Kaufman Resigns From BBG

U.S. senator-to-be was instrumental in creation of Radio Free Asia and the move of Radio Martí.
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U.S. senator-to-be was instrumental in creation of Radio Free Asia and the move of Radio Martí.

The election of Joe Biden to the vice presidency has had a consequence at the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Edward Kaufman — an aide to Biden named this week by Delaware's governor to fill Biden's Senate seat for the next two years — has resigned from the BBG. He had been with the board since it was created in 1995.

The organization issued a statement saying Kaufman "has been a dedicated guardian of the journalistic independence of our broadcasters and a passionate advocate of the agency's mission. He helped lead the BBG to become an independent federal agency in 1999, and set a standard for the bipartisan work of the board."

The agency supervises U.S. government-supported, non-military international broadcasting. Its arms 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).

Kaufman "was instrumental in initiating an integrated research program to inform programming and transmission decisions," BBG continued.

"He worked tirelessly to stop censorship of U.S. international broadcasting, most notably of the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia in China. He advocated for emergency surges in broadcast hours to areas of the world — such as Burma and Kenya — when crises erupted. In 1999, during the conflict with Serbia over Kosovo, he helped establish the transmission 'ring around Serbia' that ensured the integrated international broadcasts of accurate news and information in the Serbian language."

The board said he also was instrumental in the launch of Radio Free Asia in 1996 and the move of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and Television Marti) from Washington to Miami the following year.