ISD United States

One of the world's most dynamic societies, the United States feeds the technological revolution - and is also challenged by it

For more than 15 years, ISD has partnered with academic, private and public sector partners in the United States to provide insights and solutions to extremism, disinformation and hate. Today, our work in the US has expanded and we have a permanent office in Washington DC with staff stationed across the country.

ISD’s growing team in the US works with our partners to detect and mitigate threats, protect America’s democratic institutions, build capacity for locally-led violence prevention interventions and drive policy change.

Our work
Our US-based work is rooted in the unique social, cultural, economic and legislative environment that exists in the country. Our projects rely on strong partnerships, online research and practical outreach.

Detecting and mitigating threats

ISD has been a longstanding leader addressing global and domestic threats across the hybridized landscape. In 2015, ISD helped stage the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, directly advising then President Barack Obama and his counter-terrorism team. ISD has continued this work, advising decision makers from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies on evolving threats both on- and offline.

ISD’s partnership with the Center for Internet Security provides real-time intelligence to thousands of law enforcement officials on dynamic threats and regular updates on the evolving risks posed by disinformation and extremist organizations.

Protecting our democracy and targeted communities

With America’s democracy increasingly under attack by a range of actors, ISD has taken the lead in providing regular threat detection, training and insights to groups on the front line of protecting elections and democracy. ISD's US team works with election officials at the state and local level, and directly briefs officials at the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and Congress on these threats to help shape their responses.

In 2022, our elections team conducted daily monitoring of online disinformation and potential threats to election officials, election infrastructure like drop boxes and polling places, and even regular voters looking to participate in democracy. These monitoring reports were shared weekly in key states with governors, secretaries of state, local election officials, and others tasked with ensuring a free and fair vote.

In response to a rise in antisemitism throughout the US, ISD has developed a data analytics system to identify and track online threats against Jewish institutions. This capability, a combination of advanced big data analytics (NLP and machine learning systems trained to the issue set by experts) and human intelligence, can be adapted and applied to other communities increasingly threatened by extremist groups and actors.

Building capacity for community-based violence prevention

The Strong Cities Network (SCN) launched in 2015 at the UN General Assembly to mount a city-led response against hate, polarization and extremism. In the US, SCN facilitates partnerships between member cities including New York, Los Angeles and Denver to design and deploy local responses to these complex challenges, ensuring no city faces these threats alone. Our government partners include Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the US, with additional engagement supported or commissioned by individual members of our network of over 160 cities. 

Additionally, through our partnership with the McCain Institute, ISD's US team is training and building the first US network of frontline practitioners, equipped to recognize and respond to domestic extremist threats. The content for this training has been developed by ISD and builds on work done around the world to support frontline practitioners with the capacity and tools to address local threats. The network has now trained nearly 1000 practitioners, including social and healthcare workers, education providers and law enforcement. 

ISD has also worked with the US State Department and the first Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith, to connect and empower Muslim changemakers from across Europe and North America.  

 

WaE Summit

Sasha Havlicek leading the opening session of the 2022 Eradicate Hate Global Summit in Pittsburgh.

Draper Venture Network

Head of Digital Integrity and Elections, Jiore Craig, spoke to CNN ahead of the 2022 US midterms

ISD at the White House

Sasha Havlicek meeting US President Barack Obama, Washington DC, 2015

ISD US in the media

The ISD US team

Dixon Osburn
Read Bio
Dixon Osburn

Executive Director, ISD US

×
Dixon Osburn
Dixon Osburn

Executive Director, ISD US

Dixon Osburn is the Executive Director of ISD, United States. He has served in non-governmental organizations for three decades addressing diverse issues in domestic and international human rights, security and democracy. Dixon co-founded Servicemembers Legal Defense Network that led the successful effort to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." At Human Rights First, he directed its Law & Security program leading efforts to close Guantánamo, end torture and regulate drones. As Executive Director at the Center for Justice and Accountability, Dixon led efforts to hold accountable international war criminals, including the Syrian regime and Khmer Rouge. Dixon served as a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He is author of Mission Possible: The Story of Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He currently serves as an HFX Fellow with the Halifax International Security Forum. Dixon has testified before Congress and been widely quoted in the press. He received his JD/MBA from Georgetown University and his AB with distinction from Stanford University. 
Arabella Phillimore
Read Bio
Arabella Phillimore

Managing Director

×
Arabella Phillimore
Arabella Phillimore

Managing Director

Arabella Phillimore is Managing Director of ISD, with responsibility for the portfolio of research, policy advisory and programming.  As part of the Executive Leadership team, she is responsible for building and overseeing the knowledge sharing, quality control and communications capability within and outside of the organisation. Arabella has over 20 years’ experience working for non-profit organisations, governments and international organisations in the UK and abroad. Previous roles include COO, then Strategic Director of UK-based negotiation NGO Inter Mediate– which she helped establish–, and Specialist Policy Advisor at the UK Foreign Office. Arabella has a policy, strategic planning and communications background and in addition to her negotiation work she has worked as a Leader writer at the Financial Times, and at the UN as both a political officer for the Department of Peacekeeping in Afghanistan, and a communications and advocacy officer for UNICEF in India.  Arabella holds a BA in Modern Languages from New College, Oxford University, and an MA in International Relations and Economics from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University. She additionally was awarded a UNITAR/IPI Fellowship in Mediation and Negotiation Skills and is a Founding Trustee of UNHCR’s UK fundraising charity, UK for UNCHR.
Jiore Craig
Read Bio
Jiore Craig

Head of Digital Integrity

×
Jiore Craig
Jiore Craig

Head of Digital Integrity

Jiore Craig is the Head of Elections and Digital Integrity at ISD where she works across elections, democracy, and the wider impact of online harms on society. In addition to leading election programming, Jiore advises global leaders on mitigating online harms in general, including work to advance tech policy reform and tech accountability at a global scale. She has extensive international experience, previously spending eight years helping elected officials, political leaders, media organizations, academic institutions and civic society organizations across five continents to research, measure, and effectively mitigate the impact of disinformation and influence operations on public opinion and elections. She previously built a digital research and communications practice serving Europe, Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and the US at a global political consulting firm. Jiore’s work informed the design of major coalition efforts to counter disinformation in the 2020 US and 2019 European Parliament elections. In 2022, Jiore testified for the U.S. Congressional House Administration Elections Subcommittee Hearing on “A Growing Threat: Foreign and Domestic Sources of Disinformation”. She is a member of Issue One’s Council for Responsible Social Media. Her work is cited in The Washington Post, New York Magazine, The L.A. Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and she has been a featured guest in election broadcast programs around the world, including the election podcast Pod Save America.
Jacob Davey
Read Bio
Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

×
Jacob Davey
Jacob Davey

Head of Research & Policy, Far-right and Hate Movements

Jacob Davey is Head of Research & Policy for Far-right and Hate Movements at ISD. Jacob has managed projects focusing on online hate speech, the international far-right and political violence. He has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation and hate speech online, including analysis tracking hate groups in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, and is currently leading a major programme of work mitigating hate threats in the US. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. Jacob has managed and co-authored numerous ISD reports including Between Conspiracy and Extremism: A Long COVID Threat?, ISD’s Gaming and Extremism Series, and A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram.
Anthony DeAngelo
Read Bio
Anthony DeAngelo

Head of Public Affairs & Strategic Communications, ISD US

×
Anthony DeAngelo
Anthony DeAngelo

Head of Public Affairs & Strategic Communications, ISD US

Anthony DeAngelo is Head of Public Affairs and Strategic Communications for ISD United States. With more than fifteen years of experience in public affairs and public relations, Anthony leads ISD's efforts in the United States with key stakeholders, including policymakers and media outlets. Anthony was previously Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman Andy Kim (NJ), where he led national communications efforts and oversaw elements of the Congressman's policy and outreach portfolio. Anthony has also served at the National Democratic Institute, where he led legislative strengthening programs in Ukraine, Iraq, and Kenya, and in key communications roles at APCO Worldwide and the AFL-CIO.
Melanie Smith
Read Bio
Melanie Smith

Head of Digital Analysis Unit

×
Melanie Smith
Melanie Smith

Head of Digital Analysis Unit

Melanie Smith is Head of ISD's Digital Analysis Unit, which combines large-scale social media data collection and advanced open-source investigation techniques to study disinformation, hate and extremism. Melanie leads a team of digital analysts to deliver public research on topics like state-sponsored information operations, public health misinformation and online conspiracy movements. Melanie was previously the Director of Analysis at US social media analytics firm Graphika, where she oversaw the production of strategic intelligence on a range of online harms to Silicon Valley clients and academic partners. This research was presented to the World Health Organization and the US House Intelligence Committee, and covered by media outlets such as NPR, CNN, and the Washington Post. Melanie is also an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation based at King’s College London.
Jared Holt
Read Bio
Jared Holt

Senior Research Manager

×
Jared Holt
Jared Holt

Senior Research Manager

Jared Holt is Senior Research Manager at ISD, working on the topics of hate and extremism in the United States. He has authored definitive research and investigative reports scrutinising the overlap between technology and US political extremism. Jared frequently provides expert commentary and analysis to national media outlets and policymakers, helping to educate public audiences and institutions about the subject matters he examines. Prior to joining ISD, he worked at The Atlantic Council's DFRLab, Right Wing Watch and Media Matters for America. His journalism work has been published in national outlets including The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Columbia Journalism Review, HuffPost and GEN Magazine. He is based in Chicago.
Katherine Keneally
Read Bio
Katherine Keneally

Senior Research Manager

×
Katherine Keneally
Katherine Keneally

Senior Research Manager

Katherine is a Senior Research Manager supporting projects tracking the intersection of disinformation, hate, extremism and political violence in the U.S. She is responsible for the oversight and project management of ethnographic monitoring projects conducted by the ISD U.S. Research Team. Prior to joining ISD, Katherine consulted and led research for the U.S. government related to human trafficking and hostage taking. She also was an Intelligence Research Specialist at the NYPD Intelligence Bureau's Racially/Ethnically Motivated Extremism Unit ("REME") where she supported terrorism investigations and tactical and strategic research related to individuals and groups affiliated with politically- and ethnically-motivated, as well as single-issue, extremist ideologies. Katherine has a Master of Arts Degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University, and Bachelor of Science in Political Studies and History from Rocky Mountain College.
Jordan Reimer
Read Bio
Jordan Reimer

Senior Manager

×
Jordan Reimer
Jordan Reimer

Senior Manager

Jordan Reimer is Senior Manager for Threat Prevention at ISD US. He manages projects related to threat detection and is responsible for engaging relevant stakeholders to address salient threats. Jordan was previously a Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation, where he researched and managed projects on targeted violence prevention and combatting disinformation. He also served as an intelligence analyst for the New York City Police Department, where he specialised in counter-terrorism investigations related to the Syrian civil war, the foreign fighter threat and illicit finance networks. Jordan is also a lecturer and course instructor on conflict and insurgency in the post-Arab Spring Middle East.
Kevin D. Reyes
Read Bio
Kevin D. Reyes

Senior OSINT Specialist

×
Kevin D. Reyes
Kevin D. Reyes

Senior OSINT Specialist

Kevin D. Reyes is a Senior OSINT Specialist in ISD's Digital Analysis Unit, where he leads open-source investigations methods and researches online hate, extremism and disinformation. He previously worked as the director of research and intelligence at a consulting firm, and conducted open-source investigations for law enforcement and Fortune 500 clients into illicit trade and transnational crime, including: pharmaceutical counterfeiting; opioid trafficking; COVID-19 treatment scams; money laundering; corporate and charity fraud; counterfeit food and coffee; and wildlife and antiquities trafficking; as well as disinformation and extremism. Prior to intelligence consulting, Reyes worked in law library management at several law schools, and in international criminal law research at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in Washington DC and at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law. While at the Human Rights Center in 2016, he helped launch its Human Rights Investigations Lab, the first university-based, open-source investigations lab of its kind to discover and verify human rights violations and potential war crimes. Reyes received his bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sabine Lawrence
Read Bio
Sabine Lawrence

Digital Research Analyst

×
Sabine Lawrence
Sabine Lawrence

Digital Research Analyst

Sabine Lawrence (she/they) is a Digital Research Analyst at ISD US, where she researches online hate, extremism and disinformation in the US. Prior to joining ISD, Sabine worked for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research as a Digital Research Associate tracking disinformation narratives during the 2020 election and Fors Marsh Group fighting COVID-19 disinformation. Sabine holds a BSc in Anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University School of World Studies, where she wrote her thesis on the philosophy and social dynamics of involuntarily celibate (incel) communities.
Eric Levai
Read Bio
Eric Levai

Digital Research Analyst

×
Eric Levai
Eric Levai

Digital Research Analyst

Eric Levai is a Digital Research Analyst writing about misinformation and conspiracy theories. He has reported for Rolling Stone, Daily Dot and other outlets.
Clara Martiny
Read Bio
Clara Martiny

Digital Research Analyst

×
Clara Martiny
Clara Martiny

Digital Research Analyst

Clara Martiny (she/her) is a Digital Research Analyst at ISD US, where she researches online hate, extremism, and disinformation in the US, and helps develop effective digital analysis methods for the Digital Analysis Unit. Prior to joining ISD, Clara worked for Media Matters for America as an Internet and Misinformation Researcher, where she tracked the online spread of harmful misinformation and right-wing protests across the US organized on online platforms. Her research was used in articles for The New York Times and Washington Post. Clara holds a BA in International Relations from Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, where she wrote her thesis on the online anti-quarantine movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Lucy Cooper
Read Bio
Lucy Cooper

Digital Research Associate

×
Lucy Cooper
Lucy Cooper

Digital Research Associate

Lucy Cooper is a Digital Research Associate at ISD US. Lucy holds a BA in political science from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she focused on political behavior, voting, and elections in the United States. She has previously worked on political campaigns in Michigan and as a research assistant.