Democratic Defense Against Disinformation

June 13, 2019 - 2:30 pm

Russell Senate Office Building Room 485, 2 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC

Registration is now closed. However, you are welcome to attend and register at the door.

Keynote Remarks:

The Hon. Chris Murphy

US Senator for Connecticut

US Senate

Panel Discussion:

Dr. Alina Polyakova

Director, Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technologies

The Brookings Institution

Ambassador Daniel Fried

Distinguished Fellow, Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center

Atlantic Council

Moderated By:

Ms. Geysha Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Eurasia Center

Atlantic Council

Please join the Atlantic Council for the launch of our report, Democratic Defense Against Disinformation 2.0 on Thursday, June 13, 2019 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Russell Senate Office Building Room 485 (2 Constitution Ave NE, Room 485, Washington, DC 20002).

Foreign interference in democratic elections has put disinformation at the forefront of policy in Europe and the United States. The second edition of Democratic Defense Against Disinformation takes stock of how governments, multinational institutions, civil-society groups, and the private sector have responded to the disinformation challenge. As democracies have responded, our adversaries have adapted and evolved. As the speed and efficiency of influence operations increase, democratic societies need to further invest in resilience and resistance to win the new information war. Democratic Defense Against Disinformation 2.0 is a report card on efforts and a roadmap for policymakers and social media companies.

The report authors, Dr. Alina Polyakova, director, of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technologies at the Brookings Institution and Ambassador Daniel Fried, distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council, will present the main finding and a way forward.

We hope you can join us for this timely discussion.

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2:30 – 2:35 p.m. Welcome Remarks

2:35 – 2:45 p.m. Keynote Remarks

2:45 – 3:35 p.m. Panel Discussion

3:35 – 4:00 p.m. Audience Q&A


Senator Chris Murphy is the junior United States Senator for Connecticut, and has served in the US Senate since 2013. He is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee; the Foreign Relations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; and the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. He focuses on job creation, affordable health care, education, sensible gun laws, and a forward-looking foreign policy. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives, representing Connecticut's fifth congressional district from 2007 to 2013. Before being elected to Congress, Senator Murphy was a member of both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, serving two terms each in the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Connecticut Senate. He holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Dr. Alina Polyakova is the director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technologies at the Brookings Institution. She was previously a David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Foreign Policy at Brookings. 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.

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 of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center where she oversees programming and strategy. She’s also the founder of, an online guide tracking effort to counter disinformation. Prior to joining the Council, Geysha spent two years at Freedom House, a human rights and democracy watchdog, working in various roles including as a member 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. Her work has been featured on The Hill and The Washington Post. She 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.