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RFE/RL President and CEO Jamie Fly to Resign

Gedmin will serve as interim president as the board of directors looks for a replacement

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President and CEO Jamie Fly has announced his resignation, effective June 30. The media organization said Fly is departing to move his family back to the United States and pursue an opportunity in the private sector.

Former RFE/RL president and current board member Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin will serve as interim president and CEO as the RFE/RL Board of Directors searches for a permanent replacement.

Fly was first named RFE/RL president and CEO in July 2019, and served until June 2020. After a brief period at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a non-partisan American public policy think tank, he resumed leadership of RFE/RL in February 2021, according to the organization.

Czech Republic – RFE/RL’s President and CEO Jamie Fly at All-staff Meeting at Prague RFE/RL headquarters, July 12, 2019 (Credit: Lucie Steinzova)

“Fly’s tenure prioritized RFE/RL’s response to Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine through an expansion of RFE/RL’s operations in Ukraine and programming for Russian audiences,” said RFE/RL in a press release. “He also expanded RFE/RL’s focus on Chinese malign influence across Eurasia.”

[Related: “RFE/RL Suspends Physical Operations in Russia“]

In December 2021, RFE/RL said six current and former RFE/RL journalists were named “foreign agents,” which made them subject to onerous financial reporting requirements, ultimately leading to $13.4 million in fines. After suspending its operations in Russia in early 2022, following the start of that country’s invasion of Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty opened new offices in Vilnius, Lithuania and Rīga, Latvia.

“I am honored to have been able to serve twice at the helm of this iconic institution, and to have spent time with the brave and talented journalists and support staff who make RFE/RL’s success possible,” said Fly in the press release. “I am optimistic that despite the authoritarian challenges we face, RFE/RL is well-positioned to excel in our markets and grow our audiences at a time when our independent reporting is needed more than ever.”

Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin led RFE/RL from 2007 to 2011. He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of American Purpose, according to RFE/RL, and previously served as president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, as resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and as executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative. He is also co-chair of the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group, hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

RFE/RL board members Margaret Hoover and Kristin Lord are leading the search process to select a permanent president/CEO. The Board of Directors has retained Russell Reynolds Associates to find a candidate. Inquiries should be directed to [email protected].

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