Radio Free Asia (RFA), a private nonprofit corporation, has announced the additions of Shanthi Kalathil and Allison Hooker to its Board of Directors. Kalathil, who recently served on the National Security Council (NSC) as Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights, and Hooker, who currently serves as senior vice president at American Global Strategies (AGS), were approved at the July board meeting.
“We’re thrilled to expand RFA’s board with both Shanthi and Allison, who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise,” said RFA President Bay Fang. “With Shanthi’s profound work on China and the information space, and Allison’s extensive background in North Korea and Asia foreign policy, RFA will benefit enormously. I’m delighted to work with them during this exciting time of growth for RFA.”
“I have a deep admiration for RFA’s incisive brand of journalism and am honored to join its board,” Kalathil said. “RFA has filled a critical role in combating Chinese disinformation and providing timely news to millions in Asia who would otherwise be in the dark. I look forward to helping RFA achieve and accomplish more.”
“It’s an immense privilege to join RFA’s board of directors,” Hooker said. “As malign actors in Asia relentlessly subvert democracy and human rights, RFA plays a leading role in pushing back on authoritarian propaganda. I am excited to help this organisation tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
Prior to her appointment at the NSC, Kalathil served as the senior director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. She also held various positions at other international affairs organisations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Early in her career she worked as a reporter at the Asian Wall Street Journal before transitioning to policy and academia.
Before her time at AGS, Hooker held senior positions within the White House, serving as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the NSC and as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Korean Peninsula. Previously, she was a senior analyst for North Korea in the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and worked as the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in South Korea.
The two new board members join Chair Carolyn Bartholomew, Commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; Michael J. Green, CEO of the United States Studies Centre (USSC); Michael Kempner, Founder, President and CEO of public relations firm MikeWorldWide (MWW); and Keith Richburg, Director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.