January 12, 2021 - Updated on January 14, 2021

USA : RSF appoints Anna K. Nelson as new Executive Director

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces the appointment of Anna K. Nelson as the new Executive Director of RSF USA, serving as the Head of RSF’s Office covering the United States, Canada, and the English-speaking Carribean. Ms. Nelson will direct the organization’s mission to protect and defend journalists working both internationally and in the U.S., and will lead its team of Washington D.C.-based staff.

“Anna’s overall objective will be to amplify RSF’s voice and global commitment to press freedom, while defending the importance of journalism in the U.S. itself,” said Christophe Deloire, RSF’s International Secretary General. “Anna starts her position at a critical time: last week’s deadly assault on the U.S. Congress, where journalists say they were roughed up, manhandled, and threatened by rioters, underscores the risks facing the media..”

The Acting Chair of RSF USA’s Board of Directors, Emmanuel Saint-Martin also welcomed her appointment to the role of Executive Director: “We are very happy to be able to count on Anna’s experience and enthusiasm at this stage of development of RSF USA,” said Saint-Martin. “Among Anna’s top priorities will be the drafting of a work plan for the U.S. to address the worrying state of press freedom in the country. I would like to take this opportunity to thank RSF’s D.C. staff for their commitment during this transition period.

“I am humbled and honored to join RSF in its vital mission,” said Nelson. “Now, more than ever, people need to be able to trust in journalism and have access to accurate information, which acts like a vaccine. It inoculates citizens against the viral dissemination of falsehoods and conspiracy theories, and, in doing so, it strengthens the immune systems of democratic societies, making them more stable and resilient. I know I can count on the strong support of RSF USA’s Advisory Board and thank them in advance.”

From 2013 to 2020, Nelson served as the D.C.-based Spokesperson and Head of Communications and Public Affairs for the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Regional Delegation for the U.S. and Canada. In this role, she supported the ICRC’s outreach to external stakeholders, including the media, academic institutions, Congress, think tanks, NGOs and other civil society actors.

Prior to transferring to DC in 2013, Anna worked at the ICRC’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland for six years and before that, at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Anna began her career as a journalist at CBS News in France after graduating from the American University of Paris in 1995. She earned a Master’s Degree in International Journalism from City of London in 2000 and from there, she joined Swiss Radio International (now known as in Berne before being appointed as the media organisation’s Geneva Bureau Chief. She became a humanitarian in 2006.

Headquartered in Paris, with 13 bureaux and sections around the globe and correspondents in 130 countries, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) promotesjournalistic freedom, independence and pluralism all over the world. RSF USA raises awareness, monitors, and takes action to prevent press freedom violations by mobilizing its partners and galvanizing the support of the American people via public campaigns, advocacy work, and engagement with members of the U.S. government and the United Nations.