BBC Hires Sumi Somaskanda, Adam Levy, Carl Nasman, Helena Humphrey to Build Out Washington D.C. News Operation

The group will serve as chief presenter, executive producer and senior journalists, respectively

Sumi Somaskanda (Courtesy BBC)

BBC News has made several new hires as it looks to build out its news operation in Washington D.C.

Sumi Somaskanda, a senior presenter and correspondent that covered global politics and current affairs for Germany’s DW News, will serve as the channel’s new chief presenter.

“I’m thrilled to join the BBC and its incredible team of journalists bringing accurate and impartial information to viewers and users across the world,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to being a part of the BBC’s coverage of the biggest stories making news.” 

BBC has also appointed Adam Levy as the channel’s news editor and executive producer, where he will play a key part in building its live programming out of Washington D.C.

Levy joins from CNN, where he worked as a supervising producer, senior producer and producer for some of the network’s most high-profile talent and programs including “State of the Union with Jake Tapper,” “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and most recently “The Assignment with Audie Cornish” podcast launch.

In addition to Somaskanda and Levy, Carl Nasman and Helena Humphrey will join the BBC as senior journalists, reporting both on-air and behind-the-scenes from the field, newsroom and studio.

Nasman joins from NBC News, where he served as global correspondent and climate change presenter, and DW, where he was a news anchor in Berlin. Meanwhile, Humphrey brings over 13 years of experience reporting and presenting for international news outlets, most recently as lead anchor at Euronews and Global Correspondent at NBC News.

BBC is also expanding its team focused on commercial content strategy. New members of the team include Krystal Bowden, vice president of content strategy for global digital news and streaming; Ilyas Kirmani, live and talent strategy vice president; and head of newsletters Danny Boyle.

Bowden, who will be based in New York, will be responsible for identifying new programming opportunities to grow audiences, drive habituation, build brand awareness and increase revenue. She previously served as VP of BBC StoryWorks, where she led the BBC’s branded content studio in North America and Latin America, developing premium content partnerships with leading brands to engage the BBC’s global audience. Prior to that, she led strategic initiatives at leading media companies including NBC News, HBO and CBS Television Stations.

Kirmani will be responsible for ensuring BBC’s live programming is optimized to meet the demands of its North American audience and serve as the lead talent liaison, working closely with internal partners to drive engagement between the BBC’s talent and personalities and its audience. Most recently, Kirmani served as Executive Producer at CNN and previously spent 16 years in various news leadership roles at NBC.  

Boyle, who will be based in London, will be responsible for growing the BBC’s digital reach in North America and across the world, outside of the UK. He has worked in regional and national newsrooms for 17 years, most recently at The Daily Telegraph, where he ran newsletters designed to drive engagement and increase paid subscriptions.

BBC News reaches 50 million consumers weekly in the United States.

Meanwhile,, which offers up-to-the-minute international news, in-depth analysis and features, including BBC Worklife, BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC Travel and BBC Reel, reaches more than 139 million unique browsers each month via PCs, tablets and mobile devices.

BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The channel’s content is available in millions of hotel rooms, on cruise ships and numerous airlines.