Additional speakers will be announced soon.
David Alandete is an executive level editor, journalist, and writer. He possesses extensive experience in digital disruption and research of disinformation and fake news, and was responsible for breaking the news of Russian meddling in the Catalan referendum in Spain. Alandete has more than twenty years working as a foreign correspondent in the United States and the Middle East, as well as editing newspapers both in print and online. He possesses a carefully curated rolodex of trusted international sources on every continent in intelligence communities, governments, NGOs, and the business sector.
Sebastian Bay is a senior expert at the Technical and Scientific Development Branch of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia. Sebastian has a background at the Counter Influence Unit of the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency where he was the project manager for the preparations undertaken to protect the Swedish general elections in 2018. Sebastian is currently the project manager of a NATO StratCom COE project on the malicious use of social media.
Guillaume Chaslot focused his PhD on Monte-Carlo methods for Computer Go. After working at Microsoft, YouTube, and Google, he created the website AlgoTransparency.org to analyze the impact of YouTube's AI on major societal issues. He now works at the University of Paris Est and is an adviser at the Center for Humane Technology.
Chloe Colliver leads the Digital Research Unit at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). Her work focuses on mapping online networks relating to hate speech, extremism, and disinformation in Europe and North America. In her role overseeing ISD’s digital policy work, Colliver has advised major social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, on policy measures and innovative responses for online harms. Colliver’s reports include work on online discourse shifts in the UK far-right following the Brexit vote, analysis of international influence campaigns in the German, Swedish, and Bavarian elections, and digital prevention and intervention models for counter-extremism.
Maxim Eristavi is a nonresident research fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Mr. Eristavi is also a Ukrainian writer, media entrepreneur, and civil rights advocate. He is one of the most well-known English-speaking journalists stationed in Eastern Europe and serves as a founding consultant for the Russian Language News Exchange, the biggest support network for independent newsrooms in Eastern Europe. In 2014, Mr. Eristavi co-founded Hromadske International, a leading independent news startup covering Eastern Europe in Russian and English. He has been a contributor for news outlets such as BBC, CNN, Reuters, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Politico, and the Washington Post, among others. He is the only openly gay journalist in Ukraine and has been an outspoken voice in raising civil rights issues of the region abroad. Mr. Eristavi’s work and bridge-building took him to parliaments and foreign ministries of the United Kingdom and Sweden, the Senate hearings at US Congress, and the EU Parliament. Mr. Eristavi is a 2015 Poynter fellow at Yale University with a focus on informational wars and pan-regional LGBTI civil rights movements. He is also a 2016-17 fellow of the Millennium Leadership Program at the Atlantic Council.
Lee Foster is manager of Information Operations Analysis at FireEye Intelligence, having come to FireEye via the iSIGHT Partners acquisition. Lee and his team specialize in identifying cyber-driven nation-state influence campaigns and non-state actor hacktivism. He holds a Master's degrees in Political Science and Intelligence and International Security, and previously worked in the field of political risk intelligence.
Ambassador Daniel Fried
Ambassador Daniel Fried is a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center. Ambassador Fried has played a key role in designing and implementing American policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Ambassador Fried served as the US Department of State’s coordinator for sanctions policy from 2013 to 2017. Previously, he served as special envoy for the Closure of the Guantanamo Detainee Facility and was assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs under the Bush Administration, as well as special assistant to the president and senior director for European and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council. From November 1997 until May 2000, he served as ambassador to Poland, where he had developed much of his earlier career. Ambassador Fried has focused on designing and implementing US policy to advance freedom and security in Central and Eastern Europe, NATO enlargement, and the Russia-NATO relationship. Ambassador Fried holds a BA magna cum laude from Cornell University and earned his MA at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Geysha Gonzalez is the deputy director for the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council where she oversees programming. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Gonzalez spent two years at Freedom House, a human rights and democracy watchdog, working in various roles including executive assistant to the president and program assistant for the Freedom of Expression team, where she worked on issues related to digital and physical security for human rights defenders. She also contributed to Freedom House’s flagship report, Freedom in the World, and wrote several pieces on the rise of modern dictatorships and international sporting events. Her previous experiences include work as a parliamentary assistant for the British Parliament and on Capitol Hill. Ms. Gonzalez holds a master’s degree in history of international relations from the London School of Economics, where she focused on transatlantic relations during the Cold War in the 1960s and 1980s. She earned her bachelor’s in international affairs with a focus on European politics from Marquette University and spent a year at King’s College London.
Kelly Greenhill is a professor of political science and director of International Relations at Tufts University and a research fellow and chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard University. Greenhill is author of the award-winning Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy. She is completing a new book that explores the influence on international politics of rumors, conspiracy theories, "fake news" and other forms of extra-factual information, provisionally entitled Fear and Present Danger: Extra-factual Sources of Threat Conception and Proliferation. Greenhill’s work has also appeared in an array of peer-reviewed journals and international media outlets, such as the New York Times, BBC, and Foreign Affairs. Her research has been employed in legal briefs in cases argued before the US Supreme Court and in policy briefs and planning guidance for other organs of the US government. Outside of academia, Greenhill has served as a consultant to the United Nations (UN), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Bank, and the Ford Foundation; as a defense program analyst for the US Department of Defense; and as an economic policy intern for then Senator John Kerry. Greenhill holds an SM and a PhD from MIT, a CSS from Harvard, and a BA from UC Berkeley.
Adnan Huskić is president of the Center for Elections Studies. He also works as a lecturer in international relations and politics at Sarajevo School of Science and Technology and manages the projects of Friedrich Naumann Foundation in BiH. He has co-authored several books and articles dealing with foreign policy, external influences, democratization, regional and domestic politics. He frequently comments and provides analyses for Bosnian and international media outlets.
Shanthi Kalathil is senior director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy. Her work focuses primarily on authoritarian challenges to democracy in the information age. Previously in her career, she served as a senior democracy fellow at the US Agency for International Development, an associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a non-resident associate with the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, and as a consultant for the World Bank, the Aspen Institute, and other international affairs organizations. Kalathil has authored or edited numerous policy and scholarly publications, including Diplomacy, Development and Security in the Information Age (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 2013), Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance (The World Bank, 2008), and (with Taylor C. Boas) Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003).
Jakub Kalenský joined the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center in Autumn 2018 as a non-resident senior fellow focusing on disinformation. In this capacity, Kalenský is focusing on raising the awareness about pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign via producing articles and reports on this topic, including for the DisinfoPortal; giving interviews and public speeches; as well as via briefing governments and journalists in Europe. He also works with the Ukrainian Election Task Force as disinformation lead. Between 2015 and 2018, Kalenský worked for the European Union’s (EU’s) East StratCom Task Force as the team lead for countering disinformation. There, Kalenský was responsible for the EUvsDisinfo campaign and its flagship product, the weekly #DisinfoReview. This work also included briefings and trainings of journalists and civil servants, as well as numerous background briefings for the media. Before that, Kalenský worked as a political correspondent in numerous print, online and television newsrooms in the Czech Republic. He was awarded for his work in 2011 with a prize for promising junior journalists. Kalenský has a degree in Philosophy and Russian language and literature.
Péter Krekó is a social psychologist and political scientist. He is an academic and think-tanker. He serves as the director of Political Capital Institute (a think-tank based in Budapest), a senior lecturer at the Social Psychology Department of the Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences in Budapest, and he is a research associate at John Hopkins University SAIS Europe. He was a Fulbright visiting professor at Indiana University in Bloomington in 2016-2017. His interests include conspiracy theories and fake news, the sharp power influence of the Kremlin in Europe, and political populism and tribalism in Europe. He is the author of two books. The Hungarian Far Right was published at Ibidem Verlag at 2017 and distributed by Columbia University Press. His other book on fake news and conspiracy theories was published in Hungarian in 2018 and became a social science best-seller. He is part of several collaborative international research projects on the study of the far-right and conspiracy theories. He holds a PhD, and defended his thesis on the social psychology of conspiracy theories in 2014.
Jelena Milić is the director and chairman of the governing board at the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS), a Belgrade-based think tank. Her research interests include NATO and European Union (EU) affairs, Serbian foreign and security policy, and Russian influence in the Western Balkans and Europe. Milić has served in many roles in foreign policy and government, including as the assistant to Goran Svilanović, the former minister of foreign affairs of both Serbia and Montenegro. She was also active in the non-violent OTPOR movement in Serbia. Milić has authored numerous CEAS reports, including “Basic Instinct: The Case for More NATO in the Western Balkans,” and “Eyes Wide Shut – Strengthening of the Russian Soft Power in Serbia – Goals, Instruments, and Effects.” In December 2016, she was elected as one of the Politico 28 Class of 2017, a list of twenty-eight people who are “shaping, shaking, and stirring Europe.” She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering security management from Union Nikola Tesla University in Belgrade, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree.
Daniel Milo is a senior research fellow at GLOBSEC Policy Institute and a former adviser on countering extremism to the Slovak minister of justice. Milo has led the development and implementation of several large-scale international projects at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Slovak Ministry of the Interior, where he served as national coordinator of counter-extremist policies. He is an internationally recognized expert on radicalization, extremism, and propaganda issues.
Molly Montgomery is a vice president in Albright Stonebridge Group’s Europe practice. Montgomery joined the firm from the White House, where she served as special advisor to the Vice President for Europe and Eurasia. In addition to advising the Vice President on strategy, policy development, and engagement toward Europe, she frequently represented the White House in public and private engagements with the diplomatic, business, and non-profit communities. Previously, Montgomery served as deputy director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs at the US Department of State. There, she helped to lead the US response to the crisis in Ukraine and developed strategies to fight corruption, spur democratic and market-oriented reforms, and increase energy security throughout the region. As a member of the State Department’s Executive Secretariat, Montgomery traveled to more than 20 countries with the Secretary of State. During her 14-year career in the US Foreign Service, Montgomery also served at the US embassies in Riga, Sarajevo, and Kabul and at the US Consulate General in Dubai. Montgomery earned an MPA in International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and holds a BA in Political Science and History from Stanford University. She is a recipient of the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship and a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations. She speaks French, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian.
Vidya Narayanan joined the Oxford Internet Institute as a post-doctoral researcher in the Computational Propaganda Project. She has several years of experience working as a researcher in artificial intelligence, with groups at both universities and in commercial environments. Her research interests lie in the interface between technology, ethics and policy, and she is primarily engaged in developing systems that use technology for the greater good of society. She completed her Phd in Computer Science from the University of Southampton, building adaptive techniques for automated negotiations. Prior to this, she completed her MS in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, working on problems in decentralized decision making, specifically in the defense logistics domain. Her basic background is in Mathematics, which she studied at the masters level at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and as an undergraduate at the University of Madras. She has also worked as a scientific coordinator at BAE Systems and as a software engineer at Tech Mahindra.
Sophie Nicholson is deputy head of social networks and fact-checking at AFP's headquarters in Paris. Sophie took part in the CrossCheck collaborative journalism project around the 2017 French presidential election and now helps to oversee a worldwide network of journalists focused on fact-checking. Sophie previously worked as a reporter and editor in Latin America. She started her career in radio and television at the BBC in London.
Ben Nimmo is a senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab). He specializes in analyzing patterns of online disinformation and influence operations across varying platforms and geographical regions. He previously worked as a journalist, including as EU and NATO correspondent for the German Press Agency, as a NATO press officer, and for the Institute for Statecraft in London. He once walked from Canterbury, England, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, for charity, carrying a trombone.
Liisa Past is a Next Generation Leader at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at the Arizona State University. She is a former chief research officer at the Cyber Security Branch of the Estonian Information System Authority, where she designed, led and carried out analysis related to cyber security, including risk, threat and impact assessments. She has been a driving force behind the Estonian comprehensive risk assessment of elections and the Compendium on Cyber Security of Election Technology, published under the auspices of the Cooperation Group of the EU Network and Information Security Directive. As a Next Generation Leader, Past has the ability to focus on further developing the election cyber security frameworks.
Alina Polyakova is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. She specializes in European politics, far-right populism and nationalism, and Russian foreign policy. Polyakova's book, “The Dark Side of European Integration,” examines the rise of far-right political parties in Western and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining Brookings, Polyakova served as director of research and senior fellow for Europe and Eurasia at the Atlantic Council. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Swiss National Science Foundation senior research fellow. Polyakova's writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, as well as a number of academic journals and media outlets. She has also been a fellow at the Fulbright Foundation, Eurasia Foundation, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Bern. Polyakova holds a doctorate and master's in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's in economics and sociology with highest honors from Emory University. She speaks Russian and German.
Giles Portman has been head of the East Stratcom Task Force in the European External Action Service in Brussels since September 2015. The Task Force was established by the March 2015 European Council and is responsible for improving the EU's communication in its Eastern Neighborhood and its capacity to anticipate and respond to Russian disinformation. The Task Force runs the EU's "EUvsDisinfo" operation. Before this, Portman worked for twelve years on EU-Turkey relations, chairing the EU enlargement working group that negotiated the opening of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations; then as deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Ankara; then as adviser on Turkey to the EU High Representative. He has also served on diplomatic postings to the UN and to Prague, and in the UK Foreign Ministry as EU communications adviser and speechwriter to a former UK Minister for Europe.
Julian Röpcke is a political editor and commentator based in Berlin. He works for BILD, Germany’s largest newspaper and leading online news portal. With a degree in human geography and sociology, Röpcke started analyzing geopolitical conflicts after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. He covered the evolving conflicts in Syria and Ukraine from their very beginning, mainly using open source methods. He also analyses hybrid warfare campaigns, specializing in weaponized information.
Bret Schafer is the Alliance for Securing Democracy’s social media analyst and communications officer. He holds an MA in public diplomacy from the University of Southern California and a BS in communications with a major in radio/television/film from Northwestern University. As an expert in computational propaganda, he has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has regularly been interviewed on NPR, PBS, CNN, and CBS and BBC radio. Prior to joining the German Marshall Fund, he spent more than ten years in the television and film industry, including stints at Cartoon Network and as a freelance writer for Warner Brothers. He also worked in Budapest as a radio host, in Berlin as a semi-professional baseball player in Germany’s Bundesliga, and in Moscow as an intern in the Public Affairs Section at the US Embassy in Russia.
Melanie Smith is an intelligence analyst at Graphika, focusing on online social mobilization, disinformation, and election integrity. Her research uses open-source social media data to map the online recruitment networks of extremists from across the political spectrum and monitor the impact of foreign interference campaigns. Smith holds fellowships at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and ICSR at King's College London, through which she maintains the largest known online database of female members of ISIS.
Clint Watts is a distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a non-resident fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. He is also a national security contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. He recently examined the rise of social media influence in his first book, Messing with The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News. Watt’s research and writing focuses on terrorism, counterterrorism, social media influence and disinformation. From 2014 – 2016, he worked with a team to track and model the rise of Russian influence operations via social media leading up to the US presidential election of 2016. This research led Watts to testify before four different Senate committees in 2017 and 2018 regarding Russia’s influence campaigns against the West. Before becoming a consultant, Watts served as a US Army infantry officer; an FBI special agent; the executive cfficer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC); a consultant to the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) and National Security Branch (NSB); and an analyst supporting the US Intelligence Community and US Special Operations Command.
Jed Willard is director of Global Engagement at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation at Harvard. In this role, he leads the Foundation’s mission to pursue solutions to current challenges with an eye both to their historical origins and to FDR’s personal legacy. Through active cross-disciplinary collaboration between policy-shapers, scholars, and students, the Foundation reintroduces the New Deal and Transatlantic philosophies that inspired effective reforms in the 20th century. Over the past decade, Willard has worked with governments to help them to understand the drivers of public opinion and create strategies and structures to effectively engage citizens. He is currently focused on adaptation to climate change, coping with disinformation and propaganda, and revitalizing faith in liberal democracy. Willard co-founded the Public Diplomacy Collaborative at Harvard Kennedy School, applying social and behavioral science to international communication challenges. Before this he was a founding partner at LanguageCorps, launching sixteen work-abroad programs on four continents with the aim of turning young Americans into citizen diplomats.