Jeffrey Gedmin

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Jeffrey Gedmin is a signatory of the Project for the New American Century and sits on the Council for a Community of Democracies. As of February 2007 he is also director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.[1]In June 2007 he attended the Democracy & Security International Conference in Prague, which journalist Jim Lobe has described as a gathering of the 'neocon international'. In December 2001, Dr. Gedmin succeeded Professor Catherine McArdle Kelleher as Director of Aspen Institute Berlin, a post which he held until March 2007. Dr. Gedmin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is also executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative, a coalition of international institutes, politicians, leading journalists, and business executives. The NAI is dedicated to helping revitalize and expand the Atlantic community of democracies.

Dr. Gedmin has written prolifically on foreign and defense issues, including NATO, U.S.-E.U. relations, missile defense and Balkan security. He is the author of The Hidden Hand: Gorbachev and the Collapse of East Germany (1992). He was executive editor and producer of the award winning PBS television program, The Germans, Portrait of a New Nation. He is the editor of European Integration and the American Interest (AEI Press, 1997). [2]He is also a frequent contributor to The Financial Times and the neocon-run Weekly Standard. [3]Dr. Gedmin holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University (ibid.).

Education and Early Career

Gedmin was born in Washington DC in 1958. He holds a Ph.D. in German Area Studies and Linguistics from Georgetown University, a MA in German Area Studies (literature concentration) and a BA in Music from the American University in Washington, D.C.[4]

Gedmin has taught at Georgetown University and is an honorary professor at the University of Konstanz in Germany. He taught for seven years at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., a Jesuit school where he also served as chairman of the modern foreign language department.[5]

Director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Gedmin has been the director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty since February 2007. RFE/RL is a radio and communications propaganda organization funded by the United States Congress. The organization exists in Europe and the Middle East. It broadcasts more than 1,000 hours per week, in 28 languages, via shortwave, AM, FM and the Internet. RFE/RL's official mission statement is "To promote democratic values and institutions by disseminating factual information and ideas."[6]RFE/RL's annual budget of $80 million is received from the US Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In 1995 its budget was $230 million.[7]

On February 14, 2008, the Center for Security & International Studies (CSIS) hosted Gedmin for discussion on "the challenges ahead for international broadcasting in promoting openness and pluralism overseas as part of a smart power strategy."[8] Gedmin discussed his role and RFE/RL's annual budget:

"Now I'm here to kind of sell and spin a little bit, but it's really not hard. I did some quick arithmetic with the help of a colleague yesterday. The sum total of American U.S. broadcasting, if you consider the challenge in al-Qaeda and the war of ideas and American image and anti-Americanism, is about -- I'm told we have problems. I live here but I'm based in Prague now. I'm told we have problems with the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, right? Going to replace the bridge. Well, U.S. broadcasting is about a third of the amount of money we'll spend to replace the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Or, I'm from Vienna, Virginia, grew up in Vienna. We've talked forever about a Metro extension out there. If my arithmetic is right, it's less than one-fifth what it will cost us to build the Metro extension out to where I grew up, Vienna, Virginia. Or, let me be even more specific. My group, my company, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, it is a mighty sum of $80 million U.S. I like hard power, by the way. I think it plays a central role in American foreign policy. But I like soft power too. $80 million, if I have it right, it's about four Apache helicopters."(ibid)

Gedmin was named President and CEO of RFE/RL on 2 February 2007, by the Broadcasting Board of Governors' chairman, Kenneth Tomlinson. Gedmin was initially selected to fill the position by CTPartners – an executive search firm specializing in security and formerly known as Christian Timbers. CTPartners’ vice chairman, Peter Metzger, currently has "personal relationships with the leaders of the nation's intelligence, law enforcement and military departments and agencies,” was former Military Assistant to former American President Ronald Reagan and has served in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). [9]

Gedmin replaced former RFE/RL President, Jeffrey Trimble – the acting president for the two years following from Thomas Dine's resignation as RFE/RL's president in 2005. Dine, having served as the former president of the pro-Israel lobby, American Israel Public Affairs Committee[10], became chief executive officer of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco in 2005. Trimble joined the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in 2007 as Director of Programming until 2008 when he became Executive Director of BBG.

The BBG oversees RFE/RL and other government-funded and internationally broadcasted propaganda networks, including Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Sawa, Alhurra, and Radio and TV Marti [11]. RFE/RL's corporate board of directors is an unelected group of nine appointees to the BBG and consists mainly of private businesspeople and political loyalists appointed by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. Board members include Jeffrey Trimble, Janice Brambilia, Janet Stormes, Timi Kenealy, Joaquin F. Blaya, Blanquita Walsh Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschbert, Steven J. Simmons and Hillary Clinton [12]. Clinton, by virtue of her status as U.S. Secretary of the State, became a member of RFE/RL's Board of Directors and BBG in January 2009.

The BBG, particularly during the eight years of Bush's Presidency, began privatizing and outsourcing broadcasting[13]. In doing so, federal funding transfers from its public Washington-based networks such as Voice of America, to privatised stations such as RFE/RL. BBG-employed foreign workers abroad, unlike U.S. government employees, therefore can be easily dismissed for any reason or no reason, at any time.

RFE/RL claims the performance of "government service" in order to receive tax-free status in the Czech Republic[14]. It is publicly funded with its money coming from US taxpayer dollars in the form of federal grants through the BBG. However, RFE/RL also portrays itself as a private, non-profit NGO with a corporate charter in Delaware[15], and justifies terminating non-U.S. and non-Czech employees with its "employment-at-will" doctrine contained within the "policies of the Company"[16]. The policy is absent from the employment agreements RFE/RL's foreign employees sign and it is not explained by RFE/RL management. While Czech employees are protected by Czech labour laws, RFE/RL employees from third countries are not - a decision made at the insistence of the RFE/RL management[17] . RFE/RL's foreign employees are not protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Federal Civil Rights Act, whereas the American employees abroad are.

That the management of RFE/RL is able to use its own labour policies whilst using foreign labour based in the Czech Republic, suggests RFE/RL's exploitation of Czech laws dating back to 1963, under which foreign companies may use their own labour laws as long as they are not in contradiction with the principles of the "Czechoslovak Socialist Republic"[18]. The law that once allowed the Soviet Union to operate unhindered in Czechoslovakia in the latter half of the twentieth century is presently taken advantage of by the American management of RFE/RL. As such, lower Czech courts, presently bound by the legislation of communist-era Czechoslovakia, cannot protect foreign employees at RFE/RL from arbitrary terminations[19].

It was reported by the Herald News [20] in November 2008 that Czech Senator Jaromir Stetina wrote a letter to Gedmin asking him to intervene in the public accusations of RFE/RL's double standards in the interest of "the reputation and integrity of RFE/RL in the Czech Republic" - yet the same article reported that Gedmin never replied to the senator's letter.

Lawsuits against RFE/RL and BBG

In 2008 two former RFE/RL employees filed legal cases against RFE/RL management and it's supervisory federal organisation, BBG, with the Prague City Court, the Czech Supreme Court and the Czech Constitutional Court. Armenian journalist, Anna Karapetian and Snjezana Pelivan from Croatia, who, having been fired from RFE/RL, both made wrongful termination claims, and charge that RFE/RL employees who do not come from the USA and the Czech Republic are insufficiently protected against unsubstantiated and immediate dismissals. [21] Karapetian and Pelivan were dismissed with no prior warning, with no reason, and after over 10 years of positive performance reviews.

The Czech Constitutional Court, the Czech Republic's highest court, rejected Pelivan's wrongful termination claim in April 2009 on the grounds that her relations with RFE/RL were governed by American, not Czech, laws, as stipulated by her employment agreement[22]. Pelivan will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against the Czech Republic acting as a host country to RFE/RL. As of May 29 2009, Karapetian's case is still to be considered by the Constitutional Courts, the Czech Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights[23]. Pelivan also requested that the Constitutional Court summon Hillary Clinton, in the hopes that Clinton’s testimony would clarify whether RFE/RL Policies are "consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States" and "promote respect for human rights" as prescribed by the United States International Broadcasting Act. [24].

Pelivan, it was reported by Armenian news agency AZG, responded to a question asked by Prague-based non-profit organization, ICCEE, as to whether her lawsuit will end with the Czech Constitutional Court's decision:

"Not at all. It simply removes the last obstacle for the main claim -- to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It will be the first time in the long history of that court that any American organization is accused there of human rights violations. But what an organization! BBG members are appointed by the president himself. Senate confirms them. And BBG is a collective Board of Directors for RFE/RL. I’m a Croatian citizen but I perfectly understand that American Congress spends millions and millions of dollars on RFE/RL to support good public image of America, not to ruin it by shameful court cases abroad. My country, Croatia, has the right to join my case in Strasbourg, and I will ask for it. Just as Anna Karapetian may ask Armenia for support. I admire Hillary Clinton, but I felt sorry for her when I was reading her address to RFE/RL journalists. She had to visit RFE/RL, it is "her" Radio now. But everybody there who listened to her knew about my and Anna’s court cases; everybody knew that she was suggested as a witness against RFE/RL; and everybody knows that we are fighting not only for our but also for their rights and dignity. Fighting against cynical hypocrites in BBG and RFE/RL. It seemed Hillary Clinton became a hostage to them because of her present position. I am sure, not for long. It was a Pyrrhic victory for RFE/RL." [25]

Lev Roitman, retired RFE/RL senior commentator for over 30 years in the New York, Munich and Prague offices, and lawyer by education, responded to a question by ICCEE, as also reported by AZG. Roitman said this about the Czech court decision:

"The Czech court decision simply demonstrates to any reasonable individual that RFE/RL personnel which in native languages heralds on-air messages of human rights, civil liberties, legal protections against arbitrariness, etc., is totally rightless itself [sic]. American courts are for them off limits, Czech courts are of no use. Their master – bread giver, lawmaker, prosecutor, judge, executor – is RFE/RL management. They cannot even protest. Any sign of defiance will end in termination. And no reason should be given. Status of slaves. Or mercenaries. They know it. BBG knows it. RFE/RL management knows it. Hillary Clinton should of knowing it. And the situation is absolutely immoral. Especially, for the United States under Obama administration. This is why I am convinced that Hillary Clinton will act without waiting for the next wave of publicity – when the court cases reach Strasbourg. There is no other way to put an end to lawsuits than to offer negotiated out-of-court settlements. [...] It will be necessary to prove in Strasbourg that labor policies of American RFE/RL correspond to European norms. Well, they don’t. In Germany, RFE/RL did not dare to violate German labor laws. It does not dare to do so in its foreign bureaus, either. And imagine the scope of the scandal if other countries, Croatia and Armenia, will intervene in Strasbourg on behalf of their discriminated citizens…”[26]

On 12 May 2009, it was reported by Hrant Darbinian in Armenian newspaper AZG Daily[27], that Karapetian and Pelivan wrote a petition to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting a criminal investigation into the discriminative employment policies and actions of RFE/RL and its supervising agency, BBG. The petitioners charge that RFE/RL violated their civil, labour and human rights by using fraudulent deception aimed at leaving foreign personnel at RFE/RL without court protection in the Czech Republic or the United States. Referring to Gedmin, Darbinian quoted the petition as stating:

"Due to fraudulent deceptions, RFE/RL president now concentrates, in one person, the functions and powers of a breadgiver, an interrogator, a prosecutor, a judge in his own court without defense, an executor of his own judgment, which is final and must not be motivated. And it is not in Guantanamo, which presently is being dismantled as American legal and political shame [...] Your investigation will help to dismantle at RFE/RL in Prague the remaining preserve of "no rights to foreigners", evidently overlooked till now by the present Washington administration."

As of 12 May 2009, the issue of fraud addressed in the petition, had not been brought up in the Czech civil lawsuits, but will be raised before the European Court of Human Rights. Darbinian reported that copies of the petition were sent to the U.S. Department of State, the White House and Congressional and Senate committees.

Prior to the petition, in January 2009 Karapetian wrote an open letter[28] to thirty freedom of press and human rights organizations entitled, 'Actions of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Betray Its Ideals: American Radio Discriminates Non-American Employees'. In particular, Karapetian wrote:

"At Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty headquarters the non-American employees, mainly broadcaster and editors, are as unprotected against arbitrary decisions and discrimination as their colleagues in the countries to which the Radios broadcast. The methods are different but the results are virtually the same. In RFE/RL target countries the journalists are harassed, persecuted and forced into silence. At the Prague main office, they are harassed and left without means of livelihood and work prospects by arbitrary separations from the Radio..."

Karapetian's letter also pointed out that when RFE/RL operated in Munich, before moving to Prague in 1995, it operated under German Law so all employees were protected by German labour laws. But once it moved to Prague, employees lost that protection.

Roitman said this about Gedmin in Armtown News:

"For Understandable reasons, Mr. Gedmin and Mr. Trimble would not advertise to U.S. media their achievements as public diplomats in the Czech Republic, where RFE/RL is taken to courts, including the Supreme Court [...] Until now, they were engaged predominantly in self-aggrandizing. Sometimes, such acts of self-promotion (presently, rather, of self-protection or even self-perpetuation) are outright comical if not cynical..." [29]

On 5 April 2009, Clinton spoke to RFE/RL employees during a trip to the Czech Republic with Barrack Obama and thanked them "for being part of the values that we hope other people will have a chance to exercise and live under some day"[30]. Clinton made no mention of the ongoing lawsuits against RFE/RL.

It was reported on 15 April 2009 by Armenian news agency, AGZ Daily, that the Czech Parliament would consider an inquiry into RFE/RL practices and personnel policies in the Czech Republic [31].

European Activities

In 2000, during Gedmin's involvement in the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), he wrote about the importance of Europe in the neocon programme and argued the need for the European Union to remain under NATO authority by "discouraging European calls for emancipation”[32] This appeared as a chapter entitled Europe and NATO: Saving the Alliance in Robert Kagan's Present Dangers. Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy,[33]

In 2003 Gedmin, along with Craig Kennedy, president of the German Marshall Fund, was entrusted by the US State Department with a 'public diplomacy' programme which allegedly included clandestine funding of opinion formers and journalists in Western Europe[34] In reference to their 'public diplomacy' approach, Gedmin and Kennedy, in their 2003 Selling America, Short, wrote:

"When a Vanity Fair reporter mischaracterized an interview conducted with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in May 2003, headlines around the world proclaimed that a top U.S. official had finally admitted the truth: the intervention in Iraq was really about American greed for oil. It should be the job of American public diplomacy to challenge such shoddy journalism before popular opinion on a given issue is allowed to solidify[35]

They also wrote:

"If there is a need to get good news out, there is an equally pressing need to knock down slander of the United States in a comprehensive and timely fashion. Misled by their own media and mischievous politicians, many Europeans still believe Americans have tortured prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay facility." [36]

Angel Merkel Connections

After becoming administrator of the Council of the Community of Democracies and director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin in 2001, Gedmin turned down John Bolton's offer of the post of deputy US ambassador to the UN in favour of devoting himself exclusively to the then President of the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.[37]

Throughout the time Gedmin was posted in Germany, he was advising Merkel, who, relying on his advice, became a proxy for US interests in Europe[38]

Merkel was also publicly supported by Friede Springer[39], widow of West German press baron, Axel Springer, who's publishing conglomerate, the Springer Group secretly received around $7 million from the CIA in the early 1950's.[40]

Gedmin is a regular columnist in Die Welt, a publication of the Springer Group. The press group's journalists are allegedly required to sign an editorial agreement laying down that they must work towards developing transatlantic links and defending the state of Israel.[41]

Devon Cross Connections

Journalist Jim Lobe reported connections between Gedmin's, Devon Cross' and Anatol Sharansky's respective affiliations, Case for Freedom, Policy Forum on International Security Affairs, and One Jerusalem, being evident through their participation at the 2007 Prague Democracy and Security International Conference, a common Israel-based IP address, interlocking directorates, and Allen Roth.[42]

Up until March 2008, Cross's Policy Forum on International Security Affairs email account had been hosted by the “” mail server. However Cross has reportedly moved over to the Case for Freedom, while Roth, One Jerusalem’s president, has become associated with the Policy Forum on International Security Affairs.[43] Roth is a long-time aide and adviser to Ronald Lauder and major supporter of former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud chief Binyamin Netanyahu. In 2007 Lauder reportedly gave $1 million to OneJerusalem and a $1 million grant in 2001 to Gedmin, the newly posted head of Aspen Institute in Berlin at the time.[44] Gedmin served as head of the Aspen Institute in Berlin from 2001 - 2007.

Cross, a colleague of Gedmin, praised his work as head of the Aspen Institute in Berlin:

"Jeffrey Gedmin of the Aspen Institute in Berlin put together an impressive network of parliamentary leaders, ministry officials, journalists, and think-tanks that included Europeans as well as Israelis, Turks, and Scandinavians. Meeting regularly on a range of issues, Dr. Gedmin’s efforts were singularly important in keeping a brisk dialogue going among the allies and in keeping Americans aware of both issues and perspectives overseas.[45] "

Recent European Activity

0n 29 April 2009, Gedmin took part in a panel discussion at Vytautus Magnus University with Lithuanian President, Valdas Adamkus, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vygaudas Ušackas, and Grigol Vashadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, to discuss free media in the region, Russian foreign policy and reforms in Eastern Europe. A Lithuanian Government Press release[46] described Adamkus as telling Gedmin, "You have accomplished enormous work in strengthening the faith of our people - both in Lithuania and abroad - in free democratic values and enhancing their hope that a day will come when the people of Lithuania are free to build their statehood"

A month prior to this on March 13, 2009, Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova awarded Gedmin, along with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, the Golden Linden Medal of the Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic at a ceremony in Prague. The medals were given "for the exceptional role played by the recipients toward the enlargement of NATO and, notably, the accession of the Czech Republic".[47]



  • Address: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc
Vinohradska 1, Prague 1
110 00 Czech Republic
  • Phone: +420 22112 3000
  • Fax: +420 22112 3002
  • Website: []


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  2. Aspen Institute Berlin Aspen Institute website, Accessed 25th July 2007.
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  4. Profiles 'Profile - Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin' , Accessed 6 May 2009.
  5. Lithuanian Journalist Union [1], Accessed 7 May 2009.
  6. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, official site [2], Accessed 6 May 2009.
  7. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, press release, [3], Accessed 6 May 2009.
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  9. Peter Metzger, CTPartners profiles, CTPartners, accessed 25 May 2009
  10. Rightweb Thomas Dine, accessed 25 May 2009
  11. Broadcasting Board of Governors About the Broadcasting Board of Governors accessed 20 May 2009
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  18. Hakob Tsulikian Radio Liberty (RFE/RL Betrays its Ideals Armtown News, 12 February 2009, accessed 18 May 2009
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  23. Hrant Darbinian RFE/RL, BBG: From Human Rights Show to Human Rights Court AZG Daily 12 May 2009, accessed 29 May 2009
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  26. AZG Daily 15 April 2009 Public Disaster Instead of Public Diplomacy
  27. Hrant Darbinian RFE/RL, BBG: From Human Rights show to Human Rights Court: U.S. Attorney General Petitioned to Investigate Fraudulent Deception AZG Daily, 12 May 2009, accessed May 27 2009
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  31. RFE/RL: PUBLIC DISASTER INSTEAD OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AGZ Daily, 15 April 2009 Accessed, 1 June 2009
  32. Thierry Meyssan, 2007 Angela Merkel, a Neocon as President of the European Union, Volttaire Net, 16 February, Accessed 4 May 2009.
  33. Gedmin, J., (2000). "Europe and NATO: Saving the Alliance", in Kagan, R. (ed.), Present Dangers. Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy, Encounter, pp. 179-196
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  35. Gedmin J., Kennedy, C., (2003), "" The National Interest, Vol. 74, pp. 71-75 Accessed 7 May 2009
  36. (ibid)
  37. Thierry Meyssan, 2007 Angela Merkel, a Neocon as President of the European Union, Volttaire Net, 16 February, Accessed 8 May 2009.
  38. Brian Self (2007) Washington on the Seine, Cyprus Observer 11 May, Accessed 5 May 2009.
  39. Thierry Meyssan, 2007 Angela Merkel, a Neocon as President of the European Union, Volttaire Net, 16 February, Accessed 8 May 2009.
  40. Blum, W., (ed.), (2003), Killing hope: US military and CIA interventions since World War II. Edition 2, Zed Books
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  42. Jim Lobe, 2008 More on the Likudist Fronts, 2008, 21 April, Accessed 6 May 2009.
  43. Jim Lobe, More on that Meeting in Prague..., 2008, 14 June, Accessed 6 May 2009.
  44. Jim Lobe, 2008 More on the Likudist Fronts,, 21 April, Accessed 6 May 2009.
  45. 2002 Arms and the Foundation: After September 11, national security makes a comeback, Philanthropy Roundtable Magazine, 1 January, Accessed 8 May 2009.
  46. Press Release 2009 Valdas Adamkus: Spreading free word and objective information is necessary for all nations and countries on the path of reforms, President of the Republic of Lithuania, 29 April, Accessed 7 May 2009
  47. Broadcasting Board of Governors March 2009 BBG Highlights website, Accessed 5 May 2009.
  48. Advisory Council:Policy Council members, HJS website, undated, accessed 5 November 2014