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VOA Experts

Voice of America is a valuable source of news and information for international audiences in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East, broadcasting in more than 45 languages through multiple platforms. VOA’s seasoned journalists and staff are available for media interviews or to provide their expertise on various issues and current topics trending in the United States and globally.

To secure an interview with a VOA expert or to request a VOA speaker for an event, please contact the VOA Public Relations team at publicrelations@voanews.com.

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John Featherly

Acting Director of Programming, Voice of America

John Featherly is the Acting Director of Programming at Voice of America. Prior to this appointment he was Acting Director and Managing Editor of the News Center responsible for the day-to-day oversight and operations focusing on breaking news, as well as the planning and enterprise coverage for all platforms. Featherly also works to ensure content is appropriately produced and available for digital platforms and broadcasts, as VOA expands to TV and radio audiences in critical regions and increases digital engagement. Previously, since July 2015, Featherly served as the Real Times News Desk Managing Editor. In that capacity, he oversaw English online platforms, as well as content for VOA language services. He also focused on the implementation of the digital first strategy and the transition to multimedia digital reporting. He has held several positions since his arrival to the Voice of America 14 years ago, including Senior Digital Producer and Senior Editor. Featherly is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he majored in English and visual arts.

Expertise: General News, International News, Digital Media/ Social Media, Managing across cultures and divisions, Digital and multimedia story telling

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

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Salwa Jaafari

VOA Africa Division Director

Salwa Jaafari, VOA’s Africa Division Director, joined VOA in February 2015 as a TV executive producer for the French-to-Africa service, where she oversaw four TV programs, including “Washington Forum” and “Vous et Nous.” Jaafari’s journalism career started in 2001 as an intern at Reuters news agency’s Rabat bureau for 10 months. Before moving to the United States in 2011, Jaafari earned her journalism chops in her native Morocco as a field reporter, anchor and chief editor at Moroccan TV channels 2m TV and Medi1TV. During her 7 years there as a TV professional, she anchored prime time French news, covered events in 18 countries, including Benin, Gabon, Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt, Iran, UAE and Japan and led a team of 20 journalists as a news editor. She has also worked as an Information Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, where she oversaw numerous projects and events such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation and visits to the region by U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Prior to joining VOA, Jaafari worked in Washington as a freelance reporter for Agence France-Presse and a producer for Skynews Arabia. Jaafari has a master’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics.

Expertise: Francophone Africa Politics, U.S. Africa Policy, France, Broadcast Journalism

Languages: English, French, Arabic

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAFrench

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Mwamoyo Hamza, Ph.D.

Program Manager, VOA Africa Division

Mwamoyo Hamza was appointed VOA Africa Division’s program manager in December 2021. Prior to that, he was Chief of VOA Swahili, primarily broadcasting to East Africa. He joined VOA in 1994 and served as Swahili service chief from 2008 to 2021. Since joining the Voice of America, Hamza has covered or planned coverage of some of the most important news events in the Africa Division, including President Barack Obama’s participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi in July 2015. In addition, he was among the first journalists to visit and report from Darfur, Sudan in 2004, after which he traveled to southern Sudan, where he interviewed the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Dr. John Garang. A native of Tanzania, Hamza began his career as a reporter for the Daily News and Sunday News newspapers based in Dar es Salaam, where among other assignments he covered the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Hamza attended the Tanzania School of Journalism. He also holds a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Howard University in Washington D.C.

Expertise: Tanzania, Kenya, African Union, US-Africa Diaspora

Languages: English, Swahili

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOASwahili

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Steven Ferri

Internet Managing Editor

Steven Ferri is the Internet Managing Editor in charge of digital and social media strategy for the VOA Africa Division. He is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of programming for web sites and social media for sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to VOA, Ferri held various roles within the AOL Time Warner family where he was responsible for strategic content development and media convergence projects at AOL, Warner Bros. Television, and Time Warner Cable. These projects included Telepictures In2TV, where he helped reimagine classic Warner Bros. Television shows for a new generation of Internet audiences; the AOL Sports franchise Time Out with Roy Firestone featuring athletes, such as Oscar de la Hoya and Brett Favre; and Time Warner Cable where he worked on digital media integration. Previously, Ferri was a co-founder of tech startup CineLink and Faultline Pictures, an independent film production company. Early in his career, Ferri reported on distressed communities in the United States for NeighborWorks America. This included award-winning work about people living in at risk communities confronted with gang-related violence. Ferri attended Georgetown University, George Mason University, and the Center for Creative Imaging where he studied digital design and communications.

Expertise: social media, digital journalism, audience development, technology startups, storytelling for digital, film, and television

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Salem Solomon

Senior Editor

Salem Solomon is a senior editor with VOA’s Africa Division. In addition to filing her own stories, Salem works with reporters from the Division’s 16 language services to bring local stories to a wider audience. Before joining VOA, she was a writer at the Tampa Bay Business Journal and an anchor for Scripps News’ Newsy.com. She also hosted “Global Journalist,” a radio show on international news at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in prominent news outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, Poynter Online and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab. At VOA, Salem produced “How Long Have Africa’s Presidents Held Office?,” a special report that won second place in the data visualization category at the 2016 Africa Media Awards and a data-driven project Hunger Across Africa, a project that won the Cowan Award for Humanitarian Reporting. Before coming to the U.S., she was a television news anchor in her home country, Eritrea. In addition, she is the founder and editor of Africa Talks, a multimedia website about Africa and the global African diaspora and future training hub for African journalists. Salem holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from the University of Asmara and a master’s degree in journalism at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Expertise: Sub-Saharan Africa, US Africa Policy, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Press & Internet Freedom, Women's Rights, Human Rights, Migration, Drought/Famine

Languages: English, Amharic, Tigrigna

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @Salem_Solomon

Bambara Language Service

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Modibo Dembele

Managing Editor, VOA Bambara

Dembele joined VOA Bambara as an International Multimedia Broadcaster in 2013. A Mali native, Dembele was the first radio host of VOA Bambara that started broadcasting on March 4th, 2013. Prior to VOA, he was the Deputy Chief of the District of Bamako City Hall legal department in Mali. He also worked as a journalist in several private Malian media outlets. Since he joined VOA, Dembele has covered the military coup of 2013 in Mali and the riots of 2020 that led to the overthrow of the former President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. He has also covered other political and security issues, gender and youth related issues, as well as immigration, and he organized special magazine programs on a variety of topics in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bamako and USAID. Dembele has frequently served as a guest expert on VOA’s Africa 54 TV program, the Washington Forum TV program and Mali Kura radio, web and social media program, covering issues such as violent religious extremism in the Sahel region, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. presidential elections, the political climate in West Africa and youth unemployment. He is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School with a master’s in international and comparative law. He also holds an MBA from the University of the District of Columbia, and a bachelor’s in law from the National College of Administration in Bamako, Mali.

Expertise: International Law, U.S. Foreign Policy, Management, Investigative Journalism

Languages: English, French, Bambara, Jula, Mandingo

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAfrique

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Bagassi Koura

Chief, VOA Bambara

An experienced field reporter, Bagassi Koura currently serves as Chief of VOA Bambara. Prior to this appointment he was the managing editor of the same service since 2012. Defying considerable danger, Koura provided extensive coverage of the July 2013 elections in Mali with daily radio and video pieces and a detailed multimedia blog. His reporting from Mali also included the peace treaty between Tuaregs and the Malian government and was recognized with the David Burke Award in 2014. Prior to VOA, Koura worked as a correspondent in Africa, Europe and the United States, covering international news for major global media networks. His stories have appeared on PBS Frontline/World, Agence France Presse, the Deutsche Welle, Reuters Television, Die Tageszeitung, Panos Institute West Africa, Afrikanet.info, and Afrik.com. In addition, his short documentary “The Stinking Ship” that chronicles the odyssey of an oil toxic waste shipment in the Port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, won several awards in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism.

Expertise: Francophone Africa, Mali, Documentary Films

Languages: English, Bambara, French

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAFrench

Central Africa Language Service

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Auriane Itangishaka

International Broadcaster, VOA Central Africa

Itangishaka is one of the hosts of VOA Central Africa’s radio show “MURISANGA.” This daily one-hour live call-in program engages the audience on a variety of issues, such as peaceful conflict resolution, political tolerance, reactions to breaking news, and health issues. She is also one of the anchors of VOA Africa Division’s new TV show “Our Voices”; a round table discussion program with a pan-African cast of four women. “Our Voices” engages African women from around the continent on serious subjects and encourages them to speak out about issues that impact their lives and their futures, including politics, business, and migration. As part of VOA’s Central Africa service for over 14 years, Itangishaka frequently interviews heads of state, religious figures, human rights activists, and other high-level politicians and key leaders on topics pertaining to the Great Lakes region of Africa and the world. She is an experienced journalist with in-depth knowledge of the historic, social, political and economic issues of the region. Itangishaka holds a master’s degree in social action and community development from the University of Maryland.

Expertise: Africa's Great Lakes Region (Burundi, Rwanda, DRC), Sub-Saharan Africa, International Politics

Languages: English, French, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Swahili

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @radioyoyacuvoa

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Fidele Niyongabo

International Broadcaster, VOA Central Africa

Fidele Niyongabo has worked for VOA Central Africa — Kirundi/Kinyarwanda — for more than 24 years. He covers economic, business, trade, as well as environment related issues as an international broadcaster and an editor for the service. As one of the hosts of VOA Central Africa’s radio flagship program “Murisanga,” he conducts interviews with academics, political analysts, news makers and human rights activists on issues affecting the target region. He has also covered a number of live major news events, including but not limited to the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, as well as his address to YALI fellows in Washington D.C. in 2016. Prior to VOA he worked as a legal advisor at the Ministry of Commerce, Department of External Trade in Burundi. He has put out a number of publications, including a Handbook on the Commercial Laws of Burundi, an International Contract Manual (Kluwer Laws International, 1993) and a research document on Ethnic Conflict in Burundi (International Law Institute, Washington DC). Niyongabo holds a master’s degree in international legal studies from American University and a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Burundi.

Expertise: Great Lakes region, Africa and beyond, International Trade and Global Politics

Languages: Kirundi, French, English, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

Frederic Nkundikije

Managing Editor, VOA Central Africa

Frederic Nkundikije is the managing editor of VOA Central Africa. In his more than 20 years in journalism, Nkundikije has interviewed high profile guests including heads of state, former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, the former U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Thomas Perriello, as well as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng. Nkundikije participated in an executive exchange on Burundi at the State Department where he joined Africa experts, including former Director of The Wilson Center’s Africa program, Ambassador Steve McDonald. Nkundikije joined the White House press corps for VOA to cover President Obama’s first official visit to Africa in 2009. Nkundikije has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Burundi and a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. He was also a Hubert Humphrey fellow at Penn State University. Prior to VOA, he worked at the University of Burundi as director of the cabinet to the university president, a position similar to vice president for administration in institutions of higher education in the U.S.

Expertise: Data reporting, video journalism and photojournalism, journalism ethics and digital essentials.

Languages: Kirundi, French, English, Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

Edward Rwema

International Broadcaster, VOA Central Africa

Edward Rwema has been an international broadcaster for VOA Central Africa since 2013. He covers many of Great Lakes biggest stories including the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda’s aftermath of the genocide and just recently the crisis in Burundi. In 2015, under extreme conditions, threats and risk of life, Rwema filed stories each day for VOA bringing the world and VOA listeners objective accounts of the crisis in Burundi, covering election campaigns, demonstrations against the president’s third term bid, failed political dialogue, and the impact of the crisis on the people of Burundi. Prior to joining VOA, Rwema reported for a variety of media outlets such as the Associated Press, German International Radio, the Torstar Group and a number of radio and print outlets in Rwanda.

Expertise: Great Lakes Region, Rwanda, 1994 Genocide, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sub-Saharan Africa, International Politics, Diplomacy

Languages: English, French, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Swahili

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

English to Africa Language Service

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Haydé Adams

International Broadcaster, VOA English to Africa & Host of "Straight Talk Africa"

Haydé Adams is the host of VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa,” a 30-minute current affairs television show, focused on African society, politics and the diaspora. Before joining VOA in 2016, she was a southern Africa correspondent for the European news channel, France 24. She was also France 24’s Los Angeles-based correspondent, covering U.S. politics and major Hollywood news. Adams grew up under apartheid in South Africa and Namibia. When democracy came, she got her start as a radio journalist in her native Cape Town and later moved to television, becoming a prime time news anchor for South Africa’s biggest independent channel, e.TV. During her 20-year career, Adams has traveled on reporting assignments across Africa, to Europe and throughout the U.S. She has covered African and international politics, the socio-economic impact of inequality and racism, as well as gang violence and drug wars in the townships, where she grew up. Adams says her world view of “Ubuntu”, or “shared humanity” was shaped by her life, work and education on the African continent. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and communications from the University of South Africa and a National Diploma in journalism from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Expertise: Race relations and xenophobia; legacies of apartheid, slavery and colonialism; South African society, culture and politics, gender and economic inequality, broadcast journalism.

Languages: English, Afrikaans, Dutch

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

James Butty

Managing Editor, VOA English to Africa & Host of "Daybreak Africa"

James Butty’s broadcasting career began in Liberia where he worked as a volunteer at the Voice of Pleebo, a community radio station in Pleebo, Maryland County. He later worked as assistant news editor and radio and television newscaster at the Liberia Broadcasting System. Butty came to VOA from the West Africa Magazine where he was a Washington correspondent. He now serves as managing editor and host of Daybreak Africa, VOA’s breakfast show to Africa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in Mass Communication from Howard University, and a diploma in radio and television broadcasting from Brown Institute (now Brown College) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Expertise: Sub-Saharan Africa, US Africa Policy, Liberia

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

Peter Clottey

International Broadcaster, VOA English to Africa & Radio/TV Host

As the host of Nightline Africa, a radio magazine show on Saturdays and Sundays and One on One with Peter Clottey, a TV segment on VOA’s Africa 54 TV show, Peter Clottey daily interviews African heads of state and other governmental officials, as well as rebel and insurgent leaders. His impartial economic and political news reports to the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa have established him as a highly respected international broadcast journalist with VOA. Prior to VOA, Clottey built a national reputation with Choice 102.3 FM news radio in Accra, the capital of Ghana. He began his journalism career while studying at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering. There he managed the student radio station, Dynamite 88.9 FM. A year into his engineering career, Clottey was drawn back into broadcasting as news anchor for Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Central), 92.5 FM. There he also hosted a music and sports program. Clottey occasionally contributes stories about the rise of African athletes in the world of soccer and hosts The Sports Box, a television show on VOA.

Expertise: Sub-Saharan Africa, US Africa Policy, Ghana, and Soccer

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

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Zoe Leoudaki

Television Producer and Social Media Strategist, VOA English to Africa

Zoe Leoudaki is a television reporter, producer and audience engagement strategist for VOA’s television news shows in English that are broadcast to Africa. Zoe started her broadcasting career in Athens, Greece, as a reporter for BBC radio. She was also among the first women to produce and direct newscasts for private television networks in Greece. After coming to Washington in 1998, she worked as a host of radio news shows for VOA Greek and was recognized as one of the voices and faces of VOA in Greece for 15 years. In the African Division, she spearheads initiatives in audience engagement on a variety of social media platforms. She created the first Facebook-Live-only show for English to Africa, Shaka: Extra Time, based on audience questions from social media platforms. Leoudaki has a keen interest in how U.S. policies towards Africa affect the lives of women and children in the continent. She also reports on the contemporary African art scene, focusing on art as a tool for social change. Zoe was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from The American College of Greece and a Master of Science from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Expertise: Greek crisis, Contemporary African Art, Storytelling in the age of Social Media, Creating Shows for Facebook-Live, Girls Education in Africa.

Languages: Greek, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAAfrica

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Vincent Makori

Managing Editor, VOA English to Africa & Host, "Africa 54"

A native of Kenya, Vincent Makori is a versatile journalist with more than 20 years of experience, working in Africa, Europe and the U.S. Makori has covered a wide range of stories including the Africa Union Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, the UN General Assembly in New York, International Trade and Technology Fairs in Berlin and Hanover Germany, Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, Mexico, and the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has interviewed people from all walks of life, including high ranking officials and presidents, among them, former U.S. President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State John Kerry, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, former President of Ghana John Kufuor, and Noble Laureate Wangari Maathai. Makori holds a post-graduate degree in Mass Communications from the School of Journalism of the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Moi University, Kenya.

Expertise: Sub-Saharan Africa, US Africa policy, Kenya

Languages: English, Swahili, German

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAVinceMakori

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Heather Maxwell, Ph.D.

International Multimedia Broadcaster, Host and Producer, “Music Time in Africa”

Heather Maxwell is the host and producer of VOA’s “Music Time in Africa.” The 60-minute music show is VOA’s longest-running English language program of pan-African music. She also reports on VOA TV and social media about African music and is the author of the “Music Time in Africa” blog. Maxwell speaks fluent French and Bambara. She is a two-time Fulbright scholarship recipient and has published several works on African music. Maxwell travels to Africa regularly to research music stories and trends and to acquire music recordings for all of VOA’s African music programs. She keeps in constant touch with her millions of radio fans and social media followers worldwide. Maxwell holds a Bachelor of Arts in music (voice) and anthropology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in folklore and ethnomusicology from Indiana University.

Expertise: African music, Jazz, World Music and Culture

Languages: English, French, Bambara

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @musictimeafrica

Jackson Mvunganyi

International Broadcaster, VOA English to Africa & Co-Host of "Up Front"

As the co-host of VOA’s Up Front, an interactive, fast-paced, radio program connecting youth in Africa and the United States, Jackson Mvunganyi along with his co-host, Nadia Samie, an on-air personality based in Cape Town, South Africa, talk to teens and young adults about trends, lifestyles, health, entertainment and other issues touching listeners’ lives. Mvunganyi has had a multi-faceted broadcasting career, working in both radio and television, in Africa and the United States. A native of Rwanda, Mvunganyi volunteers his time with African diaspora communities on issues affecting the continent. In addition, he has participated on various panels at the United Nations, World Bank, Harvard University, The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, American University and Georgetown University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in multimedia development from American University in Washington D.C., and a master’s degree in information management from the University of Maryland.

Expertise: Sub-Saharan Africa, Youth, Pop Culture, Health, Development, Diaspora, Global Politics, Technology, Conflict, Migration, Media, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Agriculture

Languages: English, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Swahili, Luganda, French

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @UpfrontAfrica

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Ndimyake Mwakalyelye

Chief, VOA English to Africa

Ndimyake Mwakalyelye currently serves as Chief of the English to Africa service at the Voice of America. Prior to this appointment she was the Chief of VOA Zimbabwe since 2014. She is also one of the anchors of the English women’s show “Our Voices,” a round table discussion program with a pan-African cast. Prior to her current position, Mwakalyelye was the lead reporter and anchor at large for “Africa 54,” VOA’s live, daily TV program for Africa. She has a strong interest in Africa and believes the media serves a crucial role in transforming and uplifting the lives of all citizens through well-researched information delivered via TV, radio or digital platforms. She is particularly interested in addressing issues that are relevant and of concern to women, children and people with disabilities. Prior to joining VOA, she worked for New Jersey Network, the state’s only public broadcasting station. Mwakalyelye was born in Tanzania and raised in Zimbabwe. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and a master’s degree from American University.

Expertise: Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Southern African Politics, Women, Health, and Media Issues

Languages: English, Shona, Ndebele

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @Studio7VOA

French Language Service

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Nathalie Barge

International Broadcaster, VOA French to Africa

Nathalie Barge has been an international broadcast journalist with VOA’s French-to-Africa service since 2008. She is hosting Le Monde au Féminin, a show focusing on women and youth related issues. Barge has traveled to more than 40 countries for professional and cultural reasons. As a freelance reporter in Sierra Leone during the civil war, Barge wrote articles about the victims of the war and child soldiers. Her photos were selected for several exhibitions, as well as the photojournalism festival Visa pour l’Image in France. Barge also covered the elections of 2002 in Sierra Leone and was the only woman to cover the struggle over Tongo diamond mines controlled by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). She holds a DAEU, a diploma in literature, from Lyon 2 University in France.

Expertise: human rights, women and youth, education

Languages: English, French

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @mondofemVOA

Idrissa Fall

Senior International Broadcaster, VOA French to Africa

Idrissa Fall has been VOA French-to-Africa service’s Senior Editor since 1992. Having served at VOA for more than 25 years, Fall has covered numerous crises, conflicts and wars on the African continent. His reporting garnered him two David Burke Distinguished Journalism Awards that recognize courage, integrity and originality by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In 2013, Fall covered the fighting between Muslim and Christian militias in the Central African Republic, where he barely escaped death in Bangui. He was saved by French soldiers after being attacked by a mob. In 2012, he was the first foreign reporter to enter northern Mali under control of Islamic extremists. In 1996, Fall was also the first reporter to enter the rebel controlled region of former Zaire — now Democratic Republic of Congo — and make a chief rebel known to the world. Laurent Desire Kabila would become head of state in DRC, and later his son Joseph Kabila ruled for 18 years. Fall has also covered the crisis in Niger, the rebellion in Ivory Coast and the fall of president Laurent Gbagbo, the rebellion in Burundi and the genocide in Rwanda.

Expertise: Francophone Africa, Ivory Coast, Senegal

Languages: French, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAFrench

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Runanira Lionel Gahima

Multimedia Producer, VOA French to Africa

An award-winning producer, Runanira Lionel Gahima is a native of the African Great Lakes region. He began his career at the Voice of America in 2010, as a radio producer for VOA Central Africa. Since 2013, he serves as the lead multimedia producer for the French to Africa team, responsible for the production of television programs, such as “Washington Forum” and “Vous et Nous.” He has also contributed to the launch of “LMA TV,” the service’s daily news broadcast, as well as the development and launch of the “RM Show” radio-on-TV program. In addition, he continues to be involved in the production of French to Africa radio programs such as “Le Monde Aujourd’hui,” “A Votre Avis,” “Dialogue des Religions” and “L’Amérique et Vous.” He traveled to Burkina Faso to cover the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESOACO), and he participated in the production of the first and second editions of the Basketball Africa League coverage. Gahima holds a master’s degree from the “Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales (IEHEI)” and a master’s certificate in project management from Villanova University. An avid photographer, he is also a member of the World Bank-IMF photography club.

Expertise: Multimedia Production

Languages: English, French, Lingala, Swahili, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAfrique

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Roger Muntu

International Broadcaster, VOA French to Africa & Host, "RM Show"

Roger Muntu is a radio and television personality of the popular “RM Show” radio program and “Vous et Nous” TV program. Muntu’s daily hour-long show features music and interesting chat with some of the region’s most notable musicians, actors, politicians and other celebrities. He mixes light and serious subjects to excite listeners, who participate extensively through calls, emails, Facebook posts, and SMS messages every day. Prior to joining VOA in 2012, he worked as an international freelance correspondent for several international media outlets and a Media Technologies teacher in Fairfax County Schools. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Information Systems Technology, with a minor in Communications, and he is working on his MBA and Conflict Resolution Certificate at Marymount University. Muntu is often interviewed by international media on various issues. When people in francophone Africa are asked to name their favorite VOA show, usually the first answer is: “RM Show!”

Expertise: Francophone Africa, Music, Culture

Languages: French, English, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba, Spanish

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @RMshowVoa

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Georges Leonard Sagno

Multimedia Journalist, VOA French to Africa

Georges Leonard Sagno is a multimedia reporter for VOA’s French-to-Africa service. A native of Guinea in West Africa, he joined VOA in 2004. He hosts a daily sports segment in French to Africa’s “RM Show” radio program and has contributed a series of interviews with high profile African and international musicians from a variety of African countries such as DRC, Cameroon and Benin. Throughout his 28-year career in journalism, Sagno worked for New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ); he covered major events in Africa, including late French President Jacques Chirac’s visit to Guinea in 1999, former opposition leader and former President of Guinea, Alpha Conde’s arrest during the 1998 presidential election, and the UN General Assembly in New York; and he interviewed Liberia’s former President Ruth Perry in Washington in 2012. Before joining VOA, Sagno worked as managing editor of Radio Top Africa, and held several high-ranking positions at local media companies in Conakry, Guinea. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry, Guinea and a Postgraduate Diploma in media, democracy, and good governance (MDD) from the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

Expertise: Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Africa policy

Languages: French, English, Kpelle

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAfrique

Hausa Language Service

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Grace Alheri Abdu

Managing Editor, VOA Hausa

An experienced journalist with more than 35 years in broadcasting, Grace Alheri Abdu is the managing editor of VOA Hausa. Prior to joining Voice of America in Washington D.C. in 2005, Abdu was a deputy director of news and current affairs with Plateau Radio Television Corporation in Nigeria. At VOA she covered extensively the kidnapping of the 276 female students of Chibok by Boko Haram in 2014, as well as the Nigerian presidential elections in 2011 and 2019, during which she had exclusive interviews with the main opposition leaders, presidential candidates and political leaders including the Nigerian Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo. She also covered the #EndSars protest in 2020. Abdu currently hosts two radio and a TV weekly show, including a weekly family-oriented radio program which is popular with young women. Abdu researches and writes on family, early marriage, gender violence, women, and child development issues. She holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, as well as a master’s degree in international law and diplomacy and a second master’s in religious studies, both from the University of Jos, Nigeria.

Expertise: Politics, Women and Children's Rights, Gender Violence

Languages: Hausa, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voahausa

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Amina Buhari Aliyu

Multimedia Journalist, VOA Hausa

Amina Aliyu is a multimedia broadcast journalist with VOA Hausa in Washington, D.C. She joined the network in November 2018 and has since been the primary host of the service’s women and youth flagship show “Yau Da Gobe,” a 30-minute radio program that airs five days a week. She is also one of the anchors of the VOA Africa Division’s TV show “Our Voices,” representing West Africa. Aliyu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political economy from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. In addition, she completed her mandatory National Youth Service Corps program at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria, where she developed a passion for being the voice of voiceless women, giving them a platform to be heard and informed and to make them key players rather than spectators in politics, business, science, and technology.

Expertise: Women and youth development, women affairs, politics

Languages: Hausa, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voahausa

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Julie Leathers-Gresham

Senior Producer, VOA Hausa

Julie Leathers-Gresham is a senior radio producer for VOA Hausa, a position she has held since joining the service in 2005. In this capacity, she produces and oversees the 30-minute mid-day and evening airshows that broadcast to Nigeria, Niger and Ghana. Her attention to detail and ability to work under extreme pressure has ensured the service’s high-quality production. Prior to joining VOA Hausa, Leathers-Gresham was the producer of VOA Portuguese-to-Africa’s breakfast show. She’s a native of Washington, D.C., where she attended the University of the District of Columbia.

Expertise: Radio Production

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voahausa

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Mahmud Lalo

International Multimedia Journalist, VOA Hausa

A native of Jos Plateau State in north-central Nigeria, Mahmud Lalo works as a radio and TV presenter and editor for VOA Hausa. He also contributes to the service’s digital programming. Prior to joining Voice of America, Lalo worked for the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Abuja, Nigeria, as a multimedia journalist and the Hausa service of Radio France RFI in Lagos. He has also been a print media reporter working for Media Trust, an Abuja-based private newspaper company and publisher of Daily Trust, Weekly Trust, and Sunday Trust. Mahmud Lalo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication from Bayero University in Kano, Nigeria.

Expertise: Politics

Languages: Hausa, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voahausa

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Aliyu Mustapha

Chief, VOA Hausa

Aliyu Mustapha, the current chief of VOA Hausa, joined Voice of America in 1989. Since 2016 he served as managing editor of the service focusing on breaking news, as well as the planning and enterprise coverage for a total of 16 hours of weekly radio programming on shortwave, AM and 24/7 audio mobile stream. In June 2015, Mustapha secured the first exclusive one-on-one interview to an international broadcaster with then newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Prior to VOA, he worked with radio and television stations in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). While at NTA, he rose to the position of acting Director, News and Current Affairs Division in his hometown of Sokoto. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Maryland.

Expertise: Nigerian Socio-Political Culture, History, and Personalities, West African politics, US Africa Policy

Languages: English, Hausa

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voahausa

Horn of Africa Language Service

Photo of Solomon Abate Gebremariam

Solomon Abate Gebremariam

Chief, VOA Horn of Africa

Solomon Abate is an Ethiopian born journalist currently serving as the chief of VOA Horn of Africa. Prior to VOA he was an editor, news anchor and moderator, as well as program producer and presenter at Ethiopian Television. He was also the founding editor and editor-in-chief of major weekly and daily private newspapers in Ethiopia. In addition, he was a lecturer of journalism at Addis Ababa University and other institutions. Gebremariam has traveled throughout Ethiopia, Eritrea and other countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. to cover stories, to attend events and meetings and for further trainings. He studied international journalism at Belarusian State University, and Russian language and literature at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Minsk. He also acquired trainings on health-related topics at CCP, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and at Korea International Cooperation Agency in Seoul, South Korea.

Expertise: Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, Politics, Government, Security, Conflicts, People and Culture, Ethiopian diaspora, Journalism, IT.

Languages: Amharic, English, Russian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAmharic

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Tujube Kussa

International Broadcaster, VOA Horn of Africa

Tujube Kussa is an international broadcaster in VOA Horn of Africa’s Afan Oromo service and has been at VOA for the last 20 years. She got her start in journalism at Ethiopian Television as a freelance journalist and news anchor. At VOA, Kussa has a weekly program focusing on American culture, history, and way of life. She has also covered major political, social, and health issues, such as the Oromo protest movement from 2015 to 2018, and the 2007 acute diarrhea outbreak in Ethiopia. Kussa has interviewed activists, opposition party officials, and major political leaders at the federal and regional levels, including Lemma Megersa, the former Oromia President, following peace negotiations with the Oromo Liberation Front in 2018. In addition to broadcasting, Kussa has served as the Afan Oromo point person for digital media. She holds a Diploma from the Teachers Training College in Ethiopia.

Expertise: Horn of Africa

Languages: Afan Oromo, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voaafaanoromoo

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Minia A Teclab

International Broadcaster, VOA Horn of Africa

Minia A Teclab joined VOA on July 1, 1996, when the Tigrigna program first launched. With more than 30 years of reporting experience focused in the Horn of Africa, primarily Eritrea and Ethiopia, Teclab has regularly produced original content on human rights, press freedom, and the refugee crises in the Sinai deserts in Libya, Yemen, and the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to VOA, Teclab worked for the Ethiopian State Television as a TV host, news anchor and reporter from 1991 to 1995. She traveled to Eritrea and covered the UN sponsored Eritrean referendum for independence. She has also covered the 70th UNGA in 2015 in New York, the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C., and the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Minnesota for VOA’s Horn of Africa service.

Expertise: Horn of Africa, East Africa and Middle East politics, Human Rights, Refugees, Eritrean Diaspora

Languages: Tigrigna, Amharic, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voatigrigna

Tewelde Tesfagabir, Ph.D.

International Broadcaster, VOA Horn of Africa

With more than 20 years experience in hosting, writing and editing VOA Tigrigna radio programs and digital products, Tewelde Tesfagabir has a deep understanding of the political and cultural challenges facing Eritrea, Ethiopia and the larger Horn of Africa region. Prior to joining VOA, Tesfagabir was a correspondent and editor for Ethiopian State Radio in Addis Ababa. He is one of few VOA journalists who was able to visit his native Eritrea, and interview President Isaias Afewerki. Tesfagabir is known for well-researched video and audio content and interviews on politics, economic development, human rights, press freedom, the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean that has affected the lives of many Eritreans and Ethiopian refugees, and other social issues. Tesfagabir holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and journalism from the University of Asmara, Eritrea, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. His published dissertation focuses on indigenous and independent food sustainability in Africa.

Expertise: Multimedia journalism, public policy, U.S Africa policy, food sustainability, press freedom, Horn of Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia

Languages: English, Tigrigna, Amharic

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOATigrigna

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Dhaba Wayessa

Editor, VOA Horn of Africa

Dhaba Wayessa is the team lead for VOA Horn of Africa’s Afan Oromo language programming. He joined VOA in July 1996, when the Afan Oromo program was first launched. Since then, he has worked as international broadcaster, editor and managing editor for more than 25 years. Wayessa regularly produces original content and has led the Afan Oromo program team’s coverage of the most sensitive and complex stories, including civil unrest and political violence in Ethiopia, especially in the Oromia Regional State. He has also led the transition of his team from radio to a TV broadcast platform. Prior to joining VOA, Wayessa published two critically acclaimed novels and wrote/produced five stage plays in the early and mid 1990s. His literary work is considered a benchmark in the development of modern Oromo literature. He is a recipient of the agency’s superior achievement award, as well as other local and international awards. In addition to his earlier studies of Educational Administration and Biology in Ethiopia, Wayessa holds a bachelor’s degree in Radio, TV, and Film and a Master of Fine Arts degree in film both from Howard University.

Expertise: Ethiopia, radio, TV, film and creative writing

Languages: Afan Oromo, Amharic, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAAfaanOromoo

Portuguese Language Service

Mayra Fernandes

International Broadcaster, VOA Portuguese to Africa

Mayra Fernandes has been an international broadcaster with VOA Portuguese since November 2013. Fernandes concentrates in using various social media tools, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, to engage audiences and boost content for Portuguese speaking African countries. She writes news stories for all platforms, manages the Service’s social media pages, hosts the weekly TV entertainment show “Red Carpet” and co-hosts daily Facebook live programs. Being multimedia and mobile savvy, Fernandes has been training stringers and media outlets overseas on online journalism and social media interaction, as well as how to shoot and edit using mobile devices. Prior to VOA, Fernandes served as an editorial coordinator for PT Comunicações Sucursal in Angola. Born in Angola, she grew up in Portugal, where she graduated with honors from the University of Beira Interior with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences, majoring in Online Journalism. Her post-graduate studies were in Strategic Management of Public Relations, from the Higher School of Communication and Media Studies, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Expertise: Sub-Sahara Africa, Social Media

Languages: English, Portuguese, French

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAPortugues

Somali Language Service

Abdirahman Yabarow

Chief, VOA Somali

With over 40 years of journalism experience centered primarily on East Africa, Abdirahman Yabarow has been the Chief of VOA Somali since July 2008. Under his leadership, the service’s audience reach increased to 74.5% in just three years. Yabarow started his career in journalism at Somalia’s Radio Mogadishu. He has also worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launching a Somali broadcasting section for the UN’s Regional Integrated Network. Prior to VOA, he served as a correspondent for the BBC reporting from Kenya and Britain, as well as senior correspondent in the BBC’s Washington Bureau. Yabarow’s reporting spans politics, social issues, culture, science and sports. He also has extensive experience training broadcast journalists. Yabarow has a master’s degree in urban studies from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in information systems, cum laude, from the University of the District of Colombia (UDC).

Expertise: East Africa, US-Africa Affairs, Middle East and Islamic World

Languages: English, Somali, Afan Oromo, Arabic

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOASomali

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Falastine Iman

Multimedia Broadcaster, VOA Somali

Falastine Iman is a senior international broadcaster with more than 25 years of experience working in Somalia, Kenya, and the U.S. She has broad expertise in politics, security, and social issues. Iman started her career as a VOA local reporter in Mogadishu in 2007, at the height of conflict in Somalia, and during the rise of extremism. In her 25-year career she has interviewed prominent officials, including all Somali presidents, Djibouti’s president, and the Ethiopian Prime Minister. In 2007, she survived a car explosion attack, that targeted her and other journalists, sustaining a minor injury. She moved to Kenya where she covered the election violence in 2007, before she settled in the U.S. in 2008. Iman has conducted investigative reporting about Al-Shabaab extortions in Mogadishu and has reported on Canada’s gang violence, interviewing parents, the police chief, elected officials, and community elders. She also covered the trial of nine Somali-American youths who tried to join ISIS from Minnesota. Recently, Iman traveled to Somalia to cover the Somali presidential elections interviewing leading candidates and later the elected president. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology, law, and society, with a minor in intelligence analysis from George Mason University and she is working on her master’s degree in global security at Arizona State University.

Expertise: Somalia, Horn of Africa, Security, Terrorism, Social Justice and Inequalities

Languages: English, Somali

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @falastiniman

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Harun Maruf

Senior Editor, VOA Somali

Harun Maruf is a senior editor for VOA Somali. He previously worked as a reporter and writer at VOA’s Africa Division with an extensive experience in working in conflict zones. He also covered security, extremism, piracy, human rights, politics and other current affairs issues. He secured the first radio interview with the late American jihadist Omar Hammami and two weeks later Maruf was the first to report Hammami’s death. Maruf has also reported on the emergence of pro-Islamic State militants in Somalia; the travels of Somali youth from Minnesota to Syria to fight alongside ISIS; and has presented hundreds of original radio documentaries about Al-Shabab, extremism, corruption, piracy, and human rights. In addition, Maruf is the author of hundreds of articles, papers and scholarly works about Somalia and the Horn of Africa and he’s frequently invited to speak on these subjects at international events, conferences, round-table discussions and town halls. Prior to VOA, Maruf worked for BBC and Associated Press as a reporter in Somalia, and as a researcher for Human Rights Watch. He holds a Master of Arts in international journalism from the City University of London.

Expertise: Horn of Africa, Somalia, Security, Extremism, Piracy, Policy analysis

Languages: English, Somali

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @HarunMaruf

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Mohamed Olad

Senior Editor, VOA Somali

Mohamed Olad Hassan is a senior editor and writer with VOA Somali. Before joining the Voice of America, 11 years ago, he was a Mogadishu-based correspondent for, among others, the Associated Press and the BBC World Service. He is the recipient of the Speaker Abbot Award given by the British House of Commons and the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation. As part of his duties with VOA Somali he anchors the weekly TV show “Qubanaha,” as well as the biweekly program “The Torch” that focuses on social, political and economic stories that affect Somalis, Africans and the world. In addition, Olad contributes stories to VOA Central News, including an exclusive interview in 2014 with Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi, the father of the young stowaway who survived a flight from California to Hawaii hidden in the wheel well of a jetliner. The story was picked up by major media outlets including CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ABC, and New York Magazine, among others. Olad holds a Diploma in journalism from SIMAD University in Mogadishu, Somalia, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in peace and conflict resolution at George Mason University.

Expertise: Somalia

Languages: Somali, English

Location: Washington

Twitter: @voa_somali

Swahili Language Service

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Khadija Riyami

Chief, VOA Swahili

Khadija Riyami is the Chief of VOA Swahili. A seasoned reporter with more than 34-years experience in journalism, Riyami joined VOA in July of 1998 and through the decades she has covered major political events such as Democratic and Republican Conventions, U.S. Presidential elections and inaugurations. She has secured high profile interviews with prominent politicians, including the fourth president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, as well as other officials in East and Central Africa and experts. She reported live for the African audience on September 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked the U.S., and during the fall of the former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, following a mass uprising. She also launched and coordinated the Youth Health Program to Tanzania ‘Je Nifanyeje’ (What should I do), as well as the 30-minute program ‘Kwa Undani’ (In-Depth), which she hosts, providing in-depth analyses on important issues and topics. Riyami attended Tanzania’s School of Journalism. She also studied journalism at International Institute for Journalism in Berlin, Germany, the Commonwealth Press Union, London UK, as well as the Nordic SADCC Journalism Center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Expertise: Politics, African Affairs, Women and Children's Rights, Health

Languages: Swahili, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOASwahili

Abdushakur Aboud

International Broadcaster, VOA Swahili

Abdushakur Aboud is a senior editor and video producer with VOA Swahili. During his 25 years with VOA, Aboud has covered major political, social, health and cultural events in East, Central and Southern Africa. Aboud covered South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, the first multi-party elections in Malawi, the Kenyan elections after the 2008 violence, the fight to eradicate polio in the 1990s in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia and the AIDS epidemic on the African continent. A native of the Comoros Islands, Aboud has worked for more than 35 years with international broadcast organizations, starting in the early 1980s with the Voice of Germany and the BBC. He is a graduate of Chiekh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal. He specialized in television broadcast engineering and video production in Germany and Japan.

Expertise: East and Central African Politics, African Union, US-Africa Relations

Languages: English, Swahili, French

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOASwahili

Zimbabwe Language Service

Ray Choto

Acting Chief, VOA Zimbabwe

Ray Choto is an award-winning investigative journalist who is the Acting Chief of VOA Zimbabwe. Prior to this appointment Choto was the Managing Editor of the same service. In his current capacity, he manages broadcasts to Zimbabwe in English, Shona and Ndebele on medium wave and shortwave radio, and a daily live webcast of its popular Studio 7 radio program. In April 2016, Choto was asked to collaborate with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in the so-called “Panama Papers” project. His initial report revealed that Zimbabwe’s leading platinum-mining firm, Zimplats Holdings, allegedly used an offshore company to pay salaries for senior managers in violation of exchange control laws. A former chief investigative reporter for The Standard, a Sunday weekly based in Harare, Choto and his editor, the late Mark Chavunduka, had uncovered several stories about government and business corruption in Zimbabwe. The journalists were detained and tortured by the military for refusing to disclose their sources. They were later released and subsequently honored as joint-winners of the International Press Freedom award, sponsored by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. They also became the first African journalists to receive the British James Cameron Award. He has published four novels in the Shona language. Choto was a three-year Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

Expertise: Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, South Africa Politics, “Panama Papers” and Investigative Journalism, Press Freedom, Threats to Press

Languages: English, Shona

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @Studio7VOA

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Blessing Zulu

International Multimedia Broadcaster, VOA Zimbabwe

Born in Zimbabwe, Blessing Zulu is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience in hosting, writing, and editing VOA Shona programs and the “Live-Talk” call-in program which broadcasts in English, Shona and Ndebele. Prior to joining VOA, he worked as a political reporter for the Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper in Harare, getting arrested and threatened on many occasions for his fearless writings. Zulu has covered many stories of interest to the southern African region, including the death of the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, the ouster and death of former Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, the Southern African Development Community summits, the 2014 U.S.-Africa leaders’ summit and the first inauguration of former President Barack Obama. He has interviewed many high-profile officials, including former Presidents Jimmy Carter (U.S.), Peter Mutharika (Malawi), Jerry Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama (Ghana), Prime Ministers Hailemariam Desalegn (Ethiopia) and Morgan Tsvangirai (Zimbabwe), as well as former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, several U.S. Ambassadors and members of Congress. Zulu has been a guest on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, PBS News Hour, South African Broadcasting Corporation and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. He holds a postgraduate diploma in media and communication from the University of Zimbabwe, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and economic history from the University of Zimbabwe.

Expertise: Africa, U.S. Africa Policy, Global Politics, Economics

Languages: English, Shona

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Studio7VOA

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Praxedes Jeremiah

International Broadcaster, VOA Zimbabwe

: Praxedes Jeremiah has 40 years of experience as a broadcaster and is currently the Ndebele Senior Editor of the Zimbabwe Service. She joined VOA in 2003. She pioneered the current radio on television, “The Women’s Roundtable,” in which she broke the story on young Zimbabwean women being trafficked to Kuwait, lured with promises of jobs. Jeremiah also organized and moderated the first VOA’s townhall meetings in South Africa, USA and Zimbabwe. She has appeared on SABC and BBC as a panelist . Prior to joining VOA, she worked for 19 years at the ZBC, rising through the ranks to editor. Jeremiah holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Zimbabwe Open University.

Languages: English, Shona, Ndebele, Chewa, Zulu, Swati and Xosa

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Studio7VOA

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Gibbs Dube

International Broadcaster, VOA Zimbabwe

International Multimedia Broadcaster Gibbs Dube is a seasoned journalist with 35 years experience in news reporting and editing in print and broadcast media. Dube, who is the currently the Assistant and Weekend Editor of the VOA Ndebele desk, is the founding editor of Zimbabwe’s banned independent Weekly Times newspaper, editor-in-chief of the weekly independent Dispatch newspaper, Bureau Chief of the weekly independent Standard and social and digital instructor/lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. Dube is a winner of several awards including Zimbabwe Reporter of the Year, Runner-up-Development Reporter of the year and recipient of the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Fellowship (University of Maryland). He has extensive knowledge in covering general elections, politics, conflict resolution and media, governance matters, development writing, and digital and social media. Dube has acquired various skills in radio news reporting and presentation and internet editing techniques and is the Assistant Editor of the prime call-in-program – Livetalk – and digital and social media lead at the Voice of America’s Zimbabwe Service, where he also works as a multimedia international broadcaster. He is a graduate in journalism and media studies from Zimbabwe’s National University of Science and Technology.

Languages: Ndebele, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Studio7VOA

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Nadia Madjid

VOA East Asia and Pacific Division Director

Nadia Madjid is the director of the VOA East Asia and Pacific Division which is comprised of ten language services: Burmese, Cantonese, Indonesian, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, Thai, Tibetan, and Vietnamese. Prior to her current position, Madjid served as the chief of VOA Indonesian for almost three years. Madjid piloted the service’s TV programming and produced one of the agency’s longest-running shows, Dunia Kita. She co-authored a book on democracy in Indonesia and a series of children’s books. Before joining VOA, Madjid taught at the University of Indonesia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Indonesia and graduated in 2000 from the University of Chicago with a Master of Arts in Humanities, specializing in cinema and media studies.

Expertise: TV production, Democracy and Islam in Indonesia

Languages: English, Indonesian, French

Twitter: @voaindonesia

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Chia Hui “Vivian” Cheng

Internet Managing Editor, VOA East Asia & Pacific Division

Chia Hui “Vivian” Cheng is an Internet Managing Editor for Voice of America’s East Asia and Pacific Division. Cheng previously held the title of lead multimedia producer at VOA Mandarin as well, serving as a key player in the day-to day operations of VOA Mandarin’s official website and social media platforms. She cooperates with reporters, show hosts and editors to publish content that showcases the service’s multimedia broadcasts while addressing the audiences’ media consumption preferences. Cheng’s role is to initiate new multimedia programming and find solutions to the service’s technical challenges. In June 2016, Cheng started live-streaming on YouTube VOA Mandarin’s daily TV show, VOAWeishi. She worked diligently to build an online community by encouraging the audience to ask questions and comment on show topics. Since then, the YouTube chat room has become a great platform for VOA Mandarin to interact with its audience. As a result, the number of monthly comments on the service’s YouTube channel has increased six fold. Cheng is the recipient of USAGM’s (former BBG) Gold Medal Award in 2015 and 2016. She holds a master’s degree in information systems from George Mason University.

Expertise: Web design, social media, digital innovations

Languages: English, Mandarin, Taiwanese

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAChinese

Burmese Language Service

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Kyaw Zan Tha

Senior Editor, VOA Burmese

Kyaw Zan Tha first taught history at Rangoon University after graduation. Tha wrote the dissertation, “Comparison of Foreign Policy of the Two Burmese Military Regimes,” and earned a master’s degree in International Politics (Asia) from London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Afterwards, Tha was an information officer at the British Embassy in Rangoon, as well as for the European Union (EU) Embassies, where I contributed to briefings on political developments and provided press reviews to diplomats. I also wrote in monthly magazine digests for the embassies. I was then a producer and desk officer for BBC World Service in London, U.K.. While working with BBC in London, I successfully launched the Flagship Program, “Burma Debate,” on Burmese current affairs. When I moved to Bangkok, I was the BBC Burmese Bureau Chief. During my time here, I personally traveled throughout the region to cover ASEAN affairs. From 2007 to the present, I have been the editor (now senior editor) of VOA (Voice of America) in Washington D.C. Here, I launched a live call-in program, hosting live discussions with political experts and participants. Now, I have a weekly program called “Editor’s Talk,” covering all Burmese-related, Southeast Asian, and international affairs. I have a weekly press-review program as well.

Expertise: Burmese Political Affairs

Languages: Burmese, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Khin Soe Win

Chief, VOA Burmese

Khin Soe Win is the chief of VOA Burmese. She previously served as an assignments editor at VOA Burmese. She joined the Voice of America in 2002, coming from sister network Radio Free Asia, where she worked as a consultant. In 2011, she landed an exclusive interview with Myanmar activist and politician Aung San Suu Kyi, soon after she was released from house arrest. In 2014, Win was posted as VOA’s Bureau Chief in Burma, where she served until 2016. Before joining VOA, Khin Soe Win was an entrepreneur who founded MWEA – Myanmar Women Entrepreneur Association. In 1997-98 she was a Hubert H. Humphrey Program fellow. The program offers motivated professionals from developing countries scholarships to the U.S. for non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional experience. Khin Soe Win also served as a diplomat in Myanmar, forced to retire in 1988 during the popular pro-democracy uprising. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rangoon Arts and Science University in Myanmar. She also attended Rutgers University in New Jersey as part of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program.

Expertise: Myanmar, Women Studies

Languages: Burmese, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Voaburmese

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Ingyin Naing

International Multimedia Journalist, VOA Burmese

Ingyin Naing is a creative, driven and committed journalist who has 16 years of invaluable experience of working for global media outlets with expertise in facilitating comprehensive and engaging information delivery. Naing has been working as a multimedia journalist at VOA since 2013. She spent four years as a multimedia journalist at Radio Free Asia and two years as a correspondent for BBC Burmese before joining VOA. She demonstrates journalism skills and ethics in covering the worst humanitarian crisis ever in the world involving Rohingya people from Burma, enduring vehement attacks in social media on journalists covering this issue. Naing earned a master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies from Chulalongkorn University in 2007.

Expertise: Media Production, Report Writing, Burmese, Translation, Documentaries, Video Production, Journalism, Television

Languages: Burmese, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Ingjinnaing

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Ei Thant Sin

Producer and Host, VOA Burmese

Ei Thant Sin is a TV anchor, producer and experienced international broadcaster. She first joined VOA Burmese in 2015. She currently serves as an editor for content distributed to Burmese affiliate stations in the region. She covers U.S. and Myanmar politics, foreign policy, decisions on the United Nations to Myanmar and global affairs. She is an expert in reporting on breaking news, editing and producing content for television and social media platforms. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Randolph College.

Expertise: breaking news, editing and producing TV and social media content

Languages: English, Burmese

Cantonese Language Service

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Yiu Ling "Elaine" Lau

International Broadcaster, VOA Cantonese

Yiu Ling “Elaine” Lau has been working for VOA Cantonese since 1999 as a radio, TV and web producer. She also serves as radio host, as well as TV and web editor responsible for the service’s special webpage on Hong Kong’s political transformation, highlighting U.S. policy and discussion on the issue. Originally from Hong Kong, Lau was a reporter in Ming Pao Daily news specializing in Hong Kong politics and Sino-Hong Kong relations, prior to joining VOA. She also worked as assistant editor in Reader’s Digest, Hong Kong edition and a research assistant in the Contemporary China Research Project at the City University of Hong Kong. At VOA, she is a recipient of the agency’s Gold Medal Award in 2011. Lau holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Essex in the U.K.

Expertise: Hong Kong, China issues

Languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voacantonese

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Raymond Yam

Supervisory International Broadcaster, VOA Cantonese

Raymond Yam is an editor and radio host for VOA Cantonese since 1999. He’s also the host, editor and producer of the service’s TV program “American Report” since its debut in 2004. He also covers breaking news in the U.S. and Hong Kong through voacantonese.com and Facebook Live and he is a frequent guest of VOA affiliates in Hong Kong covering major political developments. In 2015, Yam was a recipient of BBG’s Gold Medal Award in recognition of exemplary contributions to the agency’s mission. In addition to his journalistic work, Yam has been a senior disaster volunteer at the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) of the National Capitol Region for ten years. He holds a Graduate Certificate in China studies from The George Washington University and a Master of Science in finance and a Master in Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Expertise: China, Hong Kong, Chinese Economy, Religious (Catholic issues), Disaster Relief

Languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voacantonese

Indonesian Language Service

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Ade Astuti Kidwell

Chief, VOA Indonesian

Ade Astuti Kidwell is an experienced journalist and audience development expert with a global perspective. She took on the role of directing VOA Indonesian in 2019. As Chief, she ensures VOA’s programming is impactful among its strategic target audience. She previously served as VOA’s social media lead and was responsible for guiding all VOA language services’ strategy on growing and engaging with their audience on social media platforms. She has a long track record of leveraging social media to engage with VOA’s worldwide audience. As a journalist, she covered U.S. politics, financial markets and breakthroughs in technology. She holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Indonesia.

Expertise: Journalism, Audience Development, Digital Strategy, Media Studies

Languages: English, Indonesian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @adeastuti

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Eva Mazrieva

Supervisory Multimedia International Broadcaster, VOA Indonesian

Eva Mazrieva is an award winning journalist and contributor to VOA’s 2020 multimedia project “The Worth of a Girl” about child marriage. This project, published in more than 45 languages across multiple platforms in text, video, and social media, won three awards: a “Silver Medal” at the 2020 New York Film Festival; a Clarion Award in 2020 for online-coverage/multimedia reporting; and a 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award for best social media coverage. Prior to joining VOA in 2010, Mazrieva worked as a broadcaster, reporter, and producer at Radio Arief Rahman Hakim, as well as a correspondent for NHK TV Japan, and the influential Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. She has also been a reporter for the Canadian television station SCTV, a news producer at Radio Singapore International-Mediacorp in Singapore, and the television station ANTV in Jakarta. She has covered regime changes, riots, and social conflicts, as well as the rise of women clerics/ulema, child marriage, abortion, female circumcision, discrimination against women and minority groups, press freedom, conflict in Papua, and Islamic law in Aceh. Mazrieva holds bachelor’s degrees in social welfare and public administration and in social and political studies from the University of Indonesia.

Expertise: Women & Minorities Issues, Indonesia Politics, Foreign & Defense Policies, Terrorism & Security, Press Freedom

Languages: English, Indonesian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voaindonesia

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Nova Poerwadi

TV Producer and Anchor, VOA Indonesian

Nova Poerwadi is a TV producer and anchor at VOA Indonesian, producing and presenting a variety of content, including on U.S. politics, economy, social issues, and technology. You’ll also see him on Indonesian affiliate stations reporting on breaking news, or developments in the U.S. of interest to Indonesians. Nova brings to his work over 20 years of broadcast experience in Indonesia, the U.K., and the U.S. His broadcasting career in Indonesia since 1992 with three successive stations – TVRI, SCTV and RCTI – coincided with the country’s tremendous transition from a military dictatorship to a vibrant democracy. Some of these changes he reported to an international audience via CNN’s World Report program, of which RCTI was a contributor. Nova joined VOA in 2005 during a time the Indonesian Service’s TV team was in its infancy. VOA Indonesian TV has now developed into one of the most well-known and trusted sources for U.S. news in Indonesia. Nova earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Airlangga University in Surabaya and his master’s in TV journalism from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Nova is multilingual and fluent in English, Indonesian and Javanese, with a desire to add more languages.

Expertise: US Politics, Economy, Social Issues, Technology, Indonesian Politics, Indonesian Culture, Religious Issues, International Relations, Sexual Minority Issues

Languages: English, Indonesian, Javanese

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voaindonesia

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Dian Widyastuti

Digital Lead, VOA Indonesian

Dian Widyastuti is the digital team lead of VOA Indonesian. Her mastery of digital content strategy has made VOA Indonesian’s Facebook page one of the top 5 Facebook pages in Indonesia. She spearheaded VOA Indonesian’s Instagram account that currently has more than 752+ followers with 711K weekly views and 91K weekly engagement actions. Since she joined VOA in 2013, VOA Indonesian’s social media followers have significantly increased; 385% growth on Facebook; 252k% growth on Twitter, 8,600% increase on YouTube. Engagement on social media platforms has also significantly increased; 21,600% on Facebook, 100% on Twitter, 2,980% increase in views on YouTube. Widyastuti forged partnerships with leading digital publishers and made VOA Indonesian’s content available on popular digital platforms such as the LINE messaging app. She holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Indonesia.

Expertise: Digital and Social Media Management

Languages: Indonesian, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voaindonesia

Khmer Language Service

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Chris Decherd

Chief, VOA Khmer

Before joining VOA Khmer in 2004, Chris Decherd was the Associated Press correspondent in Cambodia (2000-2003) and editor-in-chief of The Cambodia Daily (1998-2000). At the Daily, he led a news operation of 25 Cambodian and 15 international journalists to produce a daily newspaper in English with a substantive Khmer-language section. He led efforts to take the newspaper to six days a week, from five. As a reporter at The Cambodia Daily (1995-98), he covered the final years of Khmer Rouge resistance fighting, gradual mass defections to the central government, the movement’s collapse and the creation of the UN-assisted Khmer Rouge Tribunal. He lived and worked in Phnom Penh for nine years (1995-2004). Previously, Decherd worked as a reporter for six years at the Athens Banner-Herald/Daily News in Athens, Georgia, covering local elections and developments, northeast Georgia, historic preservation, consolidation of the governments of Athens city and Clarke County, football and basketball. Decherd graduated in 1990 from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism. He grew up in Atlanta but he is a native of New York City.

Expertise: Cambodia, governance culture in developing nations, independent journalism

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voakhmer

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Mony Say

International Broadcaster, VOA Khmer

Mony Say is an international broadcaster with VOA Khmer. A native of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Say started his journalistic career with the Women’s Media Center of Cambodia as a volunteer radio news reporter in the fall of 2005. For the next decade, he worked for organizations such as the BBC World Service Trust (now BBC Media Action) as a radio producer, for Radio Australia’s Khmer service as a feature reporter and for VOA Khmer as a stringer radio and video journalist. Prior to joining VOA in Washington, D.C, in 2015, Say taught journalism and mass communications at Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Department of Media and Communication and pursued a LL.M in International Human Rights Law program jointly administered by Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia and Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg Institute. Say holds two bachelor’s degrees in media management and education in English from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a master’s degree in law from George Mason University.

Expertise: Multimedia Journalism, Education

Languages: English, Khmer

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voakhmer

Kimseng Men

International Broadcaster, VOA Khmer

Kimseng Men has covered breaking news in Cambodia, as well as the latest developments in the Cambodian diaspora in the U.S. for VOA Khmer since January 2009. Prior to VOA, Men was the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) communications manager. He also worked at the Agence-France Presse (AFP) Phnom Penh Bureau for over three years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Cambodia and a Journalism Certificate from the American University of Paris.

Expertise: Contemporary Cambodian Politics, Development and ASEAN

Languages: Khmer, English, French

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voakhmer

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Khemara Pov Sok

Senior Editor, VOA Khmer

Khemara Pov Sok, is an award-winning journalist and a senior editor at VOA Khmer. He has been the first host and moderator of the service’s “Hello VOA” program since 2001. He covers Cambodia, regional and global issues for radio, social media, and the service’s websites. Those include Cambodian elections and politics, U.S. elections, the Cambodian diaspora, human rights, democracy, the UN backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal, South China Sea, the UN General Assembly, Asean summits, and other social, economic and environmental issues. Sok joined VOA Khmer in mid 1997 as a stringer, editor and news coordinator in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, before moving with his family to Washington D.C, in March 2006. Sok has been a multimedia journalist — print, broadcast, TV, and social media — for 26 years for local and international media including UPI, VOA English, Associated Press, Chanel News Asia, Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan, VOA Khmer, and other local media since 1995. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology in Phnom Penh.

Expertise: Cambodia and regional politics, human rights and democracy, Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Languages: English, Khmer

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voakhmer

Sophat Soeung

International Broadcaster, VOA Khmer

Sophat Soeung is a multimedia reporter, editor and host at VOA Khmer. As digital strategist since 2010, he focused the service’s digital efforts on social media, particularly Facebook, building VOA Khmer’s page from 500 fans to becoming the most popular Facebook page in Cambodia, with over 5 million fans. He also initiated partnerships with two major Cambodian online publications. As a reporter, he has most recently conducted exclusive and high-profile interviews about technology, youth, and media trends in Cambodia, the Cambodian diaspora in the U.S. and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining VOA, Soeung was a lecturer of English at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. He holds a Master of Arts in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame. A native of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Soeung has lived and traveled in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States. His goal is to help connect the world more meaningfully.

Expertise: Cambodia, digital strategy, youth, tech industry, Southeast Asia

Languages: English, Khmer, German

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @SophatSoeung

Korean Language Service

Dong Hyuk Lee

Chief, VOA Korean

Dong Hyuk Lee currently serves as Chief of VOA’s Korean service. Lee previously served as Acting Program Manager of VOA’s East Asia and Pacific Division from April to December 2023. Lee joined Voice of America in May 2006 as Chief of VOA Korean with more than 12 years of journalism experience, including two years as managing editor at a Korean newspaper. Before joining VOA, Lee worked for three and a half years at Radio Free Asia as senior editor leading a news team producing a daily program at the Korean service. Since 1992, Lee has closely followed bilateral relations between the U.S. and North Korea, the U.S. policy on North Korea, and inter-Korean politics. He has interviewed key U.S. officials handling security issues around the Korean peninsula and nuclear proliferation. Some of his work, including his exclusive coverage of Ri Myung Hun, a North Korean basketball player who played in the NBA from 1997 to 1999, received nation-wide attention in both South and North Korea. As a veteran journalist specializing in U.S.-North Korea relations, Lee has also appeared on U.S. and South Korean news outlets, including Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” and KBS. A native of South Korea, Lee holds a master’s degree in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed a master’s degree program in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Expertise: Korea, North Korea relations, East Asia

Languages: English, Korean

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOA_Korean

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Sungwon Baik

Managing Editor, VOA Korean

Sungwon Baik serves as the VOA Korean Managing Editor and Senior Editor. As a VOA journalist, he has conducted exclusive interviews with a number of hard-to-reach senior North Korean officials and has published numerous scoops on U.S. policy toward North Korea and North Korean activities. He made two rare trips to North Korea in September 2011 and April 2012, reporting on the country’s “satellite launch” attempt and internal movements that were not publicized. Baik is the recipient of the agency’s Gold Medal Award in 2012. He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

Expertise: Korea, North Korea relations, U.S. policy toward North Korea

Languages: English, Korean

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOA_Korean

Eunjung Cho

International Broadcaster, VOA Korean & Host, “Washington Talk”

Eunjung Cho covers the State Department for VOA Korean and is the host of “Washington Talk,” a weekly discussion TV program featuring U.S. experts who analyze American policy towards North Korea. In 2014, Cho filed investigative reports from Qatar on working conditions of North Korean nationals in the country. In 2015, a special United Nations human rights report cited her scoop on Qatar’s Construction Development Company which fired nearly half of its North Korean employees due to their supervisors’ repeated violations of Qatari labor laws. For more than a decade at VOA, Cho has been covering Washington’s perspectives on North Korea from many different angles. South Korean media are picking up many of her reports. Cho joined VOA in 2007 from Arirang TV, South Korea’s leading English network, where she spent six years as an anchor and reporter. At Arirang she served as correspondent to major ministries including Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economy and Unification. Cho received a Bachelor of Arts in French language and literature from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.

Expertise: North Korea, South Korea, U.S. Policy on Korea

Languages: English, Korean

Location: Washington DC

Twitter: @VOA_Korean

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Young-gyo Kim

International Broadcaster, VOA Korean

Young-gyo Kim is an anchor and reporter based in VOA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. She is currently hosting VOA Korean’s weekly discussion program “Washington Talk.” Kim joined VOA Korean in July 2019 as a reporter specializing in the geopolitical issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula, including the U.S.-North Korea relations. She has a keen interest in how the North Korean regime’s decision to pursue nuclear weapons affects the livelihoods of the people and had an exclusive interview with Otto Warmbier’s parents following the third anniversary of his death. Prior to VOA, she was a business news anchor in Seoul for SBS Media Group and an English news reporter at South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. From 2010 to 2013, she was a correspondent in Hong Kong for the agency, covering China and its relationship with the Korean Peninsula. Kim holds an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese literature from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.

Expertise: Korean Peninsula

Languages: English, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOA_Korean

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Jiha Ham

International Broadcaster, VOA Korean

Jiha Ham is a reporter working for VOA Korean. Ham is currently covering North Korea’s illicit activities, as well as the international response to those activities. Recently he uncovered North Korea’s illicit money-making activities in Senegal. This reporting was cited by the U.N. in March 2021. Prior to joining VOA, Ham worked for The Korea Times New York while contributing stories to The New York Times. He was a member of the investigative team at The New York Times that uncovered labor abuses at nail salons in New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from the University of Utah.

Expertise: North Korea's illicit activities, sanctions and international responses

Languages: Korean, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOA_Korean

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Keunsam Kim

Lead Digital Editor, VOA Korean

Keunsam ‘Sam’ Kim serves as the digital lead editor for VOA Korean. He is responsible for the overall operation and quality of VOA Korean’s website and social media platforms. Prior to this position, he was the host of the service’s flagship radio news show “VOA News Today.” As a staff reporter, he has covered the State Department and Congress focusing on Washington’s perspective on North Korea. Prior to joining VOA, he worked for Joong-Ang Iibo, South Korea’s English language daily. He studied journalism at Korean National Open University and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Hanyang University, South Korea.

Expertise: Korea, North Korea relations, Digital news/journalism

Languages: Korean, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOA_Korean

Lao Language Service

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Phouthasone Douangphoumy

Multimedia Journalist, VOA Lao

Phouthasone Douangphoumy joined VOA Lao in 2015 as a writer, reporter and host of radio shows. Over the years he has particularly excelled in covering the Lao diaspora in the U.S. He also hosts English teaching TV programs which are currently broadcasted on Lao National Television. Prior to VOA, Douangphoumy was a news anchor at the English news division of Lao National Television for more than 10 years. He holds a Master of Arts in international relations from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

Expertise: Laos, poverty reduction, Lao diaspora in U.S.

Languages: Lao, Thai, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Mandarin Language Service

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Xin Chen

Acting Chief, China Branch

As a native of China, VOA Mandarin Acting Chief Xin Chen has extensive knowledge of China’s social, political and economic realities. As a VOA journalist reporting on China since 1997, Ms. Chen has covered China-related issues on a broad scale and has established extensive ties with scholars, decision makers and think tanks that study U.S.-China relations. Her VOA weekly talk show Pro and Con has been a very popular Mandarin program since it started in 2001. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Washington State University and pursued Ph.D. studies in communications at the University of Arizona before joining VOA.

Expertise: US-China relations, China’s political and social issues.

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAChinese

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Yu-wen Winnie Cheng

Assignment Editor, VOA Mandarin

Yu-wen Winnie Cheng has been working as a TV host, reporter and editor at VOA’s China Branch since 1999. Prior to joining VOA, she worked at TVBS, a Taiwanese news television station, where she specialized in breaking news writing and editing. She has covered several events such as the missile crisis at the Taiwan Strait in 1996, the U.S. Presidential election in 1996 and the Taiwan Presidential elections in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from National Cheng Chi University in Taiwan.

Expertise: China-U.S.-Taiwan relations; political, social, economic, security, and human rights issues in China

Languages: English, Mandarin,Taiwanese

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAChinese

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Daphne Fan

International Broadcaster, VOA Mandarin, & TV Host

Daphne Fan, originally from Taiwan, is an international broadcaster for VOA Mandarin. Fan has covered three Taiwan presidential elections and interviewed many leading Taiwanese politicians, including former Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu, Prime Minister Hau Pei-Tsun, Defense Minister Michael Tsai, and Cultural Minister Lung Ying-Tai. She also had a sit-down interview with former US Secretary of Labor, and current Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who is also originally from Taiwan. Before joining VOA in 2007, Fan worked as Washington, D.C. reporter for World Journal and served as the Washington correspondent for Taiwan ETTV Broadcasting Co., covering US-China-Taiwan related news on Capitol Hill, the State Department, and the White House, reporting live and interviewing scholars and experts in the Washington area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from National Cheng-Chi University and a Master of Arts in International Communication from American University.

Expertise: Taiwan Issues/Cross-Strait Relations

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAChinese

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Yibing Feng

Reporter, VOA Mandarin

Yibing Feng, also known as Ye Bing (叶兵),is a senior reporter on China affairs. He served as a correspondent for Voice of America in Beijing between November,2015 and August,2020. Mr.Feng joined VOA in 1996 and before he was assigned to Beijing, he worked in VOA’s China Branch in various roles, including international broadcaster, writer, radio program host,editor and producer, TV program editor/producer/director/acting team leader for Cultural Odyssey, VOA’s first weekly feature video show in Mandarin. Prior to joining VOA, he worked as a news reporter and announcer at the Asian Broadcast Network in Boston. He also taught English at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China and Salem University in West Virginia while occasionally introducing American culture as a freelance writer before starting his journalist career. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Expertise: China-related political, economic, international and social/cultural affairs, human rights, Hong Kong and Taiwan issues

Languages: Mandarin, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Paris Huang

International Broadcaster & White House Correspondent, VOA Mandarin

Huang has been covering the White House since 2017, interviewing or asking questions from officials such as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, White House Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein, White House COVID-19 advisor Nahid Bhadelia, as well as former President Donald Trump, and former NEC director Larry Kudlow. He has covered significant events like the first U.S.-North Korea Summit and President Biden’s first meeting, as POTUS, with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Huang was in Hong Kong for months at the end of 2019 during the mass protests, reporting on the streets about the conflict. While there, he produced and hosted a daily TV show, and interviewed democratic leaders such as Joshua Wang. He hosts VOA TV shows “Issues & Opinions” and “Techno 101,” has interviewed newsmakers including U.S. Representative Ted Liu, and former Taiwan VP Annette Lu, as well as Chinese human rights activist Wei Jingsheng, and Chen Guangcheng. Prior to VOA, he was the Greater Washington bureau chief for Sing Tao Daily. He started his career as the Executive Producer of Chinese Satellite Television Communication Group in Taiwan at 1996, and later was a producer and D.J. for Power Radio. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, and an MBA from American University in Washington D.C.

Expertise: White House. US-China-Taiwan relations, Indo Pacific and foreign policy, Cyber-security, Taiwan politics and civil society (minority, LGBTQ rights, etc)

Languages: English, Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien)

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAChinese

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Wei Lin

Supervisory Social Media Editor, VOA Mandarin

Wei Lin began her career as a journalist at Voice of America in 1998. She started out as a current affairs reporter, and later covered a variety of beats, including science and technology, trade and economics, and sports. She also worked as a news editor, a feature program editor, a web editor, and a long-time editor for VOA Mandarin’s English Teaching programs. Most recently, she took on the responsibility of leading the service digital effort. VOA Mandarin’s social media platforms have seen extraordinary growth under her leadership. Ms. Lin has a Master’s Degree in International Communications from the American University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature from the Peking University.

Expertise: China

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington D.C.

Twitter: @VOAChinese

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Chu Wu

International Broadcaster, VOA Mandarin

Chu Wu is a multimedia journalist with VOA Mandarin, specializing in human interest stories. A wide array of subjects, from lobster fishermen, to Chinese immigrants, and LGBTQ+ couples, have allowed Wu to tell their stories and document the ups and downs of their daily lives. Some of Wu’s recent notable work includes directing a feature length documentary, “I Was You,” focusing on a mother/daughter relationship in the world of cowgirls, and hosting a docuseries, “You’re Hired,” which exposes the Chinese audience to the daily lives of different types of American workers. Previously, Wu had been a current affairs reporter and produced investigative news stories. In 2019, she reported on China’s impact in Cambodia and covered the U.S. Presidential elections in 2016 and 2020. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, she produced informational explainers aiming at curbing the spread of misinformation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University.

Expertise: China, human interest stories, documentaries

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAChinese

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Huchen Zhang

Senior Editor, VOA Mandarin

Huchen Zhang is a Senior Editor with VOA Mandarin. He joined the Voice of America in 1991 and in September 1994, he became VOA Mandarin’s first anchor of the TV program, ”Issues and Opinions.” In addition, he has worked as a radio/TV host, VOA Mandarin’s congressional correspondent, assignments editor and TV team leader. He holds master’s degrees from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1984) and American University (1991).

Expertise: Chinese Politics, Economy and Social Issues

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAChinese

Thai Language Service

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Warangkana Chomchuen

International Broadcaster, VOA Thai

Warangkana “Waan” Chomchuen is a multimedia journalist at VOA Thai. She reports, writes, shoots and edits stories on U.S. current affairs and issues affecting the Thai diaspora community. Prior to joining VOA in May 2019, Chomchuen worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Thailand. She covered Thailand’s politics and economy, including the political turmoil of 2013-14 and the ensuing military coup, and worked with WSJ’s video team as the Southeast Asia video journalist, covering a wide range of stories in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, and South Africa. Chomchuen has also previously worked at NBC News and NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Her first major assignment as a reporter was to cover the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami for NHK. Chomchuen graduated from Columbia University’s School of Journalism on a Fulbright scholarship and was awarded the Wall Street Journal Asia fellowship, through which she earned a second master’s degree in business and economic reporting at New York University.

Expertise: Thailand

Languages: Thai, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @waanspeaking

Rattaphol Onsanit

Chief, VOA Thai

Rattaphol Onsanit, a.k.a. Ahn, first joined the Voice of America as an intern in the late 1990’s, before embarking on a journalism career working for AP/Dow Jones and Bloomberg news in Thailand. Amid the country’s political unrest, Onsanit wrote for the Dow Jones Newswire, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and Barron’s. In addition to working for print media, he also appeared on MSNBC and Bloomberg TV. He also taught news reporting at Bangkok’s Thammasat University where he created an international mentorship project connecting his students with journalists around the world. Onsanit returned to VOA in 2012, as an international broadcaster. This time he started a regular news segment on education and helped to grow VOA Thai’s social media audience. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Duke University. He’s also a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Expertise: Thailand, US-Thai relations, Education

Languages: Thai, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voa_thai

Tibetan Language Service

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Tsering Kyi

Producer and Host, VOA Tibetan

A multimedia journalist with more than 15 years of experience, Tsering Kyi came to Voice of America as a consequence of her media influence in the Tibetan speaking world. She is the host and producer of “Cyber Tibet,” a program on contemporary culture and language, and is a regular host of live discussions on “Kunleng TV.” Born in Tibet and educated in exile, Kyi strives to offer insights on how Tibetans live, cope, and survive today. Her familiarity with the people in Tibet goes beyond her own upbringing. Her interest in maintaining contact with writers and thinkers has contributed to VOA Tibetan audience’s understanding of news and developments that have taken place over the years. Kyi has written three books on life in exile, worked as a researcher and media liaison for the Tibetan Women’s Association, and did investigative reporting for Tibet Times in Dharmsala, India.

Expertise: Tibet, China's policies in Tibet, political, social, and human rights issues in Tibet

Languages: Tibetan, Mandarin, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOATibetan

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Tenzin Tethong

Chief, VOA Tibetan

Tenzin Tethong has extensive knowledge of Tibetan politics and culture, in addition to his background in journalism, public advocacy, government service, and academia. He was the co-founder and editor of “Sheja,” an educational magazine started in 1968. He went on to edit the “Tibetan Review,” a monthly magazine on news and views on Tibet, as well as many other publications. For more than two decades he was the Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama in the U.S. and started key Tibetan initiatives, such as the International Campaign for Tibet, Tibet Fund, U.S. Tibet Committee, and Potala Publications. He visited Tibet in 1980 as head of a delegation representing the Dalai Lama and the exile government, during a brief period of rapprochement between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government. From 1996 to 2011 he lectured at Stanford University as Distinguished Fellow, Tibetan Studies Initiative, followed by a stint as Director of the Tibetan Service at Radio Free Asia.

Expertise: Tibetan History and politics, community organizations and government

Languages: Tibetan, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: N/A

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Tseten Wangchuk

Senior Editor, VOA Tibetan

Tseten Wangchuk was born in Lhasa, Tibet. He was a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing before coming to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies at Columbia University. One of the earliest commentators on Sino-Tibetan affairs from inside Tibet, Wangchuk has published on issues ranging from economic reforms in the Tibetan region to the future prospects for Sino-Tibetan dialogue. Recognized as a leading Tibetan expert of Chinese politics and institutional processes, Wangchuk has been a strategic analyst in policy research projects at international think-tanks and universities in both the U.S. and Asia. He holds a Master of Arts in public policy and international affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and has been senior editor of Voice of America’s Tibetan service for over two decades.

Expertise: Sino-Tibet dispute, Tibet politics, economy and Social issues

Languages: Tibetan, English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOA_Tibet_News

Vietnamese Language Service

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Tra Mi

Supervisory International Broadcaster & TV Host, VOA Vietnamese

A multimedia journalist with 26 years of experience as an editor, TV anchor, writer, reporter, and producer/host of TV & radio shows, Tra Mi has been sharing stories with audiences in Vietnam and worldwide on TV, radio and the internet. From both the field and the studio, she covers Vietnam’s current affairs, human rights, socio-political culture, politics, U.S.-Vietnam relations, issues related to the South China Sea, and American stories. Tra Mi developed and is co-hosting “VOA Express,” the VOA Vietnamese flagship daily TV news show. She has also created five other popular, highly interactive weekly live shows and hosted four of them: “Study in the U.S.,” “Your Health,” “U.S. Immigration” and “Food, Science and Environment.” She regularly contributes original live interviews and reports on major news events, the Vietnamese diaspora, as well as American stories and she moderates panel discussions on domestic and international issues. Tra Mi started her career in journalism with HTV, a Vietnam-based television network. Prior to joining VOA in 2009, she was an international broadcaster for Voice of America’s sister network Radio Free Asia. She holds a master’s degree in education from California State University, Fullerton, and a bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics and Literature from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University.

Expertise: Vietnam’s politics, press freedom, human rights, socio-political culture, U.S-Vietnam relations, South China Sea, US immigration policies, Vietnamese diaspora

Languages: English, Vietnamese

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOATiengViet

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Giao Pham

Chief, VOA Vietnamese

The chief of VOA Vietnamese, Giao Pham, joined the Voice of America in 2017. Prior to his current post, Pham worked at Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese Service as an international broadcaster for almost 2 years, and at the California-based Nguoi Viet (Vietnamese People) Daily News, the first and largest Vietnamese language daily in the U.S. as the editor for more than 7 years. Pham holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnique University of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and a Master of Arts in economics from California State University, Fullerton.

Expertise: Vietnam policy, Vietnamese Diaspora in the U.S.

Languages: English, Vietnamese

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOATiengViet

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Vu Pham

International Broadcaster, VOA Vietnamese

Vu Pham (a.k.a. An Hai) has covered breaking news and press freedom in Vietnam, as well as the latest developments in the Vietnamese diaspora in the U.S. His interviews have been highlighted by VOA Central News and many other VOA language newsrooms. Pham joined Voice of America as an international broadcaster in 2016. Before becoming a journalist, he served as a political specialist and a consular fraud investigator for more than a decade at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He holds masters degrees from SKEMA Business School in France and from CFVG – French Vietnamese School of Management in Vietnam. He’s also a graduate of Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh City.

Expertise: Vietnam politics, press freedom, U.S.- Vietnam relations

Languages: Vietnamese, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOATiengViet

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Quoc Phuong

Multimedia Specialist, VOA Vietnamese

As a broadcast journalist and multimedia producer, Quoc Phuong used to work in different roles at BBC and RFA before joining VOA Vietnamese Service, where he has been hosting weekly debate and discussion live shows, besides weekend podcast programs. With a background in sociology and political science and an experience as a university lecturer, and researcher in Vietnam and France, respectively, he has been bringing in his talk shows some certain in-depth levels and angles at Vietnam in a developing and changing Asian society today.

Expertise: Vietnamese & Asian studies, political sociology & psychology and digital journalism

Languages: English, French, Vietnamese

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOATiengViet

Mandarin Language Service

Daniel Schearf

Program Coordinator, VOA Mandarin

Daniel Schearf is the Program Coordinator of VOA Mandarin. Daniel previously served as VOA’s Africa Coverage Editor and Nairobi Bureau Chief. He coordinates the VOA News Center’s Africa stringers and correspondents. Previously, he was VOA’s correspondent in Moscow where he covered developments in Russia and the former Soviet space. Prior to that he was VOA’s Northeast Asia correspondent, reporting on the Korean peninsula, VOA’s Southeast Asia correspondent, reporting from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines and VOA’s China super-stringer. Reporting highlights include coverage of the 2008 Szechuan earthquake and the Beijing Olympics; the 2010-2011 Thai military clashes; the opening up of Burma/Myanmar and the transition towards democracy; the sinking of the South Korean ferry; Russian military’s seizing of Crimea in 2014; Ukraine’s ongoing military conflict with Russian-backed separatists; the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in 2015; Russia’s rising nationalism and struggling economy; the migrant/refugee crisis in Europe, and Russia/NATO tensions. Schearf holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom.

Expertise: Russia, Europe, NATO, East Asia

Languages: Russian, Mandarin, Spanish

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Twitter: @DanielSSchearf

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Alen Mlatisuma

Acting Eurasia Division Director

Alen Mlatisuma currently serves as the Acting Director of Voice of America’s Eurasia Division, where he oversees a diverse portfolio that spans the dynamic media markets of Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and the Balkans. He has played a crucial role in shaping and guiding VOA’s digital media and audience engagement strategies within these sophisticated markets. With a wealth of journalistic expertise across various media platforms, Mlatisuma, as a seasoned creative producer, manager and strategist, boasts an impressive track record of fostering audience growth through compelling content creation, innovative social media marketing, cutting-edge technology integration, and dynamic SEO strategies. Spearheading the development of new initiatives, programs, content features, applications and interactive mobile products, he has instilled a digital-first newsroom mindset, ensuring VOA’s continued relevance in the ever-changing Eurasian media environment. Mlatisuma joined VOA in 2003 as a broadcaster and news editor with the Serbian service. In 2008, he was appointed the Eurasia Division’s Internet Managing Editor. Before his tenure at VOA, Mlatisuma served as a correspondent for the Associated Press and as Managing Editor with Antena M, the first independent radio station in post-communist Montenegro. Reporting from the Balkan region for regional and international media organizations, he also served as the editor of Graffiti Magazine, one of the few satirical media outlets in the war-ravaged Balkans during the 1990s. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montenegro.

Expertise: Europe and Eurasia, US Europe and Eurasia Policy, Press & Internet Freedom, Social Media, Digital Journalism, Audience development, Media Production Technology, Cross-platform Storytelling

Languages: English, Russian, Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin

Location: Washington, DC

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Vivian Chakarian

Program Manager, VOA Eurasia Division

Vivian Chakarian serves as Program Manager for VOA’s Eurasia Division. She advises the Eurasia Division director on programming and managerial issues affecting the Division’s eight language services – Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian, Georgian, Macedonian and Serbian – with a focus on expanding and developing opportunities for audience engagement through television and digital media platforms. Chakarian joined VOA in 1993 as a writer in the Learning English branch. From 1997 to 2012, she worked in VOA’s News Center initially as copy editor and later as head of the Eurasia Desk. In 2017, Chakarian was selected as a Nathanson Scholar to represent VOA at the Socrates Program in Aspen, Colorado, and in 2019, she was accepted as an International Fellow at the Abshire-Imori Leadership Academy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to VOA, Chakarian held research positions at The Brookings Institution and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and French from Mount Holyoke College.

Expertise: Russia, South Caucasus, Balkans

Languages: English, Armenian, French

Location: Washington, DC

Albanian Language Service

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Arben Xhixho

Chief, VOA Albanian

Arben Xhixho joined VOA in 1992 serving as a reporter, writer, editor and lead anchor. Xhixho has covered significant events, including Albanian-Serbian talks in Rambouillet, France; NATO’s air campaign against Serbia in 1999; the Kosovar refugee crisis; and the 2000 and 2004 Republican and Democratic political conventions. He has interviewed many leading politicians in Albania and Kosovo. Xhixho played a critical role in VOA Albanian’s transition from radio to a multimedia environment, including the launch of the service’s daily television news program, “Ditari.” He became Service Chief in June 2006, overseeing a steady increase in the weekly audience of VOA Albanian’s program. He previously worked for Radio Tirana from 1986 to 1991, and as liaison officer for the International Media Fund from 1991 to 1992, working closely with the independent media that emerged after the fall of the Albania’s communist regime. Xhixho is a graduate of the School of History and Philology of Tirana University in Albania.

Expertise: Albania, Kosovo

Languages: English, Albanian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @zeriamerikes

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Keida Kostreci

Supervisory Managing Editor, VOA Albanian

Keida Kostreci is the supervisory managing editor of VOA Albanian. She is a seasoned correspondent and host who has covered a broad array of topics ranging from U.S. politics, international affairs, Kosovo-Serbia relations, Balkan politics, justice reform in the region and radical extremism, to gender equality, immigration, culture and the arts. Kostreci has covered political conventions, inaugurations and hearings and has interviewed senior officials from the Balkans, including Presidents and Prime Ministers, as well as senior U.S. officials and experts. Coming of age in the early years of regime change in her native Albania, gave Kostreci a front row seat to the country’s political transformation from communism to democracy, as well as the human drama of fellow Albanians leaving the country in droves and social unrest. Kostreci started her career as a newswoman for the only news agency at the time in Albania. She was later the first female editor in charge of politics in one of the most prominent dailies, shaping coverage at a time of political turmoil. She holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages from the University of Tirana (1996) and a master’s degree in international relations from American University (2010) in Washington, D.C. She was also an Abshire-Imori Leadership Academy International Fellow (2019) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Expertise: Albania, Kosovo, the Balkans, U.S. Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Gender and Politics, Media

Languages: English, Albanian, Italian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @zeriamerikes

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Menada Zaimi

International Broadcaster, VOA Albanian

Menada Zaimi is an award-winning journalist, news anchor and host with more than two decades experience in the media industry in the Balkan region and in the United States. Zaimi joined the Voice of America in 2016 as journalist and news anchor. She started her career as a political reporter for various news organization in Albania. In 2002, she was became news editor-in-chief for the Albanian Public Broadcaster (RTSH) and served as the evening news anchor and host of “Argument,” a primetime weekly political show airing on RTSH. In 2006 she worked as a freelancer for the Prague-based Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) and from 2008 to 2013 she joined RFE/RL as a correspondent from Tirana. Zaimi has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the political dynamics in Albania, Kosovo and across the region. Her work includes coverage of all aspects of politics in the Balkans, the Euro-Atlantic integration of countries in the region, as well as the war against corruption and extremism. In 2013, she joined Agon Channel, an Italian-Albanian broadcaster, as a vice news director, evening news anchor and host of the daily political show “Watching.” She has interviewed Presidents, Prime Ministers, Speakers of Parliament, diplomats, and numerous European leaders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences, both from the University of Tirana, Albania.

Expertise: Albania, Kosovo, Balkans, U.S.-Albanian relations, Euro-Atlantic integration

Languages: English, Albanian, Italian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @zeriamerikes

Armenian Language Service

Inesa Mkhitaryan

Chief, VOA Armenian

Inesa Mkhitaryan was appointed chief of VOA Armenian in June 2016, having played a critical role in the service’s success for a number of years. She joined VOA Armenian as a contractor in 2004, working as a reporter, editor, anchor and producer. As an accomplished broadcasting professional with experience in television, video and film, Mkhitaryan has been instrumental in helping the service transition from radio to TV. She was the host and producer of VOA Armenian’s flagship weekly View From America show. Mkhitaryan was born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia, where she worked as a print and freelance television reporter. She holds a Master of Arts in Communications, specializing in film and video production, from American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Film and Theater in Yerevan, Armenia.

Expertise: US-Armenia, Russia-Armenia Relations, Political Developments in Armenia

Languages: English, Armenian, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAArmenian

Bosnian Language Service

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Dzeilana Pecanin Allison

Chief, VOA Bosnian

Dzeilana Pecanin Allison was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. From 1990 to 1992, during the war in Croatia, she worked as a translator and guide for foreign journalists. In 1992, she joined the Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje (Liberation), covering foreign affairs and the United Nations mission in Bosnia. Pecanin Allison covered events in the besieged capital and traveled throughout war-torn Bosnia. She was one of the most prominent journalists in Bosnia during the war, talking to people from all walks of life: from famous French philosopher Henry Bernard Levy, to cult American writer and human rights activist Susan Sontag, to former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Gali, to notorious accused war criminal, Serb general Ratko Mladic. In January 1995, Pecanin Allison came to the United States, and shortly after, was appointed chief of the VOA Bosnian language service programs. Since 1997, she has been one of the main anchors of the widely popular TV show, Studio Washington. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic and English from the University of Sarajevo.

Expertise: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Balkans, South East Europe

Languages: English, Bosnian, Croatian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOABosnian

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Amra Alirejsovic

Supervisory Managing Editor, VOA Bosnian

Amra Alirejsovic is a TV anchor, reporter, producer and editor of VOA Bosnian’s “Studio Washington” program. Alirejsovic joined VOA in 1998, and over the past 25 years, she has worked with different organizations, NGOs, non-profits, think tanks, advocacy groups, and members of the U.S. Congress and the State Department, among others, on interviews and stories relevant to the target audience. She has also conducted interviews with high-level officials, heads of state, congressional leaders, foreign policy experts, TV personalities, activists, Hollywood actors and world musicians. Alirejsovic has reported live on-location from major news events, including the U.N. General Assembly, the NATO summit, the State of the Union and U.S. presidential conventions. She researches, films, produces and video edits original TV stories on a wide range of topics, from politics, human trafficking and women’s issues to arts and entertainment. Among her most viewed original stories are “Michelle Obama Fashion a Hit,” “Larry King Foundation – Saving a Heart a Day” and “Child Sex Trafficking: A Story of a Girl Who Managed to Escape.” Alirejsovic holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland.

Expertise: Bosnia, The Balkans, US-Bosnia relations

Languages: Bosnian, Croatian, English, Spanish, German

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOABosnian

Georgian Language Service

Anna Kalandadze

Chief, VOA Georgian

A well-known journalist among media executives in Georgia, Anna Kalandadze has been with VOA Georgian for more than two decades, serving as chief of the service since 2007. During her tenure, she was instrumental in implementing several flagship projects for television, radio and web platforms. She took over a rapidly developing service and effectively led its transition to a Washington bureau model for a diverse Georgian media landscape. Ms. Kalandadze is a recipient of several top VOA awards and is a speaker on VOA history and public diplomacy in Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish languages from the Tbilisi State Institute of Foreign Languages and Cultures and a master’s degree in public policy from American University in Washington, D.C.

Expertise: Georgia, Caucasus, U.S.-Georgia relations, post-Soviet States, Disinformation, Ethics and Journalism

Languages: English, Georgian, Russian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voage

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Maia Kay

International Broadcaster, VOA Georgian

A veteran journalist with more than 30 years in TV broadcasting, reporting, editing, and producing, Maia Kay (formerly Maia Kvartskhava) is one of the senior members of VOA Georgian since January 2011. Prior to joining VOA in Washington D.C., Kay had been teaching for nearly eight years at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, one of the premier American research universities. She has also taught multimedia journalism to university students in Georgia. Kay has reported extensively on issues related to U.S. and Georgian politics, culture, and values, as well as on other major international developments and for the last 9 years she’s the main contributor to “Galileo,” a popular science and technology news section of VOA Georgian’s website. She holds a master’s degree in education leadership from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a second master’s degree in journalism from Tbilisi State University in Georgia.

Expertise: Georgia, U.S.-Georgia relations, Georgian diaspora in the U.S., cultural affairs, arts, science and technology

Languages: English, Georgian, Russian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @AmerikisKhma

Ia Meurmishvili

Managing Editor, VOA Georgian

Ia Meurmishvili is the managing editor and the lead anchor for “View from Washington,” Voice of America’s Georgian-language weekly analytical TV program. Previously, she anchored the service’s “Washington Today” weekly TV news magazine for a decade. In this capacity, she has presented American foreign policy, values and culture to audiences in her native Georgia since 2009 and has interviewed senior American and Georgian leaders, including U.S. senators, cabinet members and other senior administration officials. She has interviewed all living presidents of Georgia. In addition to her work for VOA Georgian, Meurmishvili wrote investigative, fact-checking stories for Polygraph.info, VOA’s fact-checking publication responding to Russian disinformation. She is an expert on Georgian, Ukrainian and Russian affairs, as well as European and South Caucasus energy security issues, South Caucasus regional conflicts, and NATO and EU enlargement. In addition to writing for VOA’s English language audiences, she has published articles in The Washington Post, CEPA, Civil.ge, the Georgian Journal and other publications and she has been invited to speak at multiple international conferences. Prior to working for the Voice of America, Meurmishvili held a variety of positions in the private and non-profit sectors, including positions at the Eurasia Foundation, Finmeccanica and the office of a U.S. member of Congress.

Expertise: Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, South Caucasus, energy security

Languages: English, Georgian, Russian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voage

Macedonian Language Service

Jane Bojadzievski

International Broadcaster, VOA Macedonian

Jane Bojadzievski is a host, reporter and producer for VOA Macedonian. In this capacity, he covers major political stories, Macedonia and Balkan region-related congressional legislation and reports live from major events, such as summits, conventions, and hearings. Prior to joining VOA, he worked in the highest-rated Macedonia media, both print and television. In addition, between 2000 and 2003, Bojadzievski worked for Deutsche Welle as an editor, where he wrote articles about internal German political affairs, EU enlargement and world news topics. He also moderated the radio program “Retrospective of the Week.” Bojadzievski holds a bachelor’s degree in inter-disciplinary studies of Journalism from Faculty of Law at St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia.

Expertise: Macedonia, Balkans, European Affairs

Languages: English, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAMacedonian

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Lilica Kitanovska

Chief, VOA Macedonian

Lilica Kitanovska joined the Voice of America in 1999 as one of the pioneers of the Macedonian Service, beginning as a contractor and serving in progressively more responsible positions as an international broadcaster, editor, lead anchor and since 2015 service chief. She has reported extensively on issues related to American culture, values and politics, focusing especially on topics Macedonians have little experience with, as well as corruption, human trafficking, conflict resolution and legal and judicial reforms in Macedonia and other Balkan countries. She has also covered numerous high-profile assignments, such as U.N., NATO and World Bank meetings and conducted exclusive interviews with high-ranking U.S. and Macedonian officials. Prior to coming to VOA, Kitanovska worked as a freelance journalist, establishing the first freelance post in the U.S. for Macedonian media. She is a graduate of the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje with a Bachelor of Arts in Law and International Studies.

Expertise: Macedonia, Balkans, Inter-Ethnic Relations, Corruption, Judiciary Reform, Refugee Crisis

Languages: English, Macedonian, Serbian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAMacedonian

Russian Language Service

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Arkady Cherepansky

Managing Editor, VOA Russian

Arkady Cherepansky is a former career diplomat with the Belarusian diplomatic service. Working for VOA Russian since 2002, he has extensively applied his unique knowledge and experience of dealing with political and other issues related to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Cherepansky produced the weekly Democracy in Action program, and authored and edited news-related content on a wide range of topics, involving Russian and post-Soviet states’ politics, economics, legal affairs, media and society. As assignments manager, he has demonstrated exceptional ability to conceive, research, edit and produce integrated and highly targeted material on U.S.-Russian relations. He holds a Master of Arts in English and French languages from Belarusian State Linguistic University, and a Bachelor of Arts in political macroeconomics from the Belarusian National Economy Institute. He is fluent in English, Russian, and Belarusian and has good command of Ukrainian.

Expertise: Russia and post-Soviet states

Languages: English, Russian, Belarusian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @GolosAmeriki

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Aleksander Y. Grigoryev

International Broadcaster, VOA Russian

Aleksander Y. Grigoryev is a writer and editor for VOA Russian since 2009. Grigoryev immigrated to the U.S. from Russia in 2000 and a year later he become editor and then editor-in-chief of the Washington ProFile international agency. Prior to that he worked for a number of media outlets in Russia, including ‘Delovoy Peterburg’ and ‘Kommersant’ newspapers, FM-station Radio Roks, Regional TV etc. He is a graduate of St. Petersburg State University’s School of Journalism.

Expertise: Russia, Defense, Intelligence, Terrorism

Languages: English, Russian, German, Polish, Ukrainian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @GolosAmeriki

Rafael Saakov

TV Anchor and Reporter, VOA Russian

Rafael Saakov is anchoring the live talk show “Discussion VOA,” airing from Washington, D.C. that covers main foreign policy issues, as well as major breaking news stories through virtual round table discussions with guest experts. As one of the anchors for VOA’s Russian-language television programming, Saakov also regularly hosts and edits the daily show “Current Time America” on the Current Time TV channel and interviews U.S. diplomats, lawmakers, and other high-profile officials. During his 15 years reporting from Moscow, London and now Washington, D.C., Saakov has covered local, parliamentary and presidential elections in Russia and Ukraine; the largest opposition rallies in Moscow in 2011 and 2012; and the main court trials of Russian opposition leaders and activists. Saakov has also covered major sporting events, including the Olympics in London, Sochi and most recently Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he was VOA’s sole reporter covering the Winter Games. In 2014, The Guardian newspaper reported that Saakov is among the top news tweeters on the post-Soviet world. Prior to VOA, he was BBC’s Russian service multimedia correspondent based in Moscow, with regular assignments in London. Rafael Saakov holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Moscow State University’s Faculty of Journalism.

Expertise: Russia, Russian Politics, Russian Diaspora in the U.S., U.S. Politics, Social Media, The Olympics

Languages: English, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @GolosAmeriki

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Yulia (Julia) Savchenko

International Broadcaster, VOA Russian & Host of "ITOGI"

Yulia (Julia) Savchenko is an award-winning international journalist and anchor currently working for the Russian service of the Voice of America in Washington, D.C., where she covers international relations, conducts high profile interviews and anchors the weekly TV show ITOGI. Savchenko holds three Excellence Awards from the International Broadcasting Bureau, and has reported and anchored various TV and radio shows internationally. Prior to joining VOA, she worked for the BBC World Service in London, Moscow and Washington, as both a radio host and a reporter covering international and European politics. In 2004, Savchenko received a United Nations Development Fund Award. In 2005, she was awarded a Reagan-Fascell fellowship by the National Endowment for Democracy, where she conducted her research on participatory journalism in post-Soviet countries. In 2013 Savchenko was awarded a RIAS fellowship to conduct research on the Transatlantic cooperation in Germany. Savchenko started her journalistic career at the age of 17 in Central Asia. Serving there as a television anchor and journalist, Yulia achieved public recognition for her breakthrough talk show UNFILTERED in Kyrgyzstan, which featured perspectives and debates on issues of political and social interest in the region. A graduate of Stanford University’s Program for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, a graduate of the Fletcher Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University, as well as a graduate of the OSCE Academy of the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Savchenko is an expert on Russian, European and Central Asian affairs.

Expertise: Russia, Central Asia, South Caucus, Europe

Languages: English, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @GolosAmeriki

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Irina Van Dusen

Chief, Russian Service

A veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in mass media, Irina Van Dusen joined VOA’s Russian Service in 2004 as an international broadcaster. She subsequently served in progressively more responsible positions, and in 2011, was selected as service chief. Under her leadership, the service has developed new programming strategies and innovative multimedia products to meet the challenges of a changing geopolitical landscape and continually shifting audience attitudes, needs and consumer habits. She has been instrumental in creating an atmosphere of teamwork, responsibility and shared values that are paramount to the success of Russian-language programming at VOA. For her contributions to the advancement and accomplishment of the agency’s goals and mission, Van Dusen has been awarded VOA’s top commendation, the Gold Medal Award. She is a graduate of the Moscow State University School of Journalism and holds a master’s degree in Russian language and linguistics from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Expertise: VOA Russian Service programming

Languages: Russian, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @golosameriki

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Oleksandr Yanevskyy

International Broadcaster, VOA Russian

Alex Yanevskyy is a reporter at VOA Russian. He joined VOA in 2014 and has covered a broad array of topics ranging from U.S. foreign policy and Ukrainian-Russian relations, to human rights, cyber issues, and U.S. culture. Some of the major U.S. events he has covered for VOA include: the United Nations General Assembly and the special elections in Utah in 2017. Yanevskyy was one of two VOA journalists who covered the presidential elections in Russia in 2018. For his comprehensive coverage of the Russian presidential elections, he received an award from VOA. He has also interviewed senior Pentagon officials, members of Congress and think-tank policy analysts. Prior to VOA, Yanevskyy was working for the top ranked TV channel in Ukraine, 1+1, and on the main news channel, 5 Channel. He graduated with honors from Kyiv’s National University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

Expertise: U.S. Foreign Policy, Ukraine-Russia Relations, Foreign Affairs

Languages: English, Ukrainian, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @golosameriki

Serbian Language Service

Photo of Bratislav \u201cBraca\u201d Djordjevic

Bratislav “Braca” Djordjevic

International Broadcaster, VOA Serbian

Bratislav “Braca” Djordjevic is an editor, reporter, producer and host of VOA Serbian’s Open Studio and Weekend Studio TV shows. He joined the service in 2003. Prior to VOA, he worked for the highly regarded Serbian TV channel B92, and various print media, such as the newspapers “Blic” and “Dnevni telegraf”. For more than 20 years Djordjevic has covered domestic and international news in the U.S. and former Yugoslavia, as well as political, economic and social developments. He specializes in covering big political and sporting events, such as the United Nations General Assembly, the U.S. President’s State of the Union address, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, U.S. Presidential Inaugurations, as well as European and World Basketball Championships, NBA All-Star Weekends, many international basketball games and various tennis tournaments, including the U.S. Open. Djordjevic attended the University of Belgrade’s School of Sports and Physical Education.

Expertise: Serbia, The Balkans, Sports

Languages: English, Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @GlasAmerikeVOA

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Milena Durdic

International Broadcaster, VOA Serbian

Milena Durdic has been a reporter, producer, editor and anchor with VOA Serbian since 2008. She has covered important issues related to U.S. policy in the Western Balkans, through numerous interviews with U.S. officials, members of Congress and experts. She has also covered important events in the U.S. — mainly presidential and midterm elections, but also social, cultural and economic issues, explaining to VOA Serbian’s audience the “American” way of life. Prior to joining VOA, Durdic worked for Radio and Television Montenegro – the public service broadcaster of Montenegro – first as an editor and an anchor of Prime Time News and then as the editor-in-chief of the network’s newsroom. Durdic is a recipient of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, a U.S. Government program which provides 10 months of professional enrichment and non-degree graduate-level study in the United States for accomplished mid-level professionals from designated countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Montenegro.

Expertise: Montenegro, Balkans, U.S. policy in the Balkans

Languages: English, Montenegrin, Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @GlasAmerikeVOA

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Zoran Zic, Ph.D.

Chief, VOA Serbian

Dr. Zoran Zic, a former research assistant and research associate at the Institute of International Politics and Economy in Belgrade (1975-1986) and a former Deputy Director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Belgrade (1987-1988), came to the U.S. in 1989 as an academic, teaching political science and international relations at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, the University of Louisville, as well as Rockford College, in Rockford, Illinois. He joined VOA Serbian in 1998 as a journalist and editor of the service’s radio and TV programs. In February 2008, he was appointed Chief of VOA Serbian. Dr. Zic holds a law degree (1974), a Master of Arts in law and international relations (1979) and a Ph.D. in political science (1984) from the University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Expertise: Serbian and Balkan politics, European security issues

Languages: Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, English, Spanish

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @GlasAmerikeVOA

Ukrainian Language Service

Photo of Oksana Bedratenko

Oksana Bedratenko

International Broadcaster, VOA Ukrainian

Oksana Bedratenko is a reporter and editor with VOA Ukrainian. Her expertise topics include the economy, finance and reforms in Ukraine and the region, the war economy and the recovery effort. She has produced in-depth articles and TV stories on the economic challenges presented by the war in Ukraine, grain market and agriculture, anti-corruption, etc. Her stories and opinion pieces in Ukrainian and English have been picked up by media outlets in the U.S. and Ukraine. Prior to joining VOA she contributed to think tanks with articles on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the sanctions policy, the IMF program, as well as defense and energy reform in Ukraine. Previously, Bedratenko worked as an economist with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. She holds a master’s degree in financial economics, from the University of London, bachelor’s in political sciences from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and a master’s in economics from Kyiv State University.

Expertise: U.S.-Ukraine Relations, Economy, Reforms, Sanctions, Agriculture and Finance in Ukraine and the region

Languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @holosameryky

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Iuliia Iarmolenko

International Broadcaster, VOA Ukrainian

Reporter and anchor for VOA Ukrainian’s “ChasTime” and “Briefing” programs, Iuliia Iarmolenko has more than 10 years of experience as a broadcast journalist. She has reported from dozens of countries covering breaking news and some of the biggest world events. Her extensive reporting in the U.S. includes the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Since December 2021, she serves as a White House correspondent for VOA Ukrainian, focusing her reporting on U.S.-Ukrainian relations during Russia’s war in Ukraine. Iarmolenko’s topics of interest also include gender equality, sustainability, and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in journalism from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Institute of Journalism.

Expertise: Ukraine, US-Ukraine relations, Russia's war in Ukraine

Languages: English, Ukrainian, Russian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @holosameryky

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Ruslan Petrychka

Chief, VOA Ukrainian

Ruslan Petrychka is the Chief of VOA Ukrainian. An experienced reporter and TV anchor working out of VOA’s Washington D.C. headquarters, Petrychka regularly hosts VOA Ukrainian’s daily TV Show “Chas-Time.” As a reporter, he particularly enjoys covering political and economic developments in both the United States and Ukraine and he follows closely all other news developments in both countries. Petrychka holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. He also holds a Master in Business Administration from Georgetown University.

Expertise: U.S. politics, U.S.-Ukraine relations

Languages: English, Ukrainian

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @holosameryky

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Mariia Prus

International Broadcaster, VOA Ukrainian

Mariia Prus joined VOA Ukrainian in 2016 and has since covered the U.S. presidential elections in 2016 and 2020, the 2019 Congressional impeachment hearings and reported on major political and social developments, as well as immigration reforms and cultural and tech events, including the CES-2020 exhibition. She was the first journalist at VOA Ukrainian to start covering the novel coronavirus outbreak in early 2020. Prus mainly focuses on telling exclusive stories of Ukrainian-Americans; from Grammy-winning producers, Ukrainian officers serving in the U.S. Army, social media influencers, IT-gurus and COVID-19 vaccine researchers, to top-tier university students, activists, volunteers, and small business owners. These stories garner millions of views on social media platforms. Prior to joining VOA, she worked for Ukrainian TV channels UA:First and Channel 5. She holds a master’s degree with honors in journalism from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Expertise: Social issues, cultural affairs, science, Ukrainian diaspora in the U.S.

Languages: English, Ukrainian, Russian, German

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @holosameryky

Tatiana Vorozhko

Supervisory Managing Editor, VOA Ukrainian

Tatiana Vorozhko is the Supervisory Managing Editor of VOA Ukrainian. She has been with VOA Ukrainian since 2007 in different capacities and, for 1.5 years (2020-2022), worked at VOA’s Program Review Office as a performance analyst. Prior to VOA, she served as the media adviser to the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) Project Coordinator in Ukraine. OSCE is a regional security and foreign policy-focused intergovernmental organization. Vorozhko also worked as a reporter and screenwriter in prominent Ukrainian media outlets. She earned her master’s degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, which is part of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, and a master’s degree in history from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Vorozhko is deeply familiar with the current developments in Ukraine and their historical and social context.

Expertise: US-Ukraine Relations, Developments in Ukraine

Languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @holosameryky

Creole Language Service

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Sandra Lemaire

Chief, VOA Creole

Sandra Lemaire is the chief of VOA Creole broadcasting to Haiti. She joined the Voice of America in 1986 as a Creole radio broadcaster. She co-anchored the service’s daily broadcasts with journalist Lyonel Desmarrates from 1986 – 2000, when she left the service as Senior Editor to join the VOA central newsroom’s pilot English website program. As a member of the web team, Lemaire helped design and launch VOA’s first English web site and as dayside VOA English home page editor from 2000 – 2021, Lemaire has been responsible for selecting VOA English’s best content to showcase to the world. In addition, she wrote news stories on Haiti and translated original and noteworthy interviews taken in Creole by reporters on the ground, as well as VOA’s correspondents in Washington and New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from American University, where she graduated Cum Laude.

Expertise: Haiti

Languages: English, Creole, French, Spanish

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAKreyol

Spanish Language Service

Gonzalo Abarca

International Broadcaster, VOA Spanish & Host, “Foro Interamericano"

Gonzalo Abarca is the anchor of “Foro Interamericano,” one of VOA’s most successful TV shows in the Western Hemisphere. Gonzalo is known for his international political expertise. A seasoned reporter with deep, well-rounded experience on U.S. and Latin America relations, he is also known for his in depth one-on-one interviews with dignitaries and personalities. Abarca began his career in Telemundo Network as reporter, editor and executive producer. He has also worked as language editor for the Discovery Channel, as senior editor for Univision.com and as a producer and reporter for the BBC World Service. Abarca holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Pace University of New York and has done some graduate studies on International Relations and International Law at Florida International University.

Expertise: Latin America, U.S. Foreign Policy to Latin America, Immigration, Latino Issues, Central America, International Security, Terrorism in the Americas

Languages: English, Spanish

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANoticias

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Lina Correa

Chief, VOA Spanish

Lina Correa is a multi-platform communications expert with over 30 years of experience as a journalist, anchor, editor and media advisor. She has excelled as a broadcaster for Caracol TV in her native Colombia, and for the past more than a decade with Voice of America. Correa has been recognized for sustained high quality performance of her duties, in the fields of human rights, peace processes and international humanitarian law during her coverage of the internal conflict in Colombia. Committed to professional development, she earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification in 2017, further refining her leadership and organizational skills. In addition to her interest in conceptualizing, designing and implementing a wide range of communication campaigns, Correa has also been a trusted and well-respected mentor and leader, supporting her colleagues to develop their full potential, benefiting not only the individuals, but the agency as a whole. She holds a bachelor´s degree in communications and journalism from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia.

Expertise: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, U.S. Policy towards Latin America, Colombia, Venezuela

Languages: Spanish, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voanoticias

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Mitzi Macias-Dancé

Web and Social Media Editor, VOA Spanish

Mitzi Macias-Dancé is a multi-platform communications expert with more than 20 years of experience as a journalist, editor, and social media advisor. She has worked as an editor for “Expreso,” one of the most influential newspapers in her native Peru and she has in-depth knowledge of the Hispanic community in the U.S. having worked for more than 12 years at the Washington Hispanic Newspaper, one of the main papers targeting Hispanics in the nation’s capital, specializing in immigration, political and community issues. In the last decade, Macias-Dancé has been working as a reporter and editor for Voice of America. In addition, she led the team tasked to create a digital coverage strategy for VOA Spanish, from the division’s web site to its social media networks for today’s completely digital world. In recent years, she has completed multiple courses and received certifications in digital writing and digital content creation. Macias-Dancé holds a bachelor´s degree in communications and journalism from Sacred Heart Women’s University in Lima, Perú.

Expertise: Immigrant community

Languages: Spanish, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VozdeAmerica

Celia Mendoza

International Broadcaster, VOA Spanish

A seasoned international multimedia journalist for Voice of America since 2013, Mendoza reports on the latest developments that impact Latin America. Based in New York City, Mendoza has more than 10 years of experience in television news. She is a three times Emmy-nominated journalist who started her career in Colombia while finishing her bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism at the University of Colombia, covering sports as a regular reporter for El Diario Deportivo. After moving to the United States, she worked for Telemundo and Univision in Colorado, where she reported and anchored the local news. In 2010 Mendoza relocated to New Jersey to work for News 12 New Jersey, working in Spanish and English. Since joining VOA, she has provided TV and radio affiliates in Latin America with live interactive on every major news story, from Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., to the opening of the U.S embassy in Havana, the crisis of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. illegally across the Texas border, and the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Expertise: Latin American issues, Colombia Peace Process, Cuba, Venezuela, Immigration, Human Trafficking, Deportations and their impact on families and businesses in the United States

Languages: English, Spanish

Location: New York, NY

Twitter: @VOANoticias

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Gioconda Reynolds

Senior News Editor, VOA Spanish

Gioconda Tapia Reynolds is a multimedia journalist and senior news editor at VOA’s Latin America division. She is also responsible for the “Buenos Días América” and “Conversando” programs, as well as the radio and digital co-productions with VOA’s affiliate radio stations in Latin America. Reynolds is Voice of America’s correspondents coordinator in Latin America, directing and editing their reports. With more than 40 years of professional experience in various media, including radio and television in Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and the United States, Reynolds joined VOA in 2005. She has worked for various media companies, including newspapers, magazines and other publications, but she is very passionate about radio. Reynolds is an expert in social and political issues in Latin America and has covered international events such as the UN General Assembly, sessions of the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as presidential addresses and other international events. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Catholic University in Bolivia.

Expertise: Latin American politics and society

Languages: Spanish, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VozdeAmerica

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Gesell Tobias

Internet Managing Editor, VOA Spanish

A multimedia journalist with more than 20 years of experience, Gesell Tobias worked in TV and print in El Salvador before coming to the U.S. in 2007 to work at “Washington Telemundo.” He joined VOA Spanish in 2008 and soon became one of the pioneers of the “one man band” approach, resulting in VOA Spanish transforming all its television reporters into multimedia journalists. Currently he supervises VOA Latin America division’s digital platforms. Tobias has covered various international events, such as presidential elections, mass shootings in the United States, political events like the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York, and has interviewed a number of U.S. officials and presidents of various Latin American countries. He also covered the historic first summit between former U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, as well as their second meeting in Hanoi and reported on the first meeting between former President Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Tobias holds a degree in journalism from the University of El Salvador and a certificate on digital media and social networks from the Higher School of Art and Design of La Rioja, Spain.

Expertise: Latin America, New Technologies, Social Media, Multimedia reporting using a cellphone as an only tool

Languages: Spanish, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @vozdeamerica

Carla Babb

Pentagon Correspondent

Carla Babb is VOA News’ award-winning Pentagon correspondent. She has reported from across the globe with datelines from Lviv to Kabul to Ouagadougou, embedding with U.S. forces and interviewing senior defense leaders including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, U.S. Army Chief Gen. James McConville and the commanders of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command and U.S. Southern Command. Babb’s reporting on the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan earned VOA a 2022 National Headliner Award for network and syndicators continuing coverage of a major news event. She also won the 2021 Military Reporters & Editors Association award for Best Journalism – TV Large Market for her documentary on the fight to save forest elephants in Africa, where she was the first-ever journalist to embed with U.S. troops on a counter-poaching mission. Babb has broken several significant stories throughout her career. She was first to report the attack on U.S. troops at Iraq’s Al Asad Air Base in 2020 and the first reporter inside the new ICBM interceptor silos at Fort Greely in 2022. Babb joined VOA News in 2008. Prior to her current post, she was a general assignment reporter and a fill-in correspondent at VOA’s White House and State Department bureaus. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications from North Carolina State University, and a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Expertise: Defense, International Security, President Trump Administration's Defense Transition

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC/ Pentagon

Twitter: @CarlaBabbVOA

Aline Barros

Immigration Correspondent

Aline Barros is an immigration correspondent for VOA’s News Center in Washington, D.C. Before joining VOA in 2016, Aline covered Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in 2015, the Maryland state and county elections, as well as immigration and local politics for the Gazette Newspapers and Channel 21 Montgomery Community Media in suburban Washington. She has been published by the Washington Post, G1 Portal Brazilian News, and Fox News Latino. Aline’s work was recognized by the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association where she won first place in the profile category, and the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association with a first place in the outstanding digital news project category. She was selected for the Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellowship and the Data and Accountability Journalism Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. At VOA, she covers American immigration policy as it relates to DREAMers, asylum cases, international deportations and the immigration courts. Originally from Brazil, Barros holds a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Maryland.

Expertise: Immigration, International News, Diaspora Communities

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @AlineBarros2

Margaret Besheer

UN Correspondent

Margaret Besheer has been Voice of America’s United Nations correspondent since 2008, covering stories from headquarters in New York and in the field. She has also reported for VOA from Iraq (2006-07) and covered the Hezbollah-Israel 2006 war in Lebanon. Prior to joining VOA in 2002, Besheer spent a decade as a print journalist in Beirut, Lebanon, and Washington, D.C. She is co-author of Cultures of the World: Saudi Arabia (Times Publishing, 2003). She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in journalism, both from American University in Washington, D.C.

Expertise: UN issues–UN Security Council and General Assembly, Humanitarian, Political, Peacekeeping, Human Rights, International Justice (ICC), Proliferation (Iran, DPRK), Climate Change, Sustainable Development.

Languages: English

Location: New York, NY / United Nations Bureau

Twitter: @mbesheer

Nike Ching

State Department Bureau Chief

Nike Ching is VOA’s State Department Bureau Chief. She has traveled with four Secretaries of State under Democratic and Republican administrations. As a veteran bilingual correspondent, she reports regularly in both English and Mandarin in multiple platforms, with an emphasis on geopolitics, international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, and human rights. She has appeared on CNBC India, South Africa’s Open News, Nigeria’s Channels TV, and BBC. Prior to her State Department assignment, Ching was as an anchor for VOA Mandarin’s TV program. She also covered Capitol Hill and was a senior global affairs correspondent for VOA Mandarin. Prior to VOA, Ching was the Washington Bureau Chief for Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC,) the largest radio network in Taiwan, and Taiwan’s Global Television. She graduated Summa cum laude from Taiwan’s National Chengchi University with a bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy. She also earned a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.

Expertise: U.S.-East Asia and the Pacific Foreign Policy, North Korea Nuclear Proliferation issues, Maritime Security in the South China Sea, U.S.- China and Taiwan Relations

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC / U.S. State Department

Twitter: @VOANews

Kane Farabaugh

Midwest Correspondent

Kane Farabaugh, Midwest Correspondent for VOA, received the 2019 National Headliner Award for his coverage of the trade dispute between the United States and China. Farabaugh is also a multi Emmy® Award-winning broadcast journalist, documentary filmmaker, writer, digital producer, and experienced “one-man band” video-journalist. In a career spanning four decades, Farabaugh has covered most of the significant news events during that period including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Presidential elections and the Olympics. He has interviewed world leaders, including Polish President Lech Walesa, and former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. His career began as a U.S. Air Force military broadcaster in Seoul, Korea and Tokyo, Japan, later working as a commercial TV reporter in multiple U.S. cities. Farabaugh also served as a civilian Director of Special Projects for the American Forces Network Europe, managing complex television projects continent-wide that also included coverage of military operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. He was honored as the 2002 United States Army Civilian Broadcast Journalist of the Year and was twice awarded the United States Army Civilian Service Commendation Medal. He has received more than 20 Emmy® nominations, multiple RTDNA Edward R. Murrow, Associated Press, Chicago Headline Club Society of Professional Journalists, Religion News Association and New York Festivals Awards among numerous others.

Expertise: Presidential History, Politics, Immigration, Sports, General News

Languages: English

Location: Chicago, IL

Twitter: @VOANews

Masood Farivar

Justice Correspondent

Masood Farivar is the Justice Correspondent for Voice of America. As of early 2017, he covers the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, law enforcement and legal issues. Farivar joined VOA in 2013 as the Chief of VOA Afghanistan. Under his leadership, the service launched a number of content and programming initiatives that drove VOA’s audience growth in Afghanistan. Before joining VOA, Farivar worked as a journalist in his native Afghanistan where he led the country’s largest network of independent radio stations. Prior to that, he was a New York-based journalist. A graduate of Harvard College, Farivar spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a Knight Fellow in Journalism at Stanford University. He is the author of a memoir and a contributor to 110 Stories: New York Writes after September 11.

Expertise: Afghanistan, criminal justice, legal affairs, FBI

Languages: English, Dari, Pashto

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

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William Gallo

Seoul Bureau Chief

William Gallo is the VOA Seoul bureau chief and regional correspondent. He covers South Korea’s response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the North Korea nuclear diplomacy, and U.S.-South Korea relations. Prior to coming to Seoul, Gallo covered U.S. foreign policy and international affairs for the Voice of America at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department. He has also traveled throughout South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East as part of the Pentagon press corps. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Moody Bible Institute.

Expertise: U.S.-South Korea relations, U.S. policy in Northeast Asia, North Korea diplomacy, North Korea nuclear program

Languages: English

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Twitter: @GalloVOA

Myroslava Gongadze

Eastern Europe Chief

A veteran broadcaster and award-winning journalist, Myroslava Gongadze is currently the Eastern Europe Chief at VOA. From 2015-2022, she was the chief of VOA Ukrainian, and joined the service originally in 2004, serving as a reporter and anchor. Most recently a 2019 Neiman Foundation Fellow at Harvard University where she studied disinformation, Gongadze has also previously been a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at George Washington University, and has a degree in law from Ivan Franko National University. Gongadze has won numerous awards for her reporting on events such as the Euromaidan and Orange Revolutions, including the Order of Princess Olha, third class, a Ukrainian civil decoration bestowed on women of outstanding personal merit. Her strong international profile as reporter and television anchor has been bolstered by her regular interviews with top U.S. and Ukrainian government officials, most recently with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. She was also a moderator of Ukraine’s nationally televised first post-Maidan election debates in 2014 and the host of the newsmaker interview program on First National TV, Prime Time with Myroslava Gongadze. She periodically contributes to National Public Radio, and her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Journal of Democracy, and numerous Ukrainian publications.

Expertise: Ukraine, Russia, Eastern Europe, Media, Press Freedom

Languages: English, Ukrainian, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @MGongadze

Katherine Gypson

U.S Congressional Correspondent

As the US Congressional Correspondent, Katherine Gypson reports on the latest developments from Capitol Hill for the Voice of America’s News Center. During the 2016 presidential election, she also covered all major campaign events with a focus on Trump voters nationwide. Prior to joining VOA in 2013, Gypson produced documentary and public affairs programming in Afghanistan, Tunisia and Turkey. She also produced and co-wrote a 12-episode road-trip series for Pakistani television exploring the United States during the 2012 presidential election. Her work mainly focused on US foreign policy towards the Middle East and South Asia – including newly open media environments, internet freedom issues, democratic movements and foreign aid projects in Afghanistan. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from American University and a bachelor’s degree in history and writing from Marlboro College.

Expertise: Congress, US Politics, Afghanistan.

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

Steve Herman

Chief National Correspondent

Steve Herman is VOA’s chief national correspondent. From 2017 through 2021, Herman was VOA’s senior White House correspondent and subsequently White House bureau chief. ​Herman is an adjunct assistant professor at Shenandoah University and a lecturer of journalism at the University of Richmond. He was the 2022-23 JURIST journalist-in-residence at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a 2022 Kiplinger Fellow at Ohio University. The veteran journalist spent more than a quarter of a century in Asia, including years of reporting from Tokyo and subsequently as a VOA correspondent and bureau chief in India, South Korea and Thailand. Steve also served in 2016 as VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, based at the State Department. In addition to years of reporting for AP, his career has also included stints as a media executive in Asia, launching Discovery Channel and Animal Planet in Japan. Steve is a life member of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, of which he was elected president for the 1997-98 term. He also served as president of the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club and the Japan-America Club of The American University. He has served on the board of governors of the Overseas Press Club of America and the DC chapter of the Asian-American Journalists Association. Currently, Steve represents USAGM foreign service officers on the board of governors of the American Foreign Service Association. He is also a member of the Authors Guild, National Press Club, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, the South Asian Journalists Association and the White House Correspondents Association.

Expertise: U.S. Domestic Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy, Climate, Asia

Languages: English, Japanese

Location: Washington, D.C.

Mastodon: @W7VOA@journa.host

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Jessica Jerreat

Press Freedom Editor

Jessica Jerreat leads VOA’s award-winning press freedom coverage, which takes an in-depth look at the challenges and risks to media globally. Prior to joining VOA in March 2020, Jerreat worked at the intersection of press freedom and international news for organizations including the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, where she edited reports on global censorship and attacks on the press, and The Times of London. VOA’s dedicated press freedom coverage, led by Jerreat, won the inaugural Association for International Broadcasting media freedom award in 2021. She was part of the reporting team presented with the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Press Criticism award for coverage of events taking place in VOA’s own newsroom. Jerreat has a master’s in War, Media, and Society from the University of Kent at Canterbury, with a focus on propaganda, the press and conflict in the Korean war.

Expertise: Press Freedom

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @jessicajerreat

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Cristina Caicedo Smit

Press Freedom Reporter

Cristina Caicedo Smit is an award-winning bilingual journalist, producer and TV anchor with more than 14 years’ experience covering international news. Her focus includes press freedom, Latin America, the U.S., women’s issues, health and politics. Caicedo Smit has been recognized for her work on multimedia projects that combine illustration, artwork and long-form narratives, including with a 2023 Clarion Award. Currently she is the lead reporter for VOA’s Press Freedom desk, which analyzes the challenges confronting journalists globally.

Expertise: Freedom of the Press

Languages: Spanish, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOANews

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David Jones

Deputy Managing Editor

During a 40-year journalism career, David Jones has reported from more than 30 countries on five continents. He began his career with United Press International in his native Toronto and later worked as a reporter and editor for UPI in Washington and Hong Kong; as a bureau chief in Manila and Nairobi; and as editor for Europe, Africa and the Middle East based in London. From 1989 to 2009 he worked at The Washington Times, first as foreign editor and later as managing editor, traveling widely and routinely speaking in Washington with visiting presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers. He joined VOA as East Asia regional editor in 2010 and was promoted to deputy managing editor of the VOA News Center in 2012. He is broadly knowledgeable about U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, class of 1971.

Expertise: International affairs

Languages: English

Location: News Center

Twitter: @VOANews

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Elizabeth Lee

China Coverage Editor

Elizabeth Lee is a multimedia reporter and producer for Voice of America. She oversees the News Center’s China coverage and reporting by coordinating and collaborating with language services across VOA. Prior to this role, she was the Los Angeles correspondent for VOA, shooting, writing, and producing reports on technology and the diaspora communities from throughout Asia on the West Coast. With VOA and throughout her television career spanning more than 20 years, she has covered breaking news, especially natural disasters, such as floods in the Midwest and the aftermath of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Prior to VOA, Lee worked in local news with NBC and CW affiliates, where she covered the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster from Houston, the immigrant situation from the Texas-Mexico border and Cross-Straits relations from Taiwan. Lee is an FAA-certified drone pilot. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and English from Wellesley College.

Expertise: Diaspora Communities, Technology and Trends, Natural Disasters

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOANews

Michael Lipin

Bridge Editor

A multimedia journalist with more than 20 years of experience as a writer, reporter, news editor and producer/host of radio and TV shows, Michael Lipin covers international affairs as a VOA bridge editor. Based in Washington, he has been producing and hosting VOA’s weekly podcast Flashpoint Iran since October 2022. He also has done multiple assignments in Israel, interviewing senior political and military figures about Israel-Iran tensions and covering Israel’s April 2019 Knesset election and the 2017 and 2018 visits of then U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to Jerusalem, Israel’s U.S.-recognized capital. One of Lipin’s recent VOA projects is 2021’s ‘Persians of Israel’, a video documentary series that he wrote and produced about his interviews with prominent Israeli-Persians who reveal their little-publicized contacts with Iran’s people and ideas for reviving the Israeli-Iranian friendship. Lipin also wrote and produced VOA’s 2021 web project ‘Ground Zero – Then and Now’, the only interactive news report to comprehensively document the histories of 10 buildings and a plaza lost in New York City’s Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and the progress of rebuilding in the 20 years that followed. Prior to VOA, Lipin was a journalist for TV and radio networks in his hometown of Hong Kong, including CNN International. Lipin holds a master’s degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University.

Expertise: Iran, Israel, Hong Kong

Languages: English, Hebrew

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @Michael_Lipin

Natalie Liu

Diplomatic Correspondent

Natalie Liu is an award-winning journalist. Her feature story on legendary Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky was awarded First Place in Multimedia/Online Journalism at the 2017 Chesapeake Associated Press (AP) Broadcasters Association contest. Liu joined VOA in 2002 upon graduation from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (MSFS). In addition to Georgetown, she has studied history, government and literature at The University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Peking University. Prior to VOA, she covered international news for The Washington Times and CBS News. She writes and publishes in both English and Chinese, with an emphasis on foreign policy, geopolitics and human rights. Outside of work, her interests include classical music, calligraphy, and comparative intellectual history.

Expertise: Confucianism, Communism, Chinese strategic thinking, geopolitics, public diplomacy

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

Natasha Mozgovaya

Senior Analyst

Natasha Mozgovaya is a senior analyst with VOA’s News Center, covering the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. In her prior role as a Project Manager, she was responsible for developing and launching VOA+ streaming (OTT) apps and managed VOA podcasts. Earlier, she served as a Digital Managing Editor for VOA Russian, developing along with her team more than a dozen original media products, including documentaries, multi-platform projects for special events, internet TV shows, interactive quizzes, and podcasts. She spearheaded the use of drone filming in VOA and turned immersive storytelling (360 videos) and live shots on social media into a regular part of the coverage. She joined VOA in 2013 as a journalist, editor, and host of TV projects, including the Current Time channel’s first daily news program. Earlier, Mozgovaya was the Washington bureau chief for the influential Israeli newspaper Haaretz and an anchor with Israeli TV Channels. Throughout her career, Mozgovaya has covered several military conflicts and crises in different parts of the world – from the second Intifada, second Lebanon war and the disengagement from Gaza to the hostage crisis in Moscow in October 2002, post-elections violence in Kenya and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Mozgovaya has interviewed numerous high-ranking officials in several countries, has written feature stories and opinion pieces for various Israeli and Russian outlets, and has been a frequent guest as public speaker in U.S. universities, think-tanks, and media outlets. She holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel-Aviv University.

Expertise: Pacific Northwest, Digital Transformation, Social Media, UX Design, 360 immersive storytelling, Drones, OTT, Cloud migration, audience engagement, U.S.-Russia Relations, Middle East

Languages: English, Russian, Hebrew

Location: Seattle, Washington

Twitter: @mozgovaya

Heather Murdock

Middle East Correspondent

Currently VOA’s regional correspondent based in Istanbul, Heather Murdock has been covering conflict and humanitarian issues since she began working as a foreign journalist in 2009. She has worked in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia and covered the European refugee crisis and the war in Ukraine.

Heather has also worked with The Associated Press, The Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg News, The Washington Times, CBS Evening News, CNN, PRI’s The World, The New Statesman, GlobalPost, Radio France International, The Daily Beast and others.

For VOA, Heather has directed three award-winning documentaries and won the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award in 2017.

Expertise: Middle East politics and society, refugee crises and other human rights disasters, Islamic State and other militant groups.

Languages: English, Arabic

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Twitter: @VOANews

Aru Pande

National Security/Foreign Policy/Defense Editor

As National Security/Foreign Policy/Defense editor, Aru Pande heads a team of correspondents focused on the U.S. role overseas. Pande served as VOA’s White House correspondent from 2014 to 2016, traveling with the WH press corps to Kenya, Ethiopia, India and Paris. She covered the landmark U.N. climate change agreement, the Iran nuclear deal and the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria. Pande also covered the 2016 U.S. presidential primaries, traveling across the country to talk to American voters about the issues that matter most to them. Prior to the White House, she served as South Asia bureau chief from 2013 to 2014, based in New Delhi. Pande began her career at VOA in 2007 as a writer and then regional editor on the South Asia desk, covering among other issues, the U.S. war in Afghanistan, counterterrorism, and political unrest in Pakistan. Prior to VOA, she spent nearly a decade as a local reporter and anchor at WJLA/Newschannel 8 in Washington D.C., WTAJ-TV in Pennsylvania, WBOY-TV in West Virginia and KDUH-TV in Nebraska. Pande holds a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Expertise: South Asia, White House, US foreign policy

Languages: English, Hindi

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @aru_pande

Penelope Poulou

Senior International Broadcaster

Penelope Poulou was born in Greece and came to the US in 1986 to pursue a Ph.D. in History at Kent State University. While completing her studies there, Poulou discovered the significance of popular culture in history and focused her research on the subject matter. In 1989, while teaching at the University of Akron, she incorporated the study of movies into her classes to help her students understand more viscerally the cultures and political environments they were studying. In 1993, Poulou was offered a full time position as a reporter and radio broadcaster at VOA Greek Service in Washington, D.C. There, she covered politics, science and culture. In 2000 she accepted a position as a radio broadcaster and reporter at the English Features unit of the Voice of America. In 2003 she worked with a select group on the daily radio show “Main Street” covering topics about American life, culture, society and politics. At that time she developed a segment on film and entertainment interviewing filmmakers and actors on a number of topics about the film industry. In 2005 she trained extensively in video editing and TV Production and started her own TV coverage on film and popular culture. Since then, she has interviewed countless of celebrities, award winning actors, movie producers and filmmakers. Her work features regularly on VOA’s international broadcasts, on VOA’s website and other online sites. Poulou holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the American College of Greece and a Master of Arts in History of the Balkans from the University of London.

Expertise: Domestic & International Films

Languages: English, Greek

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

Anita Powell

White House Correspondent

Anita Powell is Voice of America’s White House correspondent. She comes to that beat after a long tour as VOA’s Southern Africa correspondent, where she covered 15 African countries, out of Johannesburg. Before officially joining VOA, Powell worked as a freelance journalist for the news agency, as well as other news outlets, such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, Al Jazeera and The Root, covering numerous topics and events on the African continent, including the death of Nelson Mandela. She has extensively covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other global hotspots and has reported from Pakistan, Ethiopia, Congo, Ukraine, South Africa, Zimbabwe and a number of other countries. In 2020, she was part of a team that received USAGM’s David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for coverage of the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Powell began her career in journalism as a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, in Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s Plan II Honors Program and a published fiction writer.

Expertise: U.S. Politics, Southern Africa, African Politics, African Conflicts, Pan-African Trends

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOANews

Carolyn Presutti

Senior Washington TV Correspondent

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy-award winning television correspondent who has worked in VOA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters since 2007. Presutti’s expertise is profiling people affected by U.S. policies or politics. She also is a rotating anchor for VOA’s weekly show, “The Inside Story.” In 2023, she and her team won a Clarion award for a January 6 project that included an exclusive jailhouse interview with a man serving time for his role and a Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcast Association (CAPBA) award for “NYC Jammin’” about the tight security during the United Nations General Assembly. In 2022, Presutti and her team won another CAPBA award for “The GPS Man Trapped in Afghanistan.” In 2021, Presutti aired an exclusive jailhouse interview with a convict of the January 6th riots and an exclusive series on the COVID compassion fatigue of nurses. In 2020, Presutti covered the presidential campaign and the election, reporting live from Wilmington, Delaware, on election night for VOA’s News Center. She was chosen as a 2016 Nathanson Scholar at the Aspen Institute in Colorado, where her concentration was Artificial Intelligence. Her awards include a Silver World Medal, the AP Broadcaster’s Best of Show, a Clarion, and a National Capital Emmy. Prior to VOA, Presutti worked at CNN, AARP and as D.C. correspondent and co-anchor of the political show “Capital Conversation” for Belo’s 23 TV stations. Her first job in Washington was as morning anchor at WUSA-TV (CBS). Presutti holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Communications from The University of Akron in Ohio.

Expertise: General News, International News,

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @CarolynVOA

Cindy Saine

US State Department Correspondent

As the State Department Correspondent, Cindy Saine covers U.S. foreign policy and international affairs for the Voice of America. Previously, she served as Congressional Correspondent for seven years and thereafter joined the White House Press Corps in April of 2016. Saine began her career with the Voice of America in 2001, as an Editor in the News Center. Prior to joining VOA, she worked as a parliamentary correspondent and newscaster for Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster based in Bonn and Berlin. Saine holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and spanish from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she studied abroad at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. In addition, she earned the Goethe Institute’s German Language Diploma in German language, culture and literature from the Ludwig Maximilian Universitaet in Munich.

Expertise: U.S. Foreign Policy, Human Rights issues, U.S. Race Relations, Immigration, US-Europe ties, U.S-Russia relationship, President Barack Obama's legacy, Workings of the White House and the U.S. Congress, White House and Capital Hill relations.

Languages: English, German, Spanish

Location: Washington, DC/ US State Department

Twitter: @cindysaine

Jeff Seldin

National Security Correspondent

National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin covers what is happening, why it is happening and how that influences what may happen next. Seldin has reported extensively on the spread of terror groups like Islamic State and al Qaeda, as well as on Russia’s efforts to make itself an indispensable player on the world stage, Iran’s ventures across the Middle East, and North Korea. Before becoming national security correspondent, Seldin covered the Pentagon and U.S. military affairs for VOA. Prior to VOA, he worked at all-news radio WTOP, at Federal News Radio in Washington, D.C., and as a stringer for CBS Radio, covering government and a variety of business and consumer issues. He has also worked in television and radio news in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. His travels have taken him across much of Europe and parts of North Africa and the Middle East, where he reported on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and worked on an archaeological dig. He holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Syracuse University.

Expertise: national security, terrorism, counterterrorism, homeland security, intelligence/espionage, violent extremism, cyberwarfare, cybersecurity, NATO

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @jseldin

Fatima Tlis

Investigative Reporter, Polygraph.info

Tlis is the investigative reporter for VOA on Polygraph.info, a globally aware and nonpartisan website responding to disinformation and misinformation around the world. She has written extensively on extremism and terrorism and has covered the Boston Marathon bombing. Prior to VOA, she was Editor in Chief of the Regnum News Agency, worked as a special correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, and reported for the Associated Press. In 2007, 2009, and 2012 she testified before the United States Congress on human rights and freedom of expression in Russia. In 2015, she was among three journalists invited to the White House by former President Barack Obama on World Press Freedom Day, in recognition of their contributions to freedom of the press globally. Tlis was a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2007-2008) and a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University for the 2008-2009 academic year. She has won international awards including the Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University; the German Zeit-Stiftun Award; the British Rory Peck Freelancer’s Choice Award; the Human Rights Watch award; the Amnesty International Media Award. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Russian language and literature from Stavropol University, Russia.

Expertise: Extremism, Terrorism, ISIS/ISIL, Foreign Affairs, Russia, Caucasus, Central Asia, the Balkans.

Languages: English, Russian, Circassian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @fatimatlis @PolygraphInfo

Patsy Widakuswara

White House Bureau Chief

Patsy Widakuswara covers the White House and leads a team of VOA reporters from various language services on the beat. With more than 25 years of experience in international broadcast journalism, she produces comprehensive, contextual TV, Radio and Web articles on the White House and U.S. administration for VOA’s nearly 312 million international audience. Prior to her post at the White House, Widakuswara was senior producer and anchor for VOA’s Indonesian service, where she supervised the service’s development and production of news and current affairs programs, anchored several shows and served as the main reporter for breaking news and major events, as well as the main producer for long-format investigative pieces. She has worked in TV and radio stations around the world including BBC, Channel 4 UK and Metro TV Indonesia. Widakuswara holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations, specializing in Asia-Pacific security issues, from Universitas Indonesia. She was awarded the Chevening Scholarship by the British government and obtained a Master of Arts in TV journalism from the University of London.

Expertise: U.S. Politics, Indonesian Politics, Indonesian Media and Culture, Religion and Race Relations

Languages: Indonesian, Javanese, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @pwidakuswara

Sarah Zaman

Islamabad Bureau Chief

Sarah Zaman is the Islamabad Bureau Chief for the Voice of America. Prior to her appointment, Sarah served as interim managing editor for web and digital, editor, anchor, interim executive producer, and reporter for 15 years at VOA Urdu in Washington D.C.

She has covered a diverse range of topics such as Pakistan’s political and economic crises, U.S. elections, Black Lives Matter movement, U.S. foreign policy for Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, educational opportunities in the U.S. for international students, and issues facing Pakistani diaspora, and American Muslims. Sarah has hosted live global town halls for VOA on a variety of topics. In 2008, Sarah won a student Emmy Award for her documentary ‘Bismillah’ which followed a Muslim-American woman’s run for city council in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sarah has appeared on major international and Pakistani news channels as a panelist.

She holds a Master of Arts degree in documentary film production from the University of Florida.

Expertise: Pakistan, U.S.-Pakistan relations, Pakistan-China relations, Pakistan-India relations, Human Rights, Economy, Afghanistan-Pakistan relations.

Languages: English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi

Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Twitter: @voanews

Mariama Diallo

Regional Correspondent Africa

Mariama Diallo is an international correspondent for VOA’s News Center. Diallo previously served as the Africa Correspondent and Nairobi Bureau Chief for VOA’s Africa Division. Prior to this role, Diallo was a senior reporter covering national and world affairs for Voice of America in multiple languages in Washington, D.C. In addition, she recently served as the VOA acting bureau chief for the agency’s West Africa office.

For many years, Diallo co-hosted Straight Talk Africa, one of VOA’s flagship programs, and VOA60 Africa, a 60-second daily news roundup program. She is also a regular, long-time contributor to many other programs.

Fluent in French, English, Fulani and Wolof with knowledge in Spanish, Turkish, Swahili, Portuguese, Creole, and many more, Diallo began her journalism career at state radio and TV in her native Senegal where she studied at the school of Economics at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. She later graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Computer Science.

Expertise: General News, Foreign Affairs, US Africa Policy, Sub-Sahara Africa

Languages: English, French, Wolof, Fulani

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

Persian Language Service

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Ebrahim Biparva

Supervisory Managing Editor, VOA Persian

Ebrahim Biparva joined VOA Persian in 1999 with a background in education management, college level teaching and research and journalism. Biparva completed his university studies in law and political science at the University of Tehran and political science and sociology at American University in Washington, D.C. He taught Middle Eastern history; political science including U.S. government and politics; sociology of the media; principles of psychology, and basic economics and logic. Biparva has published research papers, reviewed books and compiled two volumes about Iran’s last prime minister before the revolution. For more than 20 years, he has been working for the Persian service radio and television in various positions including manager, supervisor, editor, anchor, reporter, writer and translator. He has translated the U.S. Constitution and prepared the biographies of U.S. presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush which are broadcasted in Persian. Biparva has served as a news editor, news desk editor, planning manager and managing editor for VOA Persian television, and as a senior copy editor for the web. In addition, he hosted an interactive live radio program for more than two years and launched economic as well as youth programs.

Expertise: Social issues, Iranian diaspora, human rights, Iran-U.S., Middle East

Languages: Farsi, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAIran

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Sara Dehghan

Multimedia Journalist, VOA Persian

Sara Dehghan is a familiar face for Iranian audiences, since she has been reporting, anchoring, and producing TV shows for 15 years. She has extensively covered Iranian affairs across the spectrum; from politics to health and medicine; from social media trends to the inner workings of the Iranian society, particularly women, the youth, arts, and culture. She has hosted daily news and live call-in shows, covered breaking news, and produced and hosted flagship youth arts and culture magazine programs on topics such as censorship in Iran and youth issues in an Islamic country. She has also produced several documentaries and has conducted exclusive interviews with officials from the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the State Department, as well as officials from the Pfizer pharmaceutical company and other health organizations. In addition to television, Dehghan is heavily involved in digital reporting where, most recently, she played an important role in the coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran and around the world for all VOA Persian digital platforms. She holds a Master of Science in biotechnology and regulatory affairs from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in cell biology and molecular genetics from the University of Maryland.

Expertise: Iran's political, social and cultural affairs, social media trends, U.S. culture and politics, scientific news and developments

Languages: English, Farsi

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VoaSaaraa

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Siamak Dehghanpour

Senior Correspondent, VOA Persian

Siamak Dehghanpour has been an international broadcaster at VOA Persian since 2003. Dehghanpour played a key role in the launching of VOA Persian’s television programs to Iran, serving as lead reporter and correspondent of its flagship news program. During his career at VOA, Dehghanpour has traveled extensively to cover U.S. presidential elections and major news events throughout the United States. He has interviewed many American officials, newsmakers and politicians. He was the television host and managing editor of the “Ofogh” program from 2011 to 2015. Prior to joining VOA, Dehghanpour owned a publishing business in Iran and worked for numerous publications as a production manager, managing editor, and board member. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in film directing from the Faculty of Cinema and Theater of the University of the Arts in Tehran and is currently attending American University for a Master in Fine Arts in film and media. Dehghanpour has produced independent documentaries in Iran and the U.S. and was invited to speak on the future of journalism at an international conference in Ukraine in 2013. He has also talked about the challenges of journalism in today’s world and discussed film and philosophy at various virtual forums in 2020 and 2021.

Expertise: U.S., Iran and Middle East

Languages: English, Farsi

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @sdehghanpour

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Guita Mirsaeedi

Senior Correspondent, VOA Persian

An award winning journalist, with 33 years of experience in radio and television news broadcasting, Mirsaeedi has covered international relations with a focus on U.S. foreign policy since joining VOA Persian in 2004. As the service’s State Department correspondent, she has interviewed numerous U.S. officials and diplomats focusing on developments related to Iran. Mirsaeedi has traveled extensively overseas and domestically covering NATO summits, nuclear summits, the G-20, the G-7, the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program and was embedded with the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf during one of its routine patrols in the region. She has also traveled to Israel at times of heightened tensions and concerns about Iran, interviewing officials and experts, and has covered the UN General Assembly since 2010, as well as U.S. elections and inaugurations since 2008. In addition, she’s one of two simultaneous translators of the service, having interpreted the speeches of numerous top U.S. officials live for VOA Persian’s audience. She has a degree in business administration from Mount Vernon College and a Master of Science in information systems management from American University.

Expertise: U.S., Iran, Middle East Foreign Policy

Languages: English, Farsi

Location: Washington D.C.

Twitter: @VOAIran

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Farhad Pouladi Najafabadi

International Broadcaster, VOA Persian

Farhad Pouladi joined Voice of America in late 2014 with more than 20 years of reporting experience for national and international news wires. He has reported from numerous natural disaster areas in Iran, conflict zones such as Iraq and has extensively covered the Islamic Republic’s complex politics for international audiences, as part of Agence France Presse reporting team in Iran. Since joining VOA Persian he has covered the presidential primaries and elections in 2016 and 2020, as well as a number of UNGAs and multitude of congressional hearings, mostly focusing on Iran. He has also covered the Iranian diaspora in the U.S.

Expertise: Iran, Persian Gulf, Middle East

Languages: Farsi, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @FPouladi

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Rozita Azizi Namini

International Broadcaster, VOA Persian

Rozita Azizi Namini is a field reporter and TV anchor for VOA Persian, reporting on the most critical topics related to Iran; from politics to social media trends, with a focus on youth and women’s rights. Namini has had important roles in a number of special programs to Iran and has covered many important news events in the U.S., such as presidential inaugurations, the State of the Union address and the United Nations General Assembly. She speaks fluent Farsi and English and understands the Azari language. She is a familiar face for millions of Iranians and has built trust with the service’s audience, keeping in contact with millions of Iranians within the country and around the world. Namini holds an associate’s degree in communications from Montgomery College and is working on her bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Expertise: Iran's political, social and cultural affairs, social media trends, U.S. culture and politics

Languages: Farsi, English, Azerbaijani

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voairan

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Shahla Sadighi

International Broadcaster, VOA Persian

Shahla Sadighi joined VOA Persian in 2007 and for the past decade has covered the U.S. Congress among other assignments for the service. She has also covered presidential elections, the State Department, important national news events and has interviewed numerous senior officials and members of the Congressional leadership, as well as other prominent personalities. Sadighi started her carrier as a news anchor with the National Iranian Radio & Television (NIRTV) in pre-Islamic revolution Iran. In 1976, she was assigned to NIRTV’s London Bureau as a foreign correspondent. Following the Iranian Revolution, she Joined BBC’s World Service at Bush House in London as a freelance contributor. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 where she joined renowned film maker Steve York’s team for the Farsi productions of two documentaries: “A Force More Powerful”, an award winning feature-length film and PBS series about non-violent resistant movements around the world, released in 2000, and the Farsi production of the “Bringing Down a Dictator”, a documentary about the downfall of former President of Serbia and convicted war criminal, Slobodan Milosevic. Sadighi holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Tehran Damavand College.

Expertise: US Foreign Policy, National Security, Terrorism

Languages: English, Farsi

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAIran

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Arash Sigarchi

Internet Managing Editor, VOA Persian

Arash Sigarchi is an award winning journalist and blogger for VOA Persian since 2009. Sigarchi started his career in journalism as a teenager writing on sports for local publications. As a college student in Tehran, he reported for reformist newspapers. In 2000, he moved back to his home town in northern Iran and worked as editor-in-chief for Gilan-e-Emrouz (Gilan Today), a small local paper. At about the same time, he started a blog, “Panjare Eltehab” (Window of Anguish) which featured news, commentary, and poetry. Sigarchi became a prominent member of Iran’s online dissident community reporting human rights violations on his blog. He was arrested in 2005 as part of a sweeping crackdown on the opposition. Convicted on trumped up charges of espionage and undermining national security, he was sentenced to three years in prison. After more than a year in prison, he was diagnosed with cancer and granted medical leave. In 2008, he fled to the United States where he was granted asylum. Sigarchi won top prize at the 2012 Deutsche Welle International Blog Awards – known as the BOBs. He is also a two-time recipient of the prestigious Hellman/Hammett grant awarded to writers who have been targets of political persecution. He holds a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University.

Expertise: Iranian Politics, US & Middle East Policy, Press Freedom, Threats to Press

Languages: English, Farsi

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @sigarchi

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Behrooz Samadbeygi

Lead Multimedia Specialist, VOA Persian

Behrooz Samadbeygi is a seasoned journalist, currently leading social media platforms for VOA Persian Service. With over 20 years of experience in journalism, he began his career at Iran’s ISNA news agency before working for various Iranian media outlets in roles ranging from reporter to managing editor. In 2011, Behrooz leaved Iran and embarked on a new chapter, joining Iranian websites based outside the country. He joined VOA Persian in 2015, and since then Behrooz has made significant contributions across digital and television platforms. From hosting live programs to conducting investigative journalism and producing compelling content, he has consistently excelled in his roles. In 2021, Behrooz was appointed as the social media manager for VOA Persian Service, where he strategically utilizes social media dynamics to engage audiences effectively and enhance the VOA’s online presence. With a passion for journalism and expertise in social media, Behrooz Samadbeygi and his colleagues continue to make a significant impact in the field, shaping the digital landscape and strengthening VOA Persian Service’s position as a prominent voice in Persian media.

Expertise: Iran affairs, Digital platforms

Languages: Farsi, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @samadbeygi

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Reza Derakhshi Salmasi

Supervisory Managing Editor, VOA Persian

Reza Derakhshi Salmasi joined the Voice of America in August 2011. Prior to that, Salmasi had been working with the leading Japanese daily Asahi since 1998 and then joined the Reuters News Agency in 2007. He has been covering all Iran-related affairs, domestically, regionally and internationally in his thirteen years of journalistic experience in Iran. Salmasi has been covering the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers since when it began in 2003 up until early 2011 when he left the country. Salmasi was a member of the Thomson Reuters specialized team covering Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Expertise: Iran, Middle East

Languages: Farsi, English

Location: Washington D.C.

Twitter: @RDerakhshi

Ayesha Tanzeem

VOA South and Central Asia Division Director

Ayesha Tanzeem is the Director of VOA’s South and Central Asia Division. Prior to the November 2021 appointment, Ayesha was Chief of Voice of America’s Afghanistan and Pakistan bureau based in the city of Islamabad, Pakistan. She was one of a few foreign correspondents that traveled to areas under the control and influence of the Islamic State militant group while it was at the peak of its power in eastern Afghanistan in 2015. Her reporting brought to light tales of harrowing cruelty and suffering, earning her the David Burke award for Courage in Journalism. She was also host of “On the Line” and “Access Point with Ayesha Tanzeem,” two VOA current affairs TV shows. Tanzeem has lived and worked in three continents — Asia, Europe, and North America — working for various media outlets including the BBC. She has covered subjects as widespread as U.S. presidential elections, terrorism, and conflicts in the Middle East, the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., the Syrian refugee/migrant crisis in Europe, and the efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, she covered issues related to politics, governance, militancy, terrorism, and human rights, particularly women and minority rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She frequently traveled to conflict zones in both countries to capture first hand accounts of life under the shadow of violence. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Georgia State University.

Expertise: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Human Rights, US-Pakistan relations, Afghanitan-Pakistan relations, India-Pakistan relations, US-Afghanistan relations, Pakistan-China relations, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syrian migrants to Europe, Afghan migrants to Europe

Languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi

Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Twitter: @VOANews

Afghan Language Service

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Ayub Khawreen

Senior Editor/Correspondent, VOA Afghan

Ayub Khawreen has covered the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan since 9/11/2001 when he was working with Afghan refugees as a spokesman for UNHCR in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 2007, Khawreen joined VOA Afghanistan and since then he has been a lead reporter on U.S. politics and foreign policy issues with a focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most recently, he covered the U.S.-Taliban talks in Doha, Qatar, and the resulting efforts to broker a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban. In addition to being a Fulbright Scholar, Khawreen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan, and a Master of Arts in international relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Expertise: Afghanistan, Pakistan

Languages: English, Pashto, Urdu, Dari

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voadariafghan

Hasib Danish Alikozai

Chief, VOA Afghan

Hasib Danish Alikozai currently serves as the Chief of VOA Afghanistan overseeing VOA’s broadcast to Afghanistan on radio, digital, locally affiliated TV stations and satellite in both Dari and Pashto languages. Alikozai took over the service in July of 2021 and directed the service’s response to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August of that year, playing a key role in expanding VOA’s programming in the country at a critical time. He oversaw the launch of a 24/7 direct-to-home TV channel for Afghanistan, as well as several new TV shows with VOA’s affiliates including Tolo TV and Shamshad TV, the country’s two most popular private TV channels, at a time when local media came under pressure by the Taliban. Alikozai also helped launch several daily radio shows namely “Afghan Narratives,” “Today in Afghanistan” and “Hardtalk,” increasing VOA’s radio programming from 8 to 12 hours a day. The new radio shows are providing Afghans with a much-needed platform to raise their voices in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Previously, Alikozai was the managing editor of VOA’s Extremism Watch Desk (2017-2021), overseeing the coverage of news related to terrorism and extremism around the world. He has also served as the supervisory news editor (digital) for VOA’s South and Central Asia division. Before joining the Voice of America in 2009, Alikozai served as a cultural adviser at NATO Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs from Georgetown University, as well as a Master of Arts in global security studies with a concentration in economic security from Johns Hopkins University and a second master’s degree in international development and foreign service from American University’s School of International Service.

Expertise: Foreign Policy, National Security, South and Central Asia, Counter-Insurgency, International Development, Transnational Threats, Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Extremism

Languages: English, Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Farsi

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voadariafghan, @voapashto

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Najiba Khalil

International Broadcaster, VOA Afghan & Host of "World of Women"

Najiba Khalil is the host of Voice of America’s “World of Women” radio call-in program in Dari, dedicated to women’s rights issues in Afghanistan. Khalil’s extensive study in gender equality and philosophy defined her as the lead journalist on women’s issues for the Afghan service. The goal of the program is to motivate Afghan women to participate in civic debates and on-air discussions of issues that affect their daily lives such as health care, literacy, and economic opportunity. Previously, Khalil was the co-host of “Najiba-Noshaba,” Voice of America’s weekly, mixed language — Dari/Pashto – call-in radio program. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communication with a concentration in television, radio, and gender equality from William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Expertise: Afghan Women’s Issues, Gender Equality

Languages: Dari, Pashto, English

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOADariAfghan

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Shaista Sadat Lami

Managing Editor, VOA Afghan

Shaista Sadat Lami is the Pashto language managing editor for VOA Afghan team’s Ashna TV and radio. She has been working as a reporter, live show anchor, and managing editor for the service since 2002. In the last 20 years as a working journalist, Lami has covered important international events and reported for Ashna radio and television, for pashtovoa.com, as well as VOA English, covering the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009 in Washington, D.C., the UN General Assembly in New York and the Democratic National Convention in 2008. She traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan, to cover the Afghan presidential elections and has interviewed a number of high officials, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Afghan former Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid, EU’s Ambassador to Kabul, Pierre Mayaudon, as well as high-profile U.S. officials, including the late Senator John McCain, former U.S. Secretary of State, John Carry, First Lady Laura Bush and many members of Congress. Lami has been invited by academic institutions to speak on the progress and status of women under Afghanistan’s former government. One of those institutions was the University of Indiana where she spoke about the Afghan women’s struggle throughout history. Lami studied mass communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university in New Delhi, India, and has received many VOA awards for exemplary journalistic achievement.

Expertise: Afghan-Pakistan politics, women's issues, South Asia affairs, counter extremism

Languages: Pashto, Dari, English, Urdu, Farsi

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOAPashto

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Lina Rozbih

TV and Radio Senior Editor, VOA Afghan

Lina Rozbih joined Voice of America in 2003 as a broadcast journalist for VOA Afghan’s radio shows. Since then, she has served in various TV and radio support and leadership positions, including editor, lead-anchor, and managing editor for programs in the Dari language. Her in-depth knowledge of Afghan politics and her linguistic ability is evident in the quality of the service’s programs she sought to infuse with diversity of views and multicultural perspectives. She is an acclaimed and award-winning Afghan writer and poet in the Dari language, and is the author of The Promise of Paradise, a collection of poems published in India and available in the U.S. through Amazon.com. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Concordia University and a second degree in communications, media and cinema from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada.

Expertise: Afghanistan, Iran, Canada, U.S. foreign policy, gender and women’s rights, literature and poetry

Languages: Dari, Farsi, English, French, Hindi, Urdu

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOADariAfghan

Azerbaijani Language Service

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Dilshad Aliyarli

Multimedia Editor, VOA Azerbaijani

Dilshad Aliyarli is a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience in broadcasting and digital media. She is currently the multimedia editor of VOA Azerbaijani. She has also briefly served as the service’s acting chief. Aliyarli was an important contributor to the launch of VOA Azerbaijani’s TV programming in 2004 and was the first anchorwoman of the first daily and weekly TV shows transmitted from Washington to Azerbaijan. Since then, she has presented more than 500 editions of the flagship weekly “America Icmali,” the first professionally executed TV show introduced by international media to Azerbaijan. In addition to her work as an anchor and editor, Aliyarli has also contributed stories on culture, fashion, and women’s issues to various magazines in Azerbaijan. Her book “Goy qursagi” (Rainbow), about prominent women in the world, was published in Azerbaijan in 2016. She holds a master’s degree in Arabic and Azerbaijani Literature and Languages from Baku State University in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Expertise: Azerbaijan, U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, media, press freedom, women’s rights

Languages: Azerbaijani, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voaazeri

Photo of Asgar Asgarov, Ph.D.

Asgar Asgarov, Ph.D.

Chief, VOA Azerbaijani

Asgar Asgarov, an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined VOA in 2004, is currently the Chief of VOA Azerbaijani. Previously, he briefly served as Acting Division Director of the South and Central Asia division, appointed in July 2021 from his prior position as the Acting Program Manager. During his tenure at VOA, he has worked in numerous capacities which have included news casting, production, and program development. As the anchor of VOA Azerbaijani’s prime time TV shows and radio programs, he has interviewed government officials, legislators, experts and dissidents on a vast range of subjects. Dr. Asgarov has expertise in global history, international affairs, and U.S. foreign policy. He has frequently filed reports and conducted interviews on human rights violations and democracy-building. He holds a doctoral degree in history from the University of Maryland. He received his Master of Arts in Russian and East European studies from Stanford University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with Magna Cum Laude from St. Olaf College. He has taught at the University of Maryland and George Washington University. Dr. Asgarov speaks five languages including Azerbaijani, Russian, French and Turkish.

Expertise: global history, international affairs, and US foreign policy

Languages: Azerbaijani, Russian, French, Turkish

Bangla Language Service

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Anis Ahmed

International Broadcaster, VOA Bangla

Anis Ahmed started his broadcasting career 27 years ago at the BBC in London. He came to VOA Bangla in 2001. During this long career in broadcasting he has reported on a variety of issues and produced countless programs on topics ranging from violent extremism to poetry and music. Prior to his broadcasting career, Ahmed was an assistant professor of English language and literature in the Universities of Dhaka and Chittagong. He holds a Master of Arts in English literature from Dhaka University and a Master of Science in applied linguistics from Aston University in Birmingham, England. Ahmed has also written seven books of poetry that were published in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Expertise: Extremism in South Asia, South Asian regional issues

Languages: English, Bangla

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOABANGLA

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Satarupa Barua

Chief, VOA Bangla

Satarupa Barua is the Chief of VOA Bangla. Prior to this position, she served as the social media editor for Voice of America’s News Center where she was responsible for growing VOA’s English language social media platforms and contributed to the implementation of the digital first strategy by expanding the social media team from an afterthought to a key and well-rounded component of all editorial and coverage decisions. She also developed strategies for broader reporting and programming to hit benchmarks for engagement and influence. Barua graduated from the University of Dhaka with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Anthropology. She also holds a Master in Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge. She recently completed a six-month long leadership development program focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Expertise: Bangladesh, U.S.-Bangladesh Relations, Bangladeshi Diaspora in the U.S., Rohingya, Diversity and Inclusion in Journalism, Social Media, Digital Journalism, Multimedia Story Telling

Languages: Bangla, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOABANGLA

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Ahsanul Huq

International Broadcaster, VOA Bangla

Ahsanul Huq joined VOA Bangla in 2006, as the service launched its first TV program. Since then, he has been involved with the service’s TV, radio, web and social media programming and regularly contributes to VOA Bangla’s weekly TV show “Hello America,” popular with Bangla speakers not only in Bangladesh, but also in India and around the world. Huq’s media career started in 1995 when he joined the BBC’s Bangla service as a regular contributor. In 1999, he became head of news for the first Bangla TV channel in the UK. Later he also worked for BBC Monitoring. Hug received VOA’s Gold Medal Award in 2016 for his outstanding work. He studied Indian cinema at SOAS University of London and English literature at Dhaka University. He loves sports, literature and music.

Expertise: Media, radio, Bangla politics

Languages: Bangla, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @VOABangla

Deewa Language Service

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Iftikhar Hussain

Managing Editor, VOA Deewa

Iftikhar Hussain is the managing editor of VOA Deewa, Voice of America’s multi-media Pashto broadcasts to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions. He reports on China’s growing influence in Pakistan, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, intra-regional trade initiatives and Pakistan’s military policies in the Pashtun and Baloch regions. His coverage also includes stories about the impact of violent extremism on the lives of Pashtuns across the region, as well as stories about detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In addition, Hussain has covered the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of State, as well as U.S. think tanks delving into policy towards the Afghanistan-Pakistan region in the post-9/11 period. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan, as well as a professional certificate from the International Institute of Journalism in Berlin, Germany. He was also a Jefferson Fellow at the East West Center in Hawaii.

Expertise: China’s growing influence in Pakistan, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, intra-regional trade initiatives and Pakistan military policies in the Pashtun and Baloch regions.

Languages: Pashto, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voadeewa

Nafees Takar

Chief, VOA Deewa

Nafees Takar oversees multimedia broadcasts as the Service Chief for VOA Deewa. Takar joined the Voice of America in 2006 to launch the newly created VOA Deewa that broadcasts to the critical Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Prior to VOA he worked at the BBC in London. He has also worked as stringer, reporter and producer for Deutsche Welle, The Christian Science Monitor, the Italian news agency ISNA and various newspapers in Pakistan. With more than 20-years of experience in journalism, Takar has covered extensively the topic of religious extremism in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Great Britain. In 2015, he moderated a panel discussion with Nobel Peace Laureate and girls’ education activist, Malala Yousafzai, hosted by the Voice of America’s Deewa Radio and Television Service in cooperation with the Newseum. He holds a master’s degree in English literature and a bachelor’s degree in Muslim history from the University of Peshawar.

Expertise: Religious Extremism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Great Britain, US-led War on Terror, Minorities and Human rights in Pakistan

Languages: English, Pashto, Urdu

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @voadeewa

Kurdish Language Service

Mutlu Civiroglu

TV Host & Web Editor, VOA Kurdish

Mutlu Civiroglu has 20 years of experience as a journalist and analyst. His expertise spans various topics, including Kurdish affairs, human rights, and freedom of the press in Turkey and the Middle East. His area of concentration is the Kurdish issue in Syria and Turkey, particularly the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fight against ISIS and other extremist groups. Media outlets like BBC, ABC, France 24, CTV, AJ English, DW frequently interview Civiroglu, and he is quoted by major news agencies including AP, AFP, and Reuters about developments in the Middle East and North America. In addition, he is regularly invited to academic conferences and panel discussions to speak about the Kurdish regions in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Civiroglu joined VOA in 2009, as a radio and TV host. He is the editor of the Kurmanji website of VOA Kurdish and the host of the weekly Facebook Live show “From Washington,” where he focuses on the critical developments in the U.S. Prior to VOA, Civiroglu worked as a stringer while in college in Ankara. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education.

Expertise: Kurdish issue, Turkey, Syria, Middle East, YPG, YPJ and SDF fight against ISIS and other jihadist groups

Languages: English, Kurdish (Kurmanji dialect), Turkish

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @mutludc

Dakhil Elias

International Broadcaster, VOA Kurdish & Host of "Kurd Connection"

Dakhil Elias, joined VOA in 1999 as an international broadcaster. Born in Sheikhan, Iraq, a town of mixed population of Yazidis, Christians, and Muslims, Elias is the host of two weekly shows: “Kurd Connection” (TV) and “We and Politics” (Radio). Prior to VOA, he worked as an editor, writer and researcher for Lalish, a magazine based in Duhok, Kurdistan, specializing in Yazidi research and cultural studies in both Kurdish and Arabic languages. He also worked as an editor, translator, and journalist for the daily newspaper, “New Kurdistan” and translated the book “Yazidis and their Religion” by Kurdish writer Shakir Fatah. Elias has participated in multiple conferences and meetings within the Department of State, Congress, Department of Defense, the UN, as well as academic institutions on the topics of Iraq, Kurdistan and religious minorities in that region. He is also the founder and director of the American Ezidi Center in Washington D.C., dedicated to educating the U.S. government, institutions, scholars, and the public about Ezidi history, heritage, and culture. He’s a graduate of the Technical University in Baghdad, Iraq and holds a Bachelor of Arts in government and international politics from George Mason University.

Expertise: Kurdistan issues, US Kurd Policy

Languages: English, Kurdish, Arabic

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOAKurdish

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Sirwan Kajjo

Multimedia International Broadcaster, VOA Kurdish

Sirwan Kajjo joined VOA in 2012 as an international broadcaster at VOA Kurdish. He was born in the town of Amuda in northern Syria. From 2015 to 2012, he worked for VOA’s Extremism Watch Desk, where he focused on Islamic militancy, extremism, and conflicts in the Middle East and beyond. Prior to VOA, Kajjo worked for a number of news outlets and research centers in Washington and abroad. He has written two book chapters on Syria and the Kurds published by Indiana University Press and Cambridge University Press. He is also the author of “Nothing But Soot,” a novel set in Syria.

Expertise: Extremism, Terrorism, Militancy, Kurdish affairs, Syria conflict, Press freedom.

Languages: Kurdish, Arabic, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @SirwanKajjo

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Balen Salih

International Broadcaster, VOA Kurdish

Since 1999, Balen Salih has served as an International Broadcaster in VOA Kurdish. Prior to coming to the U.S., Salih was sentenced to death by the Iraqi security forces for leading a student demonstration against Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1982. Later that year, he was freed by a general amnesty. Salih is one of the main anchors of the VOA Kurdish TV show “Kurd Connection.” His timely interviews with Kurds and Arabs in the diaspora have a strong following. In addition, his reports on Kurdish lifestyle and cultural events are very popular with the service’s audiences. Salih holds a High Diploma of Accounting from the Al Resafe Accounting Department in Baghdad.

Expertise: Kurdistan

Languages: English, Kurdish

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOA_Kurdish

Turkish Language Service

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Melek Caglar

Acting Service Chief, VOA Turkish

Melek Caglar is a veteran reporter with more than 20 years of experience in print journalism, broadcasting and digital media. She is currently the Acting Service Chief of VOA Turkish. Prior to this she served as the managing editor of VOA Turkish, overseeing TV, web and social media operations. She led the coverage of major events in Turkey, including the constitutional referendum, the first presidential elections under the new system, the 2016 failed coup attempt, the diplomatic rift between Turkey and the U.S., the 2018 local elections and the Istanbul New Year Reina nightclub attack. Previously, Caglar worked as a VOA reporter, TV anchor and web editor. She covered many stories, including U.S. and Turkish elections, U.S.-Turkish diplomatic and economic relations, U.S. presidential visits to Turkey, NATO summits, as well as the IMF and World Bank meetings. Before joining VOA, she worked for the Turkish newspaper “Hurriyet” as a business editor, specializing on research and analysis. She started her career at “Barometre” as a business reporter and rose to the position of Assistant Managing Editor in a short period of time. She holds an MBA from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Istanbul University. Caglar was also a recipient of a British journalism fellowship at London City University.

Expertise: Turkey politics, Turkish-U.S. relations, press freedom

Languages: Turkish, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @voaturkish

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Ozkul Mehmet Toroglu

International Broadcaster, VOA Turkish

Ozkul Mehmet Toroglu is an international broadcaster with VOA Turkish. Prior to joining VOA in 2016, he worked as a diplomatic correspondent in Ankara and then as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s main news agency. Throughout his career, he has covered developments in major hot spots of the world, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as major news stories, including international summits and World Bank and IMF annual meetings. He has also interviewed a number of high level officials, as well as well-known business leaders and opinion makers. Toroglu is a graduate of Ankara University’s Journalism School.

Expertise: Turkish Foreign Policy, Turkish Politics, Turkish-American Relations, Turkish Economy

Languages: English, Turkish

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOATurkish

Urdu Language Service

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Muhammad Atif

Executive Producer, VOA Urdu

Muhammad Atif is a multimedia content editor, anchor and journalist with more than 25 years of experience in broadcast journalism. He joined Voice of America in 2006. Prior to that he was a field reporter for Pakistan Television (PTV) and contributor for BBC Asia. He is currently the executive producer for VOA Urdu. He has also served as VOA Urdu’s managing editor for the web and digital media. Atif is one of the pioneers of FM radio in Pakistan and has extensively covered U.S. foreign policy towards Pakistan and South Asia, U.S.-Pakistan relations, the war on terror, counter terrorism and the dispute of Kashmir. He is also an amateur cricketer and a music lover. He holds a bachelor’s degree on business administration from the University of Lahore, Pakistan.

Expertise: Pakistan, Pakistani Diaspora in America, Pakistan’s political, social and cultural affairs, US-Pakistan relations, South Asia, Social Media management and best practices, digital and multimedia story telling.

Languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @URDUVOA

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Aisha Khalid

Managing Editor, VOA Urdu

Aisha Khalid is a veteran journalist who started her career as a reporter and anchor in Pakistan. She has been the managing editor for VOA Urdu’s TV team for the last seven years. In Pakistan, her reporting focused mainly on social issues such as drug use, poor urban planning, private education and more. At Voice of America, Khalid began her career as a TV reporter and backup anchor for VOA’s first ever TV program to Pakistan in 2005. She was part of the founding team of “Beyond The Headlines,” VOA’s flagship TV show for Pakistan. At VOA she reports on human interest stories, women’s issues, the economy, US-Pakistan relations and Pakistan’s relations with other countries. Aisha Khalid is well versed in issues concerning Pakistani women, youth, healthcare, as well as U.S.-Pakistan relations and Pakistan’s relations with countries like India and Afghanistan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, zoology and botany and a Master of Science in zoology from Pakistan’s University in Punjab.

Expertise: women, youth, healthcare, U.S.-Pakistan relations and Pakistan’s relations with other countries

Languages: English, Urdu

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @URDUVOA

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Tabinda Naeem

Managing Editor, VOA Urdu

Tabinda Naeem is the managing editor of VOA Urdu. A long-time media professional with a degree in mass communication, Naeem started her journalistic career in Pakistan’s leading print and television outlets 20 years ago. Having worked not only in Pakistan, but also in UAE, the UK and the U.S., Naeem has a deep interest in telling stories that can bring change or provide solutions to complex problems. She has been part of VOA Urdu’s exclusive coverage of the U.S. elections in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Naeem has a keen interest in exploring and experimenting with new techniques of storytelling on digital platforms, while staying true to ethical and objective journalism. In addition, she likes learning new languages and discovering cultural nuances to get a better understanding of foreign policy issues and cultural relationships of South Asian nations with the world. Tabinda is proficient in Urdu, Hindi and English and currently is learning Turkish.

Expertise: Pakistan, South Asia, visual storytelling, film-making, literature, languages, culture, women's issues, politics

Languages: Urdu, Hindi, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @URDUVOA

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Amish Srivastava

Multimedia International Broadcaster

Amish Srivastava is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and creative producer at South and Central Asia division of the Voice of America. For the last ten years, he has been creating new visual products and strengthening content for the SCA division and other VOA services. In 2010, Srivastava conceptualized the VOA Media Lab, which produces multiple visual news projects and pilot programs. This content is used by South and Central Asia division services, as well as twenty-five other VOA language newsrooms. His latest hour-long documentary ‘Hell and Hope‘ has been nominated and screened in more than ten international festivals, including the Venice TV Awards (Italy), ABU Awards (Japan), and Peloponnisos Film Festival (Greece). Before joining VOA in 2007, Srivastava was a roving correspondent in India. His top reporting includes covering the U.S.-Iraq war from Iraq, Kuwait, and Turkey, reporting from Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban from power in 2003, covering the India-Pakistan Kargil war from the battlefield in 1999, as well as the Indian general elections and multiple U.S. presidential elections. Srivastava attended the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, one of India’s premier institutes for journalism. He also studied creative writing at UCLA’s extension program and direction at the New York Film Academy.

Expertise: Documentary, Video Production, Screenplay

Languages: English, Hindi

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @Voaurdu

Uzbek Language Service

Navbahor Imamova

International Broadcaster, VOA Uzbek & Host of "Amerika Manzaralari"

Navbahor Imamova is an anchor, reporter, multimedia editor and producer at VOA Uzbek. She has covered Central Asia and the U.S. for more than 20 years on TV, radio and online. Since 2018, she has also been reporting from inside Uzbekistan as the first-ever U.S.-based accredited correspondent in the country. During 2016-2017, she was a prestigious Edward S. Mason Fellow in public policy and management, while earning her mid-career master’s in Public Administration at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. As a key contributor to the launch of Uzbek television programming at VOA in 2003, Imamova has since presented more than 1000 editions of the flagship weekly show, “Amerika Manzaralari,” which covers American foreign policy focusing on Washington’s relations with Central Asia, as well as life and politics in the U.S. She speaks frequently on regional issues in Central Asia, as well as Uzbek politics and society, for policy, academic, and popular audiences. Her analytical pieces have been published in leading academic and news outlets including The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and The National Interest. Imamova also is the founding President of the VOA Women’s Caucus. She began her career at the Uzbek state broadcaster in Tashkent. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of Mysore, India and a Master of Arts in journalism from Ball State University, Indiana.

Expertise: US-Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Central Asian/Uzbek Diaspora, Media, Journalism, Social Media

Languages: English, Uzbek, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @AmerikaOvozi

Odil Ruzaliev

International Broadcaster, VOA Uzbek & Host of "Daily TV News-Xalqaro Hayot"

Odil Ruzaliev is a reporter, radio and TV anchor, web editor and producer for VOA Uzbek since 2005. Prior to joining VOA, he worked at the State Radio and TV of Uzbekistan, BBC International’s Central Asia region, and was a regular Contributor for CNN World Report. He has also worked as an Information Assistant at the US Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He was the creator and host of the TV program First Channel News, Uzbekistan’s first English language news broadcast. In his spare time he is a freelance photographer. A native of Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan, Odil graduated from the Uzbekistan State World Languages University. In addition, he was an exchange student at Pace University in New York City and holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Expertise: Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan media, US-Uzbekistan relations, Uzbeks in America.

Languages: English, Uzbek, Russian

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @AmerikaOvozi

Michelle Quinn

Supervisory Editor, Real Time News Desk

Michelle Quinn serves as Supervisory Editor of Voice of America’s Real Time News Desk. She previously served as Voice of America’s Silicon Valley Bureau Chief. Prior to joining VOA, Quinn was the business columnist for the Bay Area News Group, the largest publisher of daily and weekly newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including its flagship, San Jose Mercury News. Prior to that, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2002, she was selected for the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship program at the University of Michigan. Quinn holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Expertise: Business, Trade, Tech Industry

Languages: English

Location: San Francisco, CA

Twitter: @michellequinn

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Matthew Baise

VOA Director of Digital Strategy and Audience Development

Matthew Baise is VOA’s Director of Digital Strategy and Audience Development. In this role he leads audience development across web, mobile, and social platforms for VOA’s 45 languages. He joined the agency in 2010 as Internet Managing Editor for VOA’s English website, where he restructured operations and workflow to double target audiences in his first year. Prior to VOA, Matthew was with the Tribune Company as Head of Digital Media at The Baltimore Sun, where he was among key leaders instrumental for the merger of print and online teams into a single newsroom. Prior to that he held various positions as an editor, reporter, and web producer. He received a Bachelor of Science from James Madison University in Political Science, English, and Philosophy.

Expertise: Metrics/analytics, digital journalism, social media, audience development

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

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Bill Baum

Senior Advisor to VOA Director

Bill Baum was appointed Senior Advisor to the VOA Director in June 2016 and works on various projects for VOA. Prior to that, he was VOA’s East Asia and Pacific Division Director since October 2010, where he oversaw ten language services with operations in seven countries, producing multi-media news, information and language learning programs. He also served as Chief of the Chinese Branch for ten years, where he oversaw expansion of the Mandarin Service’s live television programming to seven days a week, launched VOA Cantonese’s first television program for distribution in Hong Kong and expanded English-learning programs. Baum previously served as Operations Manager and National News Director for the Taipei International Community Cultural Foundation in Taiwan, a commercially-run duopoly. In addition, he served as Asian News Director and Assignments Editor for Metro Broadcast Corporation’s 24-hour all-news channel in Hong Kong, launched in 1991 and as City Editor for the China News in Taipei, Taiwan, where he conducted investigative reporting of Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, constitutional reform and many other issues. Baum received his Master of Arts degree from National Cheng Chi University in Taiwan and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington and Lee University.

Expertise: China, Taiwan

Languages: English, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @VOANews

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Gary Butterworth

Refugee Program Manager

Gary Butterworth is one of the rare Americans who grew up listening to Voice of America. His interest in VOA lead him to an internship with the agency that evolved into a career that has brought him assignments in eight countries and with six VOA language services. A TV news producer at heart and by background, Butterworth transitioned into management to launch VOA’s refugee program in 2019. This initiative ensures that forcibly displaced communities are able to access VOA content and that stories of displacement reach global audiences. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from Syracuse University.

Expertise: International broadcasting, VOA operations, television news production, refugees, displaced communities

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Hai Do

Chief, VOA Learning English

Hai Do is the Chief of VOA Learning English, a multimedia source of news and information for millions of English learners worldwide. Learning English began as Special English in 1959 with international shortwave broadcasts for more than half a century. Hai joined the service in 2014 and expanded its programs to include additional English teaching materials over the internet, social media and television. Prior to joining VOA, Hai was an Assistant Managing Editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, responsible for www.inquirer.com, multimedia, as well as national and foreign news. Hai previously worked as Director of Photography for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Gannett Newspapers. He also worked as a reporter and photographer with Gannett Newspapers, Agence France-Presse and United Press International. Born and raised in Vietnam during the war, Hai and his family escaped after the fall of Saigon on a cargo vessel and were rescued by a U.S. warship in the South China Sea. They were eventually granted refugee status and settled in the United States.​ Hai currently leads VOA Learning English’s effort to assist the UN Refugee Agency with English education training at refugee camps.

Expertise: Internet, Social Media, Photojournalism, English as a Second Language Education, Vietnam

Languages: Vietnamese, English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Clara Dominguez

VOA Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives

As the Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Clara Dominguez develops partnerships with other organizations to build relationships and projects on journalism and audience development that further the vision and mission of Voice of America. Prior to June 2022, she was the Director of the Latin America Division and oversaw broadcasts to Haiti and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas over radio, television and web. Previously, Dominguez was Managing Editor of VOA’s multi-platform News Center, where she led teams of journalists worldwide covering U.S. and international news. Dominguez began her career with VOA in 2010 as Managing Editor of the Latin America division and later Director of the division (2013). Prior to joining VOA, she serve as News Director at the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami, Florida. In the past few years she has published on several topics including the evolving role of social media and the threats to freedom of the press in Latin America, as well as the Hispanic vote in U.S. elections. She is engaged in a number of journalism organizations, including the News Leaders Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the InterAmerican Press Association. A native of Havana, Cuba, Dominguez has a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami’s School of Business.

Expertise: Journalism, Strategy, Marketing, Audience Engagement, Digital Media, Latin America, U.S. News

Languages: English, Spanish, French

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Brad Gensurowsky

Senior Art Director

Industry-leading and Emmy Award-winning Art Director, Creative Director, and visual storyteller Brad Gensurowsky comes to VOA with over two decades of experience defining brand identity, content design, marketing, and advertising nationally and globally. Brad joined VOA in January 2020. Before Voice of America, Brad authored and co-authored some of broadcast television’s most iconic brand and image campaigns for the NBCUniversal Television Network’s Entertainment division, NBC Sports, The Olympics, MSNBC, and CNBC. As Vice President of On-Air Design at NBCUniversal, Brad created, built, and helmed from the ground up the first in-house Broadcast Design and Creative service of any significant commercial broadcaster. Brad’s presence at Voice Of America has influenced the launches of the VOA OTT Platform, The Whole Picture VOA Brand Film, VOA brand unity, and individual language services on-screen presentation refreshes. Brad continues to work toward brand unity, curation, and strengthing the VOA image across all platforms.

Expertise: Branding and Design

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Nigel A. Gibbs

Public Relations Officer

Nigel Gibbs is a Public Relations Officer with Voice of America and has worked with the agency in various capacities since 2018. Prior to joining VOA as a federal employee, he worked briefly as a communications manager in international programs at Population Reference Bureau, with the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC). While there, he assisted with translating public health research findings into easily digestible formats for a wide array of audiences and participated in his team’s various communications efforts. At Voice of America, Gibbs manages the network’s corporate website and social media accounts, writes articles and press releases, and supervises VOA’s studio tour program, which saw more than 1,500 visitors annually in 2019. His experience spans both public and private sectors, and he has lived and worked abroad in both Jamaica and Brazil. He holds a master’s degree in strategic communication from American University and a bachelor’s degree in history with a concentration in Asia and the Middle East from the University of Hartford.

Expertise: Social Media, Global Communications

Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese

Location: Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @insidevoa

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Carol Guensburg

News Standards and Best Practices Associate Editor

Carol Guensburg has served as VOA’s associate editor for news standards and best practices since August 2022. She joined VOA in 2014 as a News Center web editor and writer. In early 2017, she was selected as a “bridge” editor, first with the Latin America and then Africa divisions, shaping and bringing out coverage from various language services for broader audiences on multiple platforms. She also helped train emerging journalists reporting for “Lifeline,” a radio program for ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees and their neighbors in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Guensburg has collaborated on numerous VOA projects, including as a lead editor and writer for a project examining child marriage around the world. Prior to VOA, Guensburg edited and reported for Scripps Howard News Service’s Washington bureau. Concurrently, she co-founded American Food Roots, an award-winning online magazine of food, culture and history. She has extensive experience in print media, primarily with the Milwaukee Journal – where she led the Sunday magazine and food section – and then the merged Journal Sentinel. She left to launch and direct the Journalism Fellowships in Child & Family Policy, a University of Maryland program that trained and supported U.S. journalists in covering how social policies and programs affect people. At UMD, she also was an assistant editor for American Journalism Review, a journal exploring news media developments and challenges. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she majored in journalism, Guensburg is a member of the Journalism and Women Symposium, the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Expertise: News writing and editing, journalism standards and ethics, intercultural communications, diversity and inclusion

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Euna Lee

Head of Program Acquisitions and Commissioning

Euna Lee, an award-winning journalist, steers the strategic direction of VOA’s feature content, overseeing the production of the 52 Documentary series and VOA’s special projects. Lee’s leadership has led to a notable enhancement in the quality of VOA’s long-form content, expanding its scope and appeal. Within her initial two years, she has garnered over 18 awards, including five finalists. Known for her adeptness in project management and her deep understanding of global interests, Lee’s meticulous approach has been instrumental in ensuring the program’s excellence in global content distribution. In 2023, VOA’s flagship program, 52 Documentary, experienced a 100% increase in affiliate interest, and Lee successfully positioned the program on global affiliates’ platforms, expanding VOA’s presence in challenging regions through collaboration with the business development team. Lee joined VOA in 2017 and established the Korean service’s inaugural TV team. As executive producer, she launched seven original TV programs that quickly gained viewership, propelling the Korean service to one of VOA’s top 10 YouTube channels within a year. In 2019, she was appointed Special Assistant to then VOA Deputy Director. Before VOA, Lee worked with Fusion media, AJ+, and Al Jazeera TV networks, reaching an audience of over 3 million viewers. Her name gained international recognition after being detained in North Korea while filming a human trafficking documentary for Current TV, co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. Lee authored “The World is Bigger Now,” recounting her 140-day detention in North Korea. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Expertise: Content Strategy, Journalism, Documentary, Visual Storytelling, Digital Media

Languages: English, Korean

Location: Washington, D.C.

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Larry London

International Broadcaster & Host, "Border Crossings" Music Program

As the host of Border Crossings, VOA’s daily interactive radio music show founded in 1996, Larry London has interviewed more than 2,000 music and entertainment industry celebrities including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Adele, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Quincy Jones, and many other notables. London began his radio broadcasting career in 1979 as a high school sophomore at Oak Park High School in Michigan. Prior to VOA, he was on air in major U.S. cities, including Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Los Angeles, and Tampa. He worked in Hollywood at the Unistar Radio Network for show business legend Dick Clark, hosting a daily evening program while serving as Music Director at the network. He has also been an on-air host and Program Director in Asia, working in China, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. He attended Oakland University in Michigan and Northwestern University in Illinois. He taught radio broadcasting at Tarkio University in St. Louis and at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Arlington, Virginia.

Expertise: American Pop Culture and Music

Languages: English, Japanese, Mandarin

Location: Washington, DC

Twitter: @BCVOA

Beth Mendelson

Senior Executive Producer

Beth Mendelson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker focused on issue-oriented programming. Her current documentary, Turkey Breaking the Silence reveals the deep divisions in Turkish society and the evolution of autocratic power against a free press. Other projects for VOA include After Parkland, a series on the aftermath of the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. Beth’s prior work for Voice of America includes the news series Boko Haram: Terror Unmasked, based on 18 hours of original video from Boko Haram, and the documentaries A Single Step, a look at global women leaders hosted by actress Sally Field; AIDS: Living in the Shadows, an unvarnished look at overcoming the stigma of AIDS in communities around the world, hosted by Sir Elton John; John F. Kennedy: A Legacy Remembered, exploring the legacy of the late U.S. president 50 years after his assassination; and Fateful Harvest, that investigated Afghanistan’s opium trade and its challenge to the country’s stability. Her communication career spans 30 years across non-profit organizations, broadcast media, and the U.S. government. She has been an Executive Producer for major American and European networks, including PBS, CNN, ITN, ARD, and MSNBC. She holds a BA in Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Expertise: Documentary filmmaking

Languages: English

Location: Washington, DC

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June Simms

Chief of FM Programming Office/Music Branch

June Simms is an award-winning international radio broadcaster with more than 30 years of reporting, writing, producing, and programming experience. She currently serves as the head of VOA’s FM Programming Office and the VOA Music Branch. She oversees the daily operations and programming of VOA’s customized 24/7 FM streams, which air in more than one hundred cities across Africa and Asia. These FM streams have been strategically programmed with languages, music, features, and other interstitials targeting specific broadcasting markets. Her passion for programming dates back to 1985 when she served as Music Director of VOA’s first contemporary music format broadcast via satellite to medium wave (AM), FM, and cable affiliates throughout Europe. Her career path has included award-winning projects at VOA-Europe, Westwood One, Radio Voyager Satellite Network, WorldSpace Satellite Radio Network and VOA Learning English. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.

Expertise: Strategic Programming, African Music, Contemporary Hit Radio, Pop Culture, Production

Languages: English

Location: Washington, D.C.

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