Alhurra’s mission is to provide objective, accurate, and relevant news and information to the people of the Middle East about the region, the world, and the United States. Alhurra supports democratic values by expanding the spectrum of ideas, opinions, and perspectives available in the region’s media.
Alhurra (Arabic for “The Free One”) is primarily news and information programming. The network hosts a number of discussion programs that examine political and social issues of interest to the audience in the Middle East, airing viewpoints not often discussed freely in the region. Through correspondents at the State Department, White House, Congress and the Pentagon, Alhurra illuminates U.S. policies and domestic debates on those policies for Middle Eastern audiences. Guests from American think tanks and interviews with U.S. officials provide a comprehensive view of U.S. foreign policy as well as a better understanding of the American people and our system of governance. In 2009, Alhurra launched Al Youm (Arabic for Today), a live three-hour daily news magazine that originates simultaneously from five countries in three continents including Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Jerusalem and Alhurra’s headquarters in Springfield, Va.
In addition to reporting news of regional and international events, the channel provides information on a variety of subjects, including health, entertainment news, sports, fashion and science and technology. In April 2004, MBN launched a separate channel, Alhurra-Iraq, which features news and current affairs programming specifically directed at the Iraqi audience.
Alhurra is operated by the non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency. The BBG serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.
Other BBG networks include:
Radio Free Europe: http://www.rferl.org
Voice of America: http://www.voanews.com
Radio Free Asia: http://www.rfa.org/english
Radio and TV Marti: http://www.martinoticias.com
Jeffrey Shell is president of NBC Universal International, a position he has held since 2011.
He previously served as president of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011. Prior to joining Comcast, Shell held a number of positions, including CEO of Gemstar TV Guide International and President of the FOX Cable Networks Group. As president of the FOX Cable Networks, he oversaw the operations of FOX’s entertainment and sports cable programming businesses. He currently serves on the board of the National Constitution Center. Shell earned a B.S. in Economics and Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Shell was confirmed as Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on August 1, 2013.
Dr. Leon Aron
Dr. Leon Aron is Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a position he has held since 1993. He was a weekly Contributor at the Voice of America’s Russian language radio and television show Gliadya iz Ameriki (Looking from America) from 1990 to 2004. Dr. Aron was previously an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University from 1994 to 1996 and a Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation from 1987 to 1992. He was awarded the Peace Fellowship from the U.S. Institute of Peace from 1992 to 1993. Dr. Aron received a B.A. from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.
He was confirmed as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on December 12, 2014.
Michael W. Kempner is the Founder, President, and CEO of MWW, a public relations firm he founded in 1986. He is board member of Goodwill Industries International and a Founding Board Member of ConnectOne Bancorp. He served on the White House Council for Community Solutions from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, he was named Agency Leader of the Year by PR News, Executive of the Year by American Business Awards, and Agency Professional of the Year and Communications Professional of the Year by Bulldog Stars of PR. Mr. Kempner received a B.S. from American University.
He was confirmed as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on December 12, 2014.
Kenneth Weinstein has been President and CEO of Hudson Institute since 2011. Since joining Hudson Institute in 1999, he has held several other positions, including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Fellow, and Director of the Washington Office. From 1996 to 1998, he was the Director of the Government Reform Project at the Heritage Foundation, and from 1994 to 1996, he was Director of Research at the New Citizenship Project. He served on the National Council of the Humanities from 2006 to 2012 and was appointed to the D.C. Advisory Board to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2010. Weinstein received a B.A. from the University of Chicago, an M.Phil. from the Institut d’ Etudes Politiques de Paris, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University..
Weinstein was confirmed as a member of the board on September 23, 2013.
MBN Corporate officers
Brian Conniff, President
Kelley Sullivan, Treasurer
Anne Noble, Secretary
Matthew C. 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, Armstrong 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. Armstrong earned a B.A. and an M.P.D. from the University of Southern California.
Armstrong was confirmed as member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on August 1, 2013.
Amb. Ryan Crocker
Ambassador Ryan C. 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.
His is also the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia. Prior to resuming his position as dean, Ambassador 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. Ambassador Crocker is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service. He earned a B.A. from Whitman College.
Crocker was confirmed as member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on August 1, 2013.
Amb. Karen Kornbluh
Ambassador Karen Kornbluh is the Executive Vice President of External Affairs for Nielsen, responsible for global public policy, privacy strategy, and corporate social responsibility.
Prior to joining Nielsen, Kornbluh was the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 2009 – 2012. Previously, she was Policy Director for then Senator Barack Obama. In the Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Treasury Department and Director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission. Additionally, Kornbluh founded the New America Foundation’s Work and Family Program and is a senior fellow for Digital Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
She was confirmed as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on December 16, 2014.
John Forbes Kerry
On February 1, 2013, John Forbes Kerry became the 68th Secretary of State of the United States.
Previously, Mr. Kerry served 28 years in the United States Senate, with the last four as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
As a senator Mr. Kerry was a leader on key foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States, including nuclear nonproliferation and global climate change. Prior to chairing the committee, Mr. Kerry chaired the Asia and Middle East subcommittees where he authored and passed major legislation on international drug trafficking, international money laundering, humanitarian aid, and climate change, and he helped negotiate the agreement establishing the United Nations tribunal to prosecute war crimes in Cambodia.
Mr. Kerry is represented on the Board by Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.