Brian T. Conniff – President of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks Inc. (MBN)

 MBN provides news and information in Arabic to the Middle East and North Africa. As President of MBN, Conniff oversees and manages two television networks (Alhurra and Alhurra-Iraq); Radio Sawa; Afia Darfur radio; and their corresponding websites and social media properties. 

According to international research firms such as Gallup, Alhurra and Radio Sawa have an unduplicated weekly reach of more than 26 million people in the Middle East. Sponsored by the U.S. Government, MBN’s mission is to broadcast accurate, timely and relevant news and information about the region, the world and the United States to a broad, Arabic-speaking audience. 

MBN most recent initiative under Conniff’s leadership is “Raise Your Voice”. It is a multi-media campaign that extends across all of MBN’s properties (TV, radio and digital) specifically aimed at addressing the themes used by ISIS to recruit fighters and in general destabilized the governments and societies throughout the region with a special focus on Iraq and Syria.   

Prior to joining MBN, Conniff was the Executive Director of the BBG. He directed the agency’s strategic planning, budget formulation and allocation process, and provided oversight and coordination of all U.S.-funded international broadcasting entities — Voice of America, Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio/TV Martí), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Radio Sawa/Alhurra TV), and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). 

From 1999 to 2002 Conniff served as the acting director of the IBB. In this capacity, Conniff was responsible for the day-to-day management of bureau activities, including the operations of the Voice of America, Radio and TV Martí, and a worldwide engineering and transmission network. During his tenure, IBB made the transition from a radio-based organization to a multi-media enterprise, significantly expanding the use of the Internet and television. This modernization of the BBG’s delivery systems resulted in significantly increased audiences for U.S. international broadcasting. 

Before joining the BBG, Conniff was the Inspector General for RFE/RL from 1989 to 1995. Conniff previously worked for the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. General Accountability Office.