Earlier this month, Yolanda López, Voice of America’s acting director, announced her departure from the news organization to take a position outside the federal government.
“Over the past eight years at this agency, I've experienced both wonderful and challenging moments, forming lasting memories and friendships that I'll carry with me for a lifetime,” López said in a statement to VOA staff. “Together, we've navigated through wars, conflicts, a pandemic, natural catastrophes, elections, special coverages, protests and more. I'm deeply grateful for the support and resilience each of you has shown in such critical moments.”
Prior to her appointment as Acting VOA Director in January 2021, López served as Director of the VOA News Center, where she oversaw all content production and editorial decision-making. As a veteran journalist and producer, she joined VOA in 2015 as the Latin America Division Director. Under her leadership, López generated significant audience growth in the region through media partnerships and affiliations.
“During her more than two-and-a-half year tenure as Acting Director, Yolanda guided VOA through the COVID-19 pandemic, oversaw the evacuation of VOA journalists from Afghanistan, and supported global coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Amanda Bennett, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media. “Yolanda did it with a profound respect for VOA’s mission and its charter, and with a deep commitment to journalistic independence, press freedom, and the protection of journalists around the world.”
On October 1, Acting Director for VOA Programming John Lippman will succeed López as VOA’s acting director.
"It has been a privilege to work closely with Yolanda López over the past two and a half years and it is an honor to follow her as VOA Acting Director,” said Lippman. “My approach as Acting Director will be similar to Yolanda’s, focusing on VOA’s mission to provide our audiences around the world with truthful, comprehensive news coverage, on protecting our journalists and on getting our staff the resources they need."
As Acting Director for Programming since January 2021, Lippman managed VOA’s 48 different language newsrooms to provide news and information to a global audience. During his nearly 15-year tenure at the agency, Lippman has served as Acting Director of USAGM’s Office of Performance Review, interim General Manager of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and as VOA’s Deputy Director for Programming.