BBG names first director of Internet Freedom Program Office

BBG names first director of Internet Freedom Program Office

July 8, 2016

The Broadcasting Board of Governors today named engineer and attorney Dr. Nnake Nweke as the first-ever Director of its newly created Office of Internet Freedom.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Nweke is stepping into this new and critical role,” said BBG CEO and Director John F. Lansing.  “He brings a wealth of technology, engineering and cybersecurity experience from both the public and the private sectors, and I’m confident that his outstanding leadership will help further strengthen our efforts to counter censorship of BBG-funded, affiliated, or supported content, and other credible, independent news and information.”

DR. NNAKE NWEKE Director of the Internet Freedom Program Office

As Director of the new Office of Internet Freedom, Dr. Nweke will serve as the principal advisor to the BBG Board, the CEO, and BBG’s five networks – the Voice of America, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks – on technological and innovative efforts to circumvent Internet censorship around the globe.  In this role, Dr. Nweke will lead the development of the BBG’s strategies on combating Internet censorship and will study its impact on BBG programming.

Dr. Nweke’s accomplished career includes more than 15 years of experience in information and communications technology, cybersecurity, Internet policy, engineering systems and technology policy.

Most recently, he served as a branch chief in the Office of Engineering and Technology at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Earlier, he worked as a senior engineer in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC’s Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division, as well as a senior staff member of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, a Technical Specialist/Patent Agent for a Washington, D.C. law firm, and a research engineer at the National Security Agency.

In January 2015, Dr. Nweke founded the Science and Technology Policy Center for Development.  The organization’s mission is to advance knowledge and assist in the development and implementation of robust, comprehensive science and technology policies that achieve sustained economic growth in developing nations, particularly in Africa.

Dr. Nweke has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

He has earned a series of professional honors, including the Meritorious Award from the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau in recognition of his outstanding contributions to enhance the security of the United States’ communications network infrastructure.

The creation of the Office of Internet Freedom solidifies BBG as a leader in this increasingly important area.  Internet Freedom is an interagency effort that seeks to overcome attempts to interfere with, monitor, censor and prevent people overseas from using the Internet as an open platform on which to communicate, innovate, learn, organize and express themselves.

Dr. Nweke’s tenure as Director is scheduled to commence on July 25.

About the BBG

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media. Its mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG networks 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). BBG programming has a measured audience of 226 million in more than 100 countries and in 61 languages.


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