Strong Cities Network

Unlocking the potential of city-led action against hate, extremism & polarisation.

The Strong Cities Network (SCN) was launched in 2015 at the UN General Assembly to mount city-led responses against hate, polarisation and extremism in all its forms. We help our members partner with their communities to design and deploy local responses to these complex challenges, ensuring no city faces these threats alone.

Our network has grown to 149 local governments including megacities, states, counties and small municipalities, representing every major global region. While every city faces its own unique challenges and local risks, there are shared goals, tools and approaches that we can all strive towards.

Through our global summits, city exchanges and regional workshops, our members build bridges, discuss innovative policy ideas and exchange good practices with counterparts from the world’s leading cities and experts in the field.

We also provide a range of in-depth models for capacity-building, interventions and youth engagement. Tailoring our existing approaches for multi-agency partnerships to new geographies, we work in close partnership with national and local governments and the communities they represent. SCN tools and policy models are used across the world, in cities from Australia to North Macedonia, from Lebanon to the United States, and from Kenya to the United Kingdom.

Our aim is to ensure that every city can design, deploy and deliver effective response to these complex challenges in close partnership with the communities they represent. To support cities, ISD offers a range of expertise and services:

Design policy and strategy
From de-radicalisation programming to youth engagement strategies, we ensure that local responses address local needs.

Build local prevention infrastructure
Working from the ground up, we establish local coordination bodies that unite groups across society and sectors to identify and address community tensions.

Deliver data, tools & expertise
We help cities access the latest research and best practice from across the network through our Online Members Hub. Our SCN Hate Mapper provides cities with data, building out their own digital observatory to correlate online risks with offline behaviour.

Connect local and global partners
The SCN acts as a bridge by advocating and creating strong working relationships between local and national governments, and providing vital resources to civil society to partner with city halls.

Train and build capacity
We train mayors, city officials, local services and communities to diagnose and respond to local risk factors through our exchange programmes and local, regional and global events.

“We have now the Strong Cities Network, connecting local officials around the world to share their experiences and, importantly, their best practices. For the first time, there is a global platform for those on the frontlines to learn from each other.” Former Deputy Secretary of State;
current Secretary of State, Antony J Blinken, in 2016

Launch of the Strong Cities Network, UN General Assembly, 2015

Strong Cities Network Global Summit, Aarhus, Denmark, 2017

ISD’s Strong Cities Network team

Eric Rosand
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Eric Rosand

Executive Director, Strong Cities Network

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Eric Rosand
Eric Rosand

Executive Director, Strong Cities Network

Eric Rosand is the Executive Director of the Strong Cities Network. He has nearly two decades of experience working with governments, multilateral organisations, civil society, academics, and the private sector on international counterterrorism and P/CVE issues. This includes more than six years as a senior official at the US State Department where he was the international policy director for the White House CVE Summit and led efforts to develop and launch the Global Counterterrorism Forum, its inspired institutions and the Strong Cities Network. He previously was a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and served as co-director of the Global Center on Cooperative Security, and a lawyer at the US State Department and the US Mission to the United Nations. His writings, including on the role of cities and other local actors in P/CVE, have appeared in a wide range of publications such as the American Journal of International Law, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Global Observatory, Just Security, The Hill, Lawfare, Order from Chaos, Time, and War on the Rocks. He holds a BA in history from Haverford College, a JD from Columbia University School of Law, and an LLM (Hons) in international law from Cambridge University.
Kelsey Bjornsgaard
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Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Director of Practice, Strong Cities Network

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Kelsey Bjornsgaard
Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Director of Practice, Strong Cities Network

Kelsey Bjornsgaard is the Director of Practice for the Strong Cities Network where she develops training models and resources to enhance locally-led approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism. She works closely with youth, civil society and national and local government actors to identify good practice, build critical capacities and drive cross-sectoral coordination to promote community-based solutions on a global scale. Kelsey leads the delivery of Strong Cities’ youth pillar, Young Cities, and is driving work on National Local Cooperation. Kelsey holds a Master's in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London and a Bachelor's in European Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
Duaa Khalid
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Duaa Khalid

Director of Project Operations, Strong Cities Network

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Duaa Khalid
Duaa Khalid

Director of Project Operations, Strong Cities Network

Duaa Khalid is the Director of the Strong Cities Network (SCN) Project Operations at ISD, leading on all SCN operational management including grant management, financial management, new business development, compliance, procurement, risk management and resource management. Duaa has 15 years of experience working with non-profit organisations and international charities managing international programs and donor relationships with DFID, EU and USAID, among others. Previously, she worked with Save the Children UK and Marie Stopes International. Duaa holds a BSc Hons in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE).
Simeon Dukić
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Simeon Dukić

Senior Manager, Balkans & Central Asia

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Simeon Dukić
Simeon Dukić

Senior Manager, Balkans & Central Asia

Simeon Dukić is a Senior Manager on the Strong Cities Network leading research, network engagement and city level deep-dive programming in the Balkans and Central Asia. His work focuses on mapping the regional off- and online threat environment, leveraging municipal-led multi-stakeholder local prevention frameworks, enhancing national-local cooperation, and empowering youth to counter hate, polarisation and extremism. Simeon was previously a Project Associate at the National Committee for Countering Violent Extremism and Counter-Terrorism (NCCVECT) of North Macedonia where he facilitated coordination of regional, national and local government and non-government stakeholders and was involved in the drafting of the country’s first National CVE Strategy. He is the author of “Online Extremism in North Macedonia: Politics, Ethnicities and Religion” and a co-author of "Community Resilience Study: Kumanovo, North Macedonia.” Simeon holds a Masters in Intelligence and International Security from King’s College London and a Bachelors in Global Challenges from Leiden University College in The Hague.
Charlotte Moeyens
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Charlotte Moeyens

Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action

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Charlotte Moeyens
Charlotte Moeyens

Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action

Charlotte Moeyens is a Senior Manager, Networks & Civic Action, at ISD, sitting in the central Resources and Methods team to support with the collation and distribution of counter-extremism best practice, overseeing the development and international delivery of training modules, materials and resources for practitioners and civil society. She has supported the delivery of the Google.org Impact Challenge on Safety in Europe, Africa Online Safety Fund and Mayor of London’s Shared Endeavour Fund. Most recently, she is working with the McCain Institute to develop and build the capacity of a US Prevention and Intervention Practitioners Network. Charlotte also forms part of the Strong Cities Network's (SCN) Central Management Unit, and is co-author of the SCN's Multi-Agency Models for Preventing Violent Extremism: A Guidebook for Bangladesh, as well as ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism.
Caroline Wade
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Caroline Wade

Project Coordinator for North America, Strong Cities Network

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Caroline Wade
Caroline Wade

Project Coordinator for North America, Strong Cities Network

Caroline Wade is the Strong Cities Network's Project Coordinator for North America, responsible for delivering project activities across a range of city-level stakeholders in North America. She is supporting Strong Cities' development of a newly-funded program focused on small and mid-size cities in the United States, as well as programming and partnership opportunities across the North America region. Prior to joining Strong Cities, Caroline was an analyst at Moonshot delivering a wide range of research and intervention programming focused on preventing domestic violent extremism in the US. Her subject matter expertise focuses on racially- and ethnically-motivated violent extremism and anti-government, anti-authority violent extremism in the US.
Will Baldet
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Will Baldet

Fellow

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Will Baldet
Will Baldet

Fellow

Will Baldet MBE is a Fellow at ISD. He also serves as a Regional CVE Coordinator in the UK and a Senior Advisor to the UK Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy. He has been a practitioner in Countering Violent Extremism since 2008, working in both policing and policy. In 2020 he received an MBE for his counter terrorism work as a Prevent Coordinator protecting communities in the UK. It was in this role that he has developed and managed projects to empower civil society responses to radicalisation with a particular focus on youth, women and education. Will has been a consultant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and is a member of the EU-funded Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Europe and has supported Governments with the development of their national CVE programmes, including the Netherlands, Malta and Kazakhstan. He appears regularly in the media, including BBC News, Channel 4 News, BBC Newsnight and Sky News and writes for several online media outlets. He is also a Policy & Practitioner Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR).