magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic magazine, UPI, Newsweek magazine, and NPR.

On July 3, 2000, Tibetans around the world were able to see their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for the first time in 40 years via a VOA TV live transmission. The Dalai Lama was officiating at a Great Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The same year, VOA launched its main portal, By 2005, the VOA website was sixth in the world in Newsknife’s ranking of the top 10 news sites. Today, VOA offers its content on the Internet in all of its broadcast languages in a variety of formats, including podcasts, online chats, and RSS feeds.

After leaving VOA, Ungar was president of Goucher College in Towson, Maryland from 2001 to 2014. In 2006, Ungar instituted a mandatory study abroad requirement for all students, making Goucher the first university in the United States to do so. In spring 2015 Ungar joined Georgetown University, where he is director of The Free Speech Project. He teaches undergraduate seminars on Free Speech at both Georgetown University and Harvard College. Ungar is a graduate of Harvard College and the London School of Economics and the author of four nonfiction books.