February 14, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC - The Atlantic Council today announced Richard Stengel as a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (@DFRLab).

Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, TIME Managing Editor and author, Richard Stengel has seen and led the transformation of media in the private and the public sector. At State, he led the department’s efforts at countering both ISIS propaganda and Russian disinformation. Stengel remains centered at the crossroads of media, policy and politics – as a strategic adviser to Snapchat and an analyst on MSNBC – and is currently working on a book for Penguin Press on the global information war.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to join the Atlantic Council and its DFRLab which is at the forefront of using cutting-edge techniques to expose disinformation and falsehood around the world. They are a model of the new kinds of institutions that support the pursuit of truth at a time that it is under an unprecedented threat.”

The longest serving Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs since the job was created in 1999, Stengel brought public diplomacy into the 21st century, modernizing State’s communications, expanding the department’s digital footprint, and ensuring that every embassy was on social media.

At the State Department, Stengel launched and led numerous programs and initiatives, including the Global Engagement Center, the United States’ only stand-alone anti-disinformation entity, the Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi, the first joint American and foreign counter ISIL messaging hub ­– now a template for others around the world – and English for All, a government-wide effort that promotes teaching English abroad. He also oversaw all of the department’s extensive educational exchanges including the Fulbright Scholarship.

Prior to the State Department, Stengel was the managing editor of TIME for seven years, transforming it into a digital and social media powerhouse on a global scale. He oversaw all print, digital, and international functions, and redesigned, re-focused and reinvigorated TIME. Under his stewardship, TIME won its first-ever Magazine of the Year Award as well as numerous other National Magazine Awards, including for general excellence. Stengel also won an Emmy for executive producing the TIME documentary: “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience.” Before becoming managing editor of TIME, Stengel was President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

“I am delighted to welcome Richard Stengel to the Atlantic Council as a distinguished fellow,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe. “We are in a paradigm moment in which we must harness opportunities and mitigate threats within our rapidly evolving information environment. No one knows how to navigate that information environment better than Rick, who knows every angle from media to government to technology.”

The @DFRLab is at the forefront of open source research with a focus on governance, technology, security, social media, and where each intersect. By publishing what it can prove, or disprove, in real-time, the @DFRLab is creating a new model of research and education adapted for impact, as well as building a global movement to forge digital resilience.


For more information about @DFRLab or to schedule an interview with Mr. Stengel, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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