AEI Russian Expert Leon Aron Tabbed for BBG Seat

Former VOA contributor named by White House
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Leon Aron is President Obama’s choice for one of the open seats on the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Aron is resident scholar and director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank; he’s held that position since 1993. For 14 years he was a weekly contributor at the Voice of America’s Russian language radio and television show “Looking from America”; he is a former adjunct professor at Georgetown University and was a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Deemed by many as a pro-business conservative think tank, the AEI describes itself as a community of scholars and supporters “committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise” without regard to politics.

The White House made the Aron announcement last week. Three seats on the nine-member board are vacant. Jeffrey Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment, is the current BBG chairman. Nominations of Michael Kempner and Karen Kornbluh remain pending.

The board also has indicated it plans to hire Bloomberg Media Group Chairman Andy Lack as its first CEO, as we’ve reported.

Aron was awarded the Peace Fellowship from the U.S. Institute of Peace. He received a B.A. from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is the name of the federal agency that oversees U.S. civilian international media as well as the name of the nine-seat panel that governs the broadcasts. Broadcasters within its network include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí). It is the subject of reform legislation that has passed the U.S. House.

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