Voice of America Director, David Ensor, has announced that he is standing down from his position after four years.
During Ensor’s tenure leading the nation’s international state broadcaster, VOA’s radio, television, and online audience grew by 49 million people to 172 million a week, according to survey data prepared for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America and four other media organizations funded by the U.S. government.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside so many fine journalists,” Ensor said during a meeting with VOA staff. “You have made VOA a social-media leader in South East Asia and an affiliate-model innovator in Latin America.”
Under his leadership, VOA has launched new television programs in Russian, Ukrainian, Persian, Mandarin, Burmese, Urdu, Kurdish, Pashto, Somali, Dari, Creole, English and many more. Ensor initiated a “digital first” reorganization of VOA’s central newsroom and a boost in programming to Africa.
“We are grateful for the leadership David Ensor brought to VOA,” said BBG Chair Jeff Shell. “His deep journalistic roots and rich knowledge of world events were tremendous assets he enthusiastically invested in this venerable organization.”
Prior to joining VOA in June 2011, Ensor was Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He came to VOA as an award-winning journalist in his own right. During his 30 years as a radio and television correspondent, he reported for NPR, ABC News, and CNN and covered such major stories as the fall of Communism in Poland and the Soviet Union, the travels of Pope John Paul II, and U.S. national security issues in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Despite the constraints of diminishing budgets in each of his years as director, Ensor said “VOA has found creative ways to respond to the lies of Vladimir Putin and to the threats of ISIS. And it will be ready to do much more under its next director, if resources can be identified.”
At the meeting with VOA staff, Ensor said, “So long as the VOA Charter of 1976 is never weakened, I know VOA’s professionals will be able continue to serve our country by providing accurate journalism that is honest and independent and thus earns the trust of millions around the world.”
Ensor also thanked the Broadcasting Board of Governors for their trust and said he will stay on the job until the end of May to allow the Board time to search for VOA’s 29th director.