The U.S. Senate has confirmed three new members to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The board had been below quorum for some time but with the swearing in of these new members it will be functional.
Jeffrey Shell, Matthew C. Armstrong and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker were unanimously appointed to the bipartisan board. Shell was also confirmed as chair without controversy.
Shell has been president of NBC Universal International since 2011. He previously served as president of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011. Prior to joining Comcast, he held positions, including CEO of Gemstar TV Guide International and president of the Fox Cable Networks Group. At Fox, he oversaw the operations of its entertainment and sports cable programming businesses. He currently serves on the board of the National Constitution Center.
Armstrong is an author, speaker and strategist on issues related to public diplomacy. In 2011, he served as executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Previously, he was an adjunct professor of public diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California. In 2010, he founded and served as president of the MountainRunner Institute and published a blog on public diplomacy and strategic communication. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Diplomacy Council and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
Crocker is dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University — a position from which he had taken a leave of absence to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He is also the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia. Prior to resuming his position as dean, Crocker was a Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University. His 37-year career in the Foreign Service included service as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees of Whitman College.