Sasha Havlicek
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Sasha Havlicek

Co-Founder and CEO

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Sasha Havlicek
Sasha Havlicek

Co-Founder and CEO

Sasha Havlicek is Co-Founder and CEO of ISD, having spearheaded ISD’s pioneering research and data analysis, digital education, policy advisory, training, tech and communications programmes. With a background in conflict resolution and an expertise in extremism, digital information operations and electoral interference, she has advised a range of governments at the highest levels and has spearheaded partnerships with the UN, EU Commission and Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. She has also worked with the private and civil society sectors to promote innovation, including developing major programmes run in partnership with Google, FB and Microsoft. Sasha serves as an expert advisor to the UK Counter-Extremism Commission and the Mayor of London’s counter-extremism programme, and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Sasha previously served as Senior Director at the EastWest Institute where she led conflict resolution programming. Sasha has testified before US Congress, the UK Parliament and is a regular commentator in the media (CNN, BBC, Channel 4 News and other networks).
Huberta von Voss
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Huberta von Voss

Executive Director, ISD Germany

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Huberta von Voss
Huberta von Voss

Executive Director, ISD Germany

Huberta von Voss is Executive Director at ISD Germany, where she has led the expansion of ISD's German office since 2019. She has previously been part of the leadership team of the New York based NGO Seeds of Peace. Her efforts as Director for Public Affairs and Communications led to steep digital growth, new media engagement, a Podcast series as well as a series of high level events in New York and Washington, D.C. Huberta is the author of "Portraits of Hope: The Armenians in the contemporary world" (Berghahn Books) as well as "Arme Kinder, reiches Land" (Rowohlt) on child poverty in post-reunification Germany. She has appeared on various German and international TV shows and is fluent in English and French. She serves on several boards, among them United Ways Germany, to foster social cohesion. Huberta was awarded the Leo Baeck Medal (2018) and the BGA Medal of Honor by the British-German Association. She is a member of the Young Leader network of the BMW Foundation and an alumni of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Sarah Kennedy
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Sarah Kennedy

Chief Operating Officer

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Sarah Kennedy
Sarah Kennedy

Chief Operating Officer

Sarah Kennedy is Chief Operating Officer of ISD, with responsibility for operations and finance. She oversees the operational management of the organisation to ensure all financial, operations, governance, HR and legal responsibilities are delivered to the highest possible standard. Sarah has over a decade of experience in the UK and international charity sectors. Previous roles include UK Director of Kenyan NGO S.A.F.E and Head of Partnerships & Events at the UK think tank Demos. Having worked in a range of NGO functions - particularly communications, programme delivery, fundraising and partnerships - Sarah now specialises in operations and management, with a particular focus on financial management, strategic development, change management, HR and governance. Sarah holds a First Class degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Bristol and an MA in Legal and Political Theory from UCL. She additionally holds an Art & Design Foundation Diploma from Kingston University; a Certificate in International Business Practice and International Diploma in Management from University of Cambridge International Exams; and a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Certificate in Business Accounting.
Eric Rosand
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Eric Rosand

Interim Director of the Strong Cities Network

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Eric Rosand
Eric Rosand

Interim Director of the Strong Cities Network

Eric is the Interim Director of the Strong Cities Network. He has nearly two decades of experience working on international counterterrorism and countering violent extremism issues, including as a senior counterterrorism and countering violent extremism official in the U.S. Department of State. There, he played a leading role in developing and launching a number of multilateral platforms, including the Global Counterterrorism Forum, GCERF, and the SCN. Among other roles, he previously served as legal and counterterrorism adviser at the US Mission to the UN in New York and a co-director of the Global Center on Cooperative Security. In addition to his current affiliation as a non-resident Senior Associate Fellow with the Royal United Services Institute, Eric has held similar appointments at the Brookings Institution and NYU’s Center on International Cooperation.
Rashad Ali
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Rashad Ali

Resident Senior Fellow

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Rashad Ali
Rashad Ali

Resident Senior Fellow

Rashad Ali is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD. Rashad is a counter terrorism practitioner who works on deradicalisation initiatives alongside Prisons, Probation Services, Police and community groups. He was formerly a national leadership member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the revolutionary Islamist organisation and has been actively involved in undermining its extreme ideology and perversion of Muslim faith since his departure. As a researcher he has given testimony and contributed submissions to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Radicalisation, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Intelligence and has briefed the London Mayor's office on Counter Terrorism and has been consulted by think tanks and governments in Germany, Denmark, the EU and the US. He is an external lecturer for Derby University’s Master Class courses on Radicalisation and Counter Terrorism. He has written for The Observer, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, Dissent Magazine, Birlingske in Denmark, Conservative Home, and given commentary for Newsnight, BBC News. He is the author of Islam, Shariah and the Far Right published by Demoqratiya journal, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism published by HJS and EFD, and the author of the ISD report Blasphemy, Charlie Hebdo, and the Freedom of Belief and Expression. He is classically trained in Islamic theology and jurisprudence and Modern studies in Islam. He studied at al-Azhar University, Cairo, and the Markfield Institute.
Zahed Amanullah
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Zahed Amanullah

Resident Senior Fellow, Networks & Outreach

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Zahed Amanullah
Zahed Amanullah

Resident Senior Fellow, Networks & Outreach

Zahed Amanullah is a Resident Senior Fellow at ISD, leading on ISD’s civil society engagement, communications, and partnerships, coordinating the public and private sectors with activists, frontline workers, and relevant civil society networks. He has worked closely with Google.org to support British and European civil society organisations through the Innovation Fund, the Shared Endeavour Fund, and the Google Impact Challenge on Safety. He has given testimony to the UK and European parliaments and has been featured at the BBC, NPR, Channel 4, Sky News, the Guardian, CNN International, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Le Monde Diplomatique, and Newsweek, among others. He has co-authored the ISD reports The Impact of Counternarratives, Between Two Extremes: Responding to Islamist and tribalist messaging online in Kenya during the 2017 elections, and The Innovation Fund to Counter Hate and Extremism in the UK. He holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley and a Diploma in Management from the University of Bath.
Kelsey Bjornsgaard
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Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Head of Capacity Building and Campaigns

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Kelsey Bjornsgaard
Kelsey Bjornsgaard

Head of Capacity Building and Campaigns

Kelsey Bjornsgaard is the Head of Capacity Building and Campaigns at ISD, leading the development of capacity building models to enhance locally led approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism. She works closely with youth, civil society, and local government actors to build critical capacities and drive cross-sectoral coordination to promote community-based solutions on a global scale. Kelsey led the development and delivery of ISD’s flagship youth programmes, YouthCAN and Young Cities, training more than 750 young activists and facilitating 75 youth-led initiatives to counter hate, polarisation and extremism across Europe, Africa, Australia, South Asia, and the MENA Region. She frequently advocates for the role of young people in P/CVE in international forums and has given voice to the needs of activists as a co-author of the ISD reports YouthCAN: The Many States of Activism and No Platform for Old Men, Barriers to Online Youth Civic Engagement and P-CVE in Europe. Kelsey holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London and a Bachelors in European Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
Milo Comerford
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Milo Comerford

Head of Policy & Research, Counter-Extremism

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Milo Comerford
Milo Comerford

Head of Policy & Research, Counter-Extremism

Milo Comerford is Head of Policy & Research, Counter Extremism, leading ISD’s work developing innovative research approaches and policy responses to extremism. Milo regularly briefs senior decision makers around the world on the challenge posed by extremist ideologies, and advises governments and international agencies on building effective strategies for countering extremism. He was previously Senior Analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where he led major research projects on Salafi-jihadi propaganda, international educational responses to extremism, and the transnational far right. His writing and research features frequently in international media and he has made recent broadcast appearances on BBC News, Sky News and Al Jazeera.
Jiore Craig
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Jiore Craig

Head of Digital Integrity

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Jiore Craig
Jiore Craig

Head of Digital Integrity

Jiore Craig is the Head of Digital Integrity at ISD. She has extensive international experience, previously spending eight years helping elected officials, political leaders, media organisations, academic institutions and civic society organisations across five continents to measure the impact of digital communication and influence campaigns on public opinion and communicate effectively in the wake of the threat of disinformation around elections. She was previously a Vice President at a global political consulting firm, where she built a digital practice serving Europe, Asia, Africa, South and Central America and the US. Jiore’s work informed the design of major coalition efforts to counter disinformation in the 2020 US and 2019 European Parliament elections. Her work is cited in The Washington Post, New York Magazine, The L.A. Times, The New Yorker, and she has been a featured guest on the election podcast, Pod Save America.
Anthony DeAngelo
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Anthony DeAngelo

Head of Public Affairs & Strategic Communications, ISD US

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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.
Jacob Davey
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Jacob Davey

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

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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.
Jennie King
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Jennie King

Head of Civic Action and Education

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Jennie King
Jennie King

Head of Civic Action and Education

Jennie King is Head of Civic Action and Education, leading efforts to translate ISD's digital research into frontline programming and response. She co-authored the current 'Be Internet Citizens' curriculum, formally accredited for UK schools, and provides regular briefings for UK government departments and regulators, UNESCO and parallel European/US bodies on systemic approaches to media literacy. Jennie also oversees ISD's growing portfolio on Climate Mis- and Disinformation, supporting a coalition of 30+ organisations worldwide to identify, analyse and counter related harms. Her writing and commentary has been featured by the BBC, The Guardian, Channel 4 News, Tortoise Media and NPR, amongst others. Jennie previously served as MENA Regional Director Arts, Assistant Country Director Egypt and Country Director Hungary for the British Council, the UK’s international body for cultural relations. She read Arabic and Spanish at Pembroke College, Cambridge, receiving a Foundation Scholarship and the Marie Shamma’a Frost Prize for Oriental Studies.
Daniel Hooton
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Daniel Hooton

Head of Strong Cities Network International Programmes

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Daniel Hooton
Daniel Hooton

Head of Strong Cities Network International Programmes

Daniel Hooton is Head of ISD’s Strong Cities Network (SCN) International Programmes, with responsibility for strategy and delivery of international cities programmes. This includes current projects to develop institutional approaches to long-term governance, human security and social policy challenges in cities across Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East. He has advised and worked with numerous international governments, UN agencies and mayors on international counterterrorism and counter-extremism strategy, briefing senior ministers and leaders and shaping multilateral cooperation on grassroots practice in cities around the world. Daniel previously served as policy advisor to the Shadow Minister for Communities in the UK Parliament, developing opposition policy and scrutiny on community cohesion, social exclusion and public services reform. He is the co-author of the ISD report Community Resilience Study: Kumanovo, North Macedonia. He holds a Master’s degree with Distinction from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bristol.
Mandi Lazenby
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Mandi Lazenby

Head of HR

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Mandi Lazenby
Mandi Lazenby

Head of HR

Mandi Lazenby is Head of HR at ISD and leads the HR function. Primary responsibilities include delivering and supporting the people and culture strategy at ISD, management of international HR, overseeing global recruitment and designing and delivering a range of HR processes and activities that contribute to organisational improvement. Previous experience includes leading an international HR team in financial services, Change agent at a Housing Association, Head of HR at the Football Foundation, Save the Children International and Senior Business Partner at the NHS.
Melanie Smith
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Melanie Smith

Head of Digital Analysis Unit

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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.
Tim Squirrell
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Tim Squirrell

Head of Communications and Editorial

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Tim Squirrell
Tim Squirrell

Head of Communications and Editorial

Tim Squirrell is Head of Communications & Editorial at ISD. He is responsible for managing the Institute's communications strategy, ensuring that publications reach the right audiences and that ISD continues to drive the discussion around areas of extremism, hate, polarisation and disinformation. He previously worked as a senior advisor on counter-terrorism to the British government, providing expert insights on right-wing, misogynist and esoteric extremist and terrorist threats. Tim holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote his thesis on the social dynamics of online communities.
Henry Tuck
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Henry Tuck

Head of Digital Policy

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Henry Tuck
Henry Tuck

Head of Digital Policy

Henry Tuck is the Head of Digital Policy at ISD, where he leads Advisory work on digital regulation and tech company responses to terrorism, extremism, hate and dis/misinformation online. Henry oversees ISD’s Digital Policy Lab (DPL) and engagement on key digital regulation proposals in Europe and Five Eyes countries, advises key governments, international organisations and major private sector tech companies, and collaborates with ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit to translate research into actionable digital policy recommendations. Having joined ISD in 2013, Henry has previously worked across a variety of ISD’s Analysis and Action programmes, including education, on- and offline counter-extremism interventions, and civil society networks. Henry holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from Kings College London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University. 
Stefano Amato
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Stefano Amato

Senior Grants Manager

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Stefano Amato
Stefano Amato

Senior Grants Manager

Stefano Amato is a Senior Grants Manager at ISD. He is responsible for the efficient and compliant delivery of ISD’s grants portfolio, while contributing to ISD’s business development activities. Stefano has over 15 years of experience in the international development and humanitarian aid sectors. Throughout his career, he has covered roles with both donor and implementing agencies on and within overseas programming and operations. His professional experience includes expertise in human resources and team management, strategic planning, programme, project, and grant management and coordination, programme design, and programme monitoring & evaluation. Stefano holds a master's degree in political science with a focus on international political economy and international relations and politics from the University of Catania in Italy and an M.Sc. in Violence, Conflict, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
Francesca Arcostanzo
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Francesca Arcostanzo

CASM-ISD Senior Digital Research Methods Lead

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Francesca Arcostanzo
Francesca Arcostanzo

CASM-ISD Senior Digital Research Methods Lead

Francesca Arcostanzo is a Senior Research Manager - Digital Methods Lead within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, working across a variety of research projects to ensure consistency in methods, training and approaches to digital analysis, and leading the ISD-CASM shared strategy for technological development. She has 7+ years of experience in digital research, with a focus on issue politicization, digital polarization and election campaigns. Her main areas of expertise are social media research methods, including content, text, network and statistical analysis of large-scale datasets. She holds a PhD in public opinion, political communication and electoral behaviour from the University of Milan, a MA in Government and Public communication, and a MSc in Intelligence & ICT. In her PhD dissertation, she developed and tested a method to investigate the modes and extent of EU politicization in national election campaigns relying on social media data. Prior to joining ISD, she was a Digital Communications Specialist in the Web and Digital Division of the European Central Bank, monitoring and analysing conversations, disinformation and threats around the ECB and its policies.
Till Baaken
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Till Baaken

Senior Manager, Projects and Development, ISD Germany

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Till Baaken
Till Baaken

Senior Manager, Projects and Development, ISD Germany

Till Baaken is a Senior Projects and Development Manager at ISD Germany, focusing on right-wing extremism and Islamism as well as disinformation and conspiracy theories in German-speaking and English-speaking countries. His articles have been published in a range of publications, including the Journal for Deradicalization and the International Journal of Conflict and Violence. He has also contributed to several books and handbooks on radicalisation and de-radicalisation. He is the co-author of the ISD reports Disinformation Overdose: A study of the Crisis of Trust among Vaccine Sceptics and Anti-Vaxxers, Fluchtwege. Wie das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz auf etablierten sozialen Medien durch die Verlinkung zu alternativen Plattformen umgangen wird and Wegweiser – Hintergrundbericht für das Projekt »Radikalisierung in rechtsextremen Onlinesubkulturen entgegentreten«. Till holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London.
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.
Jasmine El-Gamal
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Jasmine El-Gamal

Senior Manager, AMEA

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Jasmine El-Gamal
Jasmine El-Gamal

Senior Manager, AMEA

Jasmine is a Senior Manager for Africa, Middle East and Asia (AMEA) at ISD, where she is responsible for overseeing prevention of violent extremism (PVE) research and programming. From 2015-2020, Jasmine was a Senior Fellow with the Middle East program at the Atlantic Council, where she focused primarily on U.S. policies in the Middle East. From 2013-2015, Jasmine served as a Special Assistant to three consecutive Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, where she advised on national security issues. From 2008-2013, Jasmine served as a Middle East advisor at the Pentagon, where she served three Secretaries of Defense. During her tenure, she prepared and staffed the Secretary of Defense on foreign trips and during Congressional briefings. She covered issues related to Iraq, Syria, the Arab Spring and ISIS, among others, and served as the Acting Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy. From 2014-2016, Jasmine served as a translator and cultural advisor to the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants (OARDEC) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she provided briefings on Islam and Arab culture to incoming military officers in advance of their participation on the Review Boards. She conducted over 100 detainee interviews during her time at GTMO regarding their background and journey to Afghanistan and ensured the integrity of their testimony during their review boards, many of which resulted in the illumination of their unjust detention. In 2003, Jasmine served as a translator with a U.S. Civil Affairs team responsible for reconstruction in Southern Iraq, helping to facilitate communication and cooperation between U.S. forces and the local population in rebuilding the area. Her commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Time Magazine, CNN, Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, L’Orient du Jour, Sawt al Azhar, Al Masry Al Youm and other international outlets.
Cooper Gatewood
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Cooper Gatewood

Senior Digital Research Manager

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Cooper Gatewood
Cooper Gatewood

Senior Digital Research Manager

Cooper Gatewood is a Senior Digital Research Manager within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, focusing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper is currently contributing to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed to influence and disrupt election processes. He also manages on the Online Civil Courage Initiative in France, coordinating activities to support civil society’s response to hate and extremism online. In addition, Cooper conducts ongoing evaluation of a number of ISD’s programmes, including Be Internet Citizens and Young Digital Leaders. Cooper also develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks for a number of ISD’s education projects. Previously, Cooper worked at Portland, where he advised clients from the non-profit and government sectors on their media engagement and social media strategies. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook, La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms, Promouvoir le civisme en ligne face aux malveillances à l’ère du numérique, Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse, and Building Digital Citizenship in France: Lessons from the Sens Critique project. Cooper holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Masters of International Security from Sciences Po and is fluent in Spanish and French, as well as speaking proficient Japanese.
Katherine Keneally
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Katherine Keneally

Senior Analyst

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Katherine Keneally
Katherine Keneally

Senior Analyst

Katherine is a Senior Analyst 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.
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.
Duaa Khalid
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Duaa Khalid

Senior Grants Manager

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Duaa Khalid
Duaa Khalid

Senior Grants Manager

Duaa Khalid is Senior Grants Manager at ISD, responsible for all grants management including reporting and compliance for all the projects at the organisation. Duaa has experience working with non-profit organizations 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).
Lara Petricevic-Williams
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Lara Petricevic-Williams

Senior Programme Manager

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Lara Petricevic-Williams
Lara Petricevic-Williams

Senior Programme Manager

Lara Petricevic-Williams is a Senior Operations Manager at ISD, working primarily on ISD’s East Africa portfolio of programmes, and providing support to ISD’s growth and business development efforts. Lara is an experienced democracy and governance professional with 15+ years of experience in the Balkans, Middle East, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, working at policy, program and project level. She has proven success in engaging with, cultivating and managing, stakeholder relationships with government agencies, NGOs, political parties and government officials, media and donor organizations. She spent most of her career setting up and building organisations; managing office operations in conflict, post-conflict and transitional countries; overseeing project design, management, and implementation; and spearheading multimillion-dollar business and proposal development efforts for a range of donors. Lara is an excellent manager of multi-donor projects with a unique ability in handling difficult challenges, while reliably directing programs with excellence and efficiency.
Dominic Pkalya
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Dominic Pkalya

Senior Programme Manager

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Dominic Pkalya
Dominic Pkalya

Senior Programme Manager

Dominic Pkalya is a Senior Programme Manager at ISD, working across ISD’s counter-extremism initiatives in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region, including the PROACT Community Based Interventions Program and supporting the Strong Cities Network (SCN) and Young Cities initiatives in Kenya. He was previously the Chief of Party for the Strengthening Community Resilience against Extremism (SCORE) and worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Kenya, providing technical support in addressing armed violence reduction efforts amongst pastoralists communities in Kenya. He is the co-author of Why Al-Shabaab Attacks Kenya: Questioning the Narrative Paradigm.
Kevin D. Reyes
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Kevin D. Reyes

Senior OSINT Specialist

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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.
Christian Schultz
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Christian Schultz

Senior Operations Manager

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Christian Schultz
Christian Schultz

Senior Operations Manager

Christian Schultz is Senior Operations Manager at ISD Germany, where he is responsible for all operational processes of our German entity, such as finance, HR, governance or legal issues. His main focus is on shaping best practice processes and strategies to ensure constant corporate development and growth. Christian has many years of experience in managing grant-based project portfolios in various fields such as civil society, academic research and knowledge transfer or promotion of economic development. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the Free University of Berlin, an MBA from FOM Berlin and is a certified project manager according to IPMA.
Helena Schwertheim
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Helena Schwertheim

Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager, ISD Germany

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Helena Schwertheim
Helena Schwertheim

Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager, ISD Germany

Helena Schwertheim is Senior Digital Policy and Research Manager at ISD Germany, where she leads the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Helena also leads a team of analysts studying digital threats posed to democracy by disinformation, hate speech and extremism.  Previously, Helena managed digital policy and research projects at Democracy Reporting International. She also has experience working in risk and political analysis in international organizations and think tanks, including at the UN World Food Programme in Rome, and the think tank International IDEA in Stockholm.
Emma Armfield
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Emma Armfield

Finance & Office Manager

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Emma Armfield
Emma Armfield

Finance & Office Manager

Emma Armfield is a Finance & Office Manager at ISD, responsible for the day to day running of the office finances. She has 10 years' experience working within finance across various sectors and is a fully qualified member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
Mauritius Dorn
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Mauritius Dorn

Digital Policy Fellow

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Mauritius Dorn
Mauritius Dorn

Digital Policy Fellow

Mauritius is a Digital Policy Fellow at ISD Germany, where he coordinates ISD’s digital policy recommendations on election-related online harms and presents them to political stakeholders at EU level and in Germany. He conducts disinformation trainings with political parties and candidates, coordinates with other stakeholders from academia and civil society, and assists in the design of awareness campaigns. Mauritius is also involved in the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter online disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Previously, Mauritius worked as a public affairs consultant in Berlin, advising clients from the public and private sector on their lobbying strategies in the area of digital policy and digital economy. Mauritius holds a MSc double degree in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences and Fudan University, and a BA in Sociology, Politics and Economics from Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen.
Jakob Guhl
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Jakob Guhl

Research Manager

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Jakob Guhl
Jakob Guhl

Research Manager

Jakob Guhl is a Manager at ISD, where he works within the Digital Research Unit and with ISD Germany. His research focuses on the far-right, Islamist extremism, hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy theories. He is a frequent commentator on German radio and broadcast, including Deutschlandfunk, Tagesthemen, NDR and Radio Eins. Jakob has been invited to present his research about online hate to the German Ministry of the Justice and provided evidence to the German Minister of the Interior and the German Family Minister on how to strengthen prevention against right-wing extremism and antisemitism. His research has been featured in Die Zeit, The Guardian, DW, The Telegraph, CNN, Euronews, Coda Story, Vice, Politico, New Republic and Die Welt, among others. Additionally, he has published articles in the “Journal for Deradicalisation”, “Demokratie gegen Menschenfeindlichkeit”, Taz, Der Standard, GNET and co-authored an essay for an edited volume of the Munich Residence Theatre about the origins of contemporary political anger. He is the co-author of ISD reports Crisis and Loss of Control: German-Language Digital Extremism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media, A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram and The Online Ecosystem of the German Far-Right. Jakob holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London.
Dominik Hammer
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Dominik Hammer

Research Manager, ISD Germany

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Dominik Hammer
Dominik Hammer

Research Manager, ISD Germany

Dominik Hammer is a Research Manager at ISD Germany. Dominik focuses on the analysis of far-right online activities with an emphasis on qualitative research. Dominik’s prior research focused on democratic theory, the strengthening of democratic praxis and the analysis of antidemocratic movements. Dominik holds a MA in Political Science from the Dresden University of Technology and a BA in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Passau. He is currently working on his PhD in Political Theory.
Tim Hulse
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Tim Hulse

M&E Manager

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Tim Hulse
Tim Hulse

M&E Manager

Tim Hulse is M&E Manager at ISD, working predominately on ISD's Strong Cities Network (SCN) and civil society facing projects. He develops monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems for a range ISD programmes in order to demonstrate the impact that ISD has in preventing and countering violent extremism. As part of this role Tim also supports a number of ISD partners in demonstrating the sustainable impact of their projects. He is the co-author of the ISD reports Community Resilience Study: Kumanovo, North Macedonia, Digital Citizenship Education: Programming Toolkit, and Innovation fund to counter hate and extremism in the UK. Tim holds a Masters in Intelligence and International Security from King’s College London and a Bachelors in the Study of Religions from the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Gil Jung
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Gil Jung

Head of Communications and Events, ISD Germany

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Gil Jung
Gil Jung

Head of Communications and Events, ISD Germany

Gil Jung is the Head of Communications and Events at ISD Germany. As a communications expert with many years of international experience, Gil acts as ISD Germany’s main interface between the media, key stakeholders and programme teams, as well as on all organizational matters. Gil worked as a journalist in Bonn London and Paris before switching to public relations. She has left a broad portfolio of clients from the private sector behind to support the strategic expansion of ISD Germany in the DACH region.
Mohammad “Omar” Metwally 
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Mohammad “Omar” Metwally 

Programme Manager, Strong Cities Network (SCN)

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Mohammad “Omar” Metwally 
Mohammad “Omar” Metwally 

Programme Manager, Strong Cities Network (SCN)

Mohammad Omar Metwally is a Programme Manager of SCN. He leads SCN’s efforts to strengthen national-local cooperation for P/CVE and contributes to the Network's transatlantic city-to-city cooperation on addressing racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and related issues. He is experienced in peacebuilding, community resilience and conflict transformation with nearly a decade of experience across the MENA region. Previously, he has advised and worked with numerous multilateral, non-governmental and governmental organisations. Most recently, he was a conflict analysis expert at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) where he contributed to the locally-led peacebuilding and stabilization process in Libya. He has contributed to multiple guides and training curricula including Search for Common Ground’s (SFCG) Arabic and English guide on Community Dialogue Design; the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law’s (IIJ) Training Curriculum: Developing Multi-Actor P/CVE Intervention Programmes – Implementing a Whole-of-Society, ‘Do No Harm Approach’; the first-ever handbook on Multi-Agency and Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism; and the revamping of Soliya’s UN-accredited manual on facilitation, as well as its adaptation to Arabic. Mohammad is a Fulbright alumnus and holds a Master of Global Affairs from the Keough School, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. He is a bilingual Arabic and English, with basic French proficiency. 
Lucie Parker
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Lucie Parker

Programme Operations Manager

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Lucie Parker
Lucie Parker

Programme Operations Manager

Lucie Parker is a Programme Operations Manager at ISD, responsible for the project and grant management, operational delivery and fundraising activities for ISD’s portfolio of programmes across Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She also works on developing policies and practices that implement ISD’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and organisational wellbeing. Lucie has spent her career managing programmes across a range of social justice issues in the UK and international charity and non-profit sectors, with previous roles including Gender Analyst at International Crisis Group and Senior Policy and Research Officer at the Fawcett Society. She is a Founding Trustee of Bread & Roses, a charity that provides holistic support to refugee and asylum seeking women as they rebuild their lives in the UK. She is the co-author of the Young Digital Leaders Impact Report and Digital Resilience: Stronger Citizens Online. Lucie holds an MA with distinction in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in Politics from the University of York.
Jasmeet Sahotay
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Jasmeet Sahotay

Manager

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Jasmeet Sahotay
Jasmeet Sahotay

Manager

Jasmeet is a Manager at ISD, coordinating communications for the Young Cities programme and leading capacity-building work with young activists in South Asia. Jasmeet further supports the ongoing development of youth-related programming, activities and strategy. He is the lead author of the ISD report Voices of Pakistani Youth: Lessons for Civil Society in the Development of Effective Counter-Narrative Campaigns. He holds a Masters in International Law, Security and Terrorism from the University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Politics from the University of Leeds.
Christian Schwieter
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Christian Schwieter

Project Manager, Policy and Research, ISD Germany

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Christian Schwieter
Christian Schwieter

Project Manager, Policy and Research, ISD Germany

Christian Schwieter is a Project Manager at ISD Germany, leading the German-language research project on far-right activity on alternative and emerging online platforms. At ISD, Christian also co-led the pilot phase of the Digital Policy Lab, a new intergovernmental working group focused on charting the online policy path forward to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Previously, Christian worked as a researcher for the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, where he co-authored reports on state-backed information operations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, Christian was the Specialist Adviser on Disinformation Matters for the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee at the House of Commons. Christian holds an MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford and a BA from Leiden University College The Hague.
Cécile Simmons
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Cécile Simmons

Research Manager

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Cécile Simmons
Cécile Simmons

Research Manager

Cécile Simmons is a Research Manager at ISD, working within the digital research and policy team. She has co-authored reports on far-right terrorism and extremism, hate speech, gender-based violence and disinformation campaigns targeting elections. She works with tech companies, government departments and inter-governmental organisations. Cécile features regularly in international media, including BBC News, The Guardian, Politico, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Le Monde, and Wired. She is the co-author of ISD reports La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Seconde vague et désinformation: Aperçu des tendances sur les réseaux sociaux, The Interplay Between Australia’s Political Fringes on the Right and Left: Online Messaging on Facebook, Public Figures, Public Rage: Candidate abuse on social media, An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse and Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms: Learnings from the Online Civil Courage Initiative and the Online Civic Fund.
Kata Balint
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Kata Balint

Analyst

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Kata Balint
Kata Balint

Analyst

Kata Balint is an Analyst on ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit, where she supports research on malign influence operations, disinformation, conspiracy theories and hate speech online. She has been involved in research around the world, using a range of data analysis tools and open source intelligence methods. Kata previously worked as an Analyst in the Radicalisation and Extremism Programme of Political Capital, an independent research institute based in Hungary, where she co-authored a number of research papers on far-right radicalisation and extremism, as well as political attitudes and behaviour, and was involved in radicalisation prevention activities. She gained her first professional experience working in the Office of the Hungarian Parliament and in the European Parliament. Kata completed her postgraduate studies in political psychology at Queen’s University Belfast in the UK, and she holds an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences in International Studies and Communication from Roskilde University, Denmark. Kata speaks Hungarian, English, Dutch and a bit of Danish.
Aoife Gallagher
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Aoife Gallagher

Analyst

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Aoife Gallagher
Aoife Gallagher

Analyst

Aoife Gallagher is an Analyst on ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit, focusing on the intersection between far-right extremism, disinformation and conspiracy theories and using a mixture of data analysis, open source intelligence and investigative techniques to understand the online ecosystem where these ideas flourish and spread. Previously, Aoife was a journalist with the online news agency, Storyful. She is co-author of the ISD reports The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory and Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests. Aoife has completed an MA in Journalism.
Lea Gerster
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Lea Gerster

Analyst

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Lea Gerster
Lea Gerster

Analyst

Lea Gerster is an Analyst at ISD and ISD Germany. She works across a range of projects focused on the proliferation of extremist ideologies and disinformation in the English- and German-speaking part of the internet. Previously, Lea worked for two years in online extremism-related roles at TRD Policy and the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism. She also worked as an intern for the Swiss foreign office and as a volunteer at a Japanese tea farm. She is the co-author of the ISD report Crisis and Loss of Control: German-Language Digital Extremism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. She holds an MA War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in history, Japan studies, and political sciences.
Łukasz Janulewicz
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Łukasz Janulewicz

Analyst

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Łukasz Janulewicz
Łukasz Janulewicz

Analyst

Łukasz Janulewicz is an Analyst at ISD, focusing on climate disinformation in Poland and Germany. He previously worked at the Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM) in Warsaw, the Central European University in Budapest and the Bavarian State Parliament in Munich. Łukasz graduated in Political Science from the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich and holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Kent. At ISD, he has co-authored the research report: “Kalter Wind von Rechts: Wie rechte Parteien und Akteur:innen die Klimakrise zu ihren Gunsten missbrauchen Eine Analyse über falsche Fakten, Feindbilder und Desinformationsnarrative im Umfeld der Bundestagswahl 2021.”
Clara Martiny
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Clara Martiny

Digital Research Analyst

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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. 
Ciarán O’Connor
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Ciarán O’Connor

Analyst

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Ciarán O’Connor
Ciarán O’Connor

Analyst

Ciarán O’Connor is an Analyst at ISD, working in the Research and Policy unit. Ciarán specialises in using open-source research to track and monitor disinformation and extremism online, with a particular focus on far-right activity and communication across open and closed networks and platforms. Ciarán is currently working on multiple ISD projects in analysing the intersection of misinformation and extremism with COVID-19 on social media. Ciarán previously worked as a journalist on the investigations team at Storyful, a social media news agency that specialises in the verification and analysis of amateur footage and misinformation online. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook and Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud.
Julia Smirnova
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Julia Smirnova

Analyst

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Julia Smirnova
Julia Smirnova

Analyst

Julia Smirnova is an Analyst at ISD and ISD Germany, focusing on proliferation of disinformation, conspiracy myths, hate speech and extremist ideologies online. She is co-author of ISD reports Digitale Gewalt und Desinformation gegen Spitzenkandidat:innen vor der Bundestagswahl 2021, Ein Virus des Misstrauens: Der russische Staatssender RT DE und die deutsche Corona-Leugner-Szene and Desinformationskampagnen gegen die Wahl: Befunde aus Sachsen-Anhalt. Before joining ISD, Julia was working as a journalist writing for Der Spiegel and Die Zeit among others. As the Moscow correspondent for Die Welt, she was reporting on Russian politics, the annexation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine. She holds an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London.
Elise Thomas 
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Elise Thomas 

Analyst, OSINT

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Elise Thomas 
Elise Thomas 

Analyst, OSINT

Elise Thomas is an OSINT Analyst at ISD, with a background in researching state-linked information operations, disinformation, conspiracy theories and the online dynamics of political movements. She also freelances as a journalist, and her work has appeared in Bellingcat, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Wired and others. She is the author of Recommended Reading: Amazon’s algorithms, conspiracy theories and extremist literature and The Long Tail of Influence Operations: A Case Study on News Front and the co-author of COVID-19 Disinformation Briefing No.4.
Joe Downy
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Joe Downy

Project Coordinator, Strong Cities Network

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Joe Downy
Joe Downy

Project Coordinator, Strong Cities Network

Joe Downy is a Project Coordinator at ISD for the Strong Cities Network (SCN). Joe is a recent graduate with distinction from the University of Sussex with an MA in Conflict, Security and Development. He specialised in Middle Eastern Politics, Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peace-building, focusing primarily on the geopolitics of the Syrian Civil War. He wrote his dissertation on the resilience of the Syrian regime in light of the civil war, which explored the structural conditions that enabled the regime to survive where other dictators fell during the Arab Spring. Prior to joining ISD, he was a Research and Communications Assistant for Children on the Edge, with voluntary experience with NGOs in the UK, Lebanon and Turkey.
Emir Hasanovic
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Emir Hasanovic

Western Balkans Coordinator

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Emir Hasanovic
Emir Hasanovic

Western Balkans Coordinator

Emir Hasanovic is the Western Balkans Coordinator at ISD, responsible for Young Cities and Strong Cities coordination in the region, research and analysis, communications, and expansion. He is a strategic communications professional and project manager with international experience in consultancy, government, and non-profit sector. He has worked for communications agencies in the Middle East and the US, advising premier clients in government, environment, corporate social responsibility, human rights primarily. Emir has also served as Special Adviser to Deputy PM and Minister of Defence of North Macedonia for Communications and International relations. He has also been Program Development Officer for the USAID/OTI North Macedonia Support Initiative. Emir is a graduate of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and is fluent in Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, and English, and he speaks conversational French.
Martina Lappo
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Martina Lappo

Project Coordinator, Young Cities

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Martina Lappo
Martina Lappo

Project Coordinator, Young Cities

Martina Lappo is a Project Coordinator at ISD, working on the Young Cities programme in the West Africa region. Previously, Martina worked with NGOs and UN agencies in the Caribbean, and Central and West Africa. She has experience in project Monitoring and Evaluation, and in the implementation of sexual and reproductive health development programmes. She holds a Masters in Humanitarian Action from University College Dublin and a Bachelors’ Degree in Interpreting and Translation Studies from the University of Salford.
Sina Laubenstein
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Sina Laubenstein

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Sina Laubenstein
Sina Laubenstein

Educator at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Sina Laubenstein is an Educator at the Business Council for Democracy (#BC4D) at ISD Germany. She is involved with developing and implementing a training program for adult audiences, empowering them against a wide array of online harms (hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy myths). She previously worked for the Berlin-based association Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen e.V., being the project lead of the No Hate Speech Movement in Germany. She has further worked with the Council of Europe and consulted various Federal ministries and foundations on topics such as digital citizenship, hate speech and radicalisation online. Sina holds an MA in Global Studies and Societal Change from Malmö University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. She has co-authored the ISD report Hate Speech and Radicalisation Online: The OCCI Research Report.
Kathryn Morrison
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Kathryn Morrison

Programme Operations Coordinator

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Kathryn Morrison
Kathryn Morrison

Programme Operations Coordinator

Kathryn is a Programme Operations Coordinator at ISD, working across a range of ISD’s projects in the Africa, Middle-East & Asia regions. She is responsible for project and grant management as well as operational delivery. Prior to joining ISD, Kathryn has worked for a number of INGOs including Save the Children, Start Network and Saferworld in both an operational and programmatic capacity. Kathryn holds a Msc in Violence, Conflict and Development from School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS) and a BA in American Studies.
Shirley Otube
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Shirley Otube

Coordinator, East Africa

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Shirley Otube
Shirley Otube

Coordinator, East Africa

Shirley Otube is a Coordinator for ISD in East Africa.
Nathalie Rücker
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Nathalie Rücker

Team Lead & Manager at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

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Nathalie Rücker
Nathalie Rücker

Team Lead & Manager at the Business Council for Democracy, ISD Germany

Nathalie Rücker is a Team Lead & Manager at ISD Germany, working for the Business Council for Democracy (BC4D). She delivers and further develops the BC4D training programme for adults that teaches strategies of digital civil courage and equips participants with the knowledge and skills to stand up against hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. Previously, Nathalie worked at the intersection of peacebuilding research, conflict prevention and human rights empowerment in Germany and abroad, implementing projects, focusing on the capacity building of civil society actors-- particularly women's rights and youth organizations. She is a trained conflict mediator, holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Public International Law and International Relations.
Isel van Zyl
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Isel van Zyl

Project Coordinator, Civic Action and Capacity Building

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Isel van Zyl
Isel van Zyl

Project Coordinator, Civic Action and Capacity Building

Isel van Zyl is a Civic Action and Capacity Building Coordinator at ISD. Her work entails assisting the Strong Cities Network and McCain Institute with implementing project activities and capacity building workshops. Her interests are concentrated on the different ways in which conflict manifests on the African continent, as well as the preventative measures taken by African states. Her research focus has been on the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE), border security management, and rehabilitation and reintegration (formerly known as DDR). Prior to joining ISD, Isel worked as a Research Officer for the Institute for Security Studies in the Complex Threats in Africa programme. Isel holds a Masters degree in Advanced European and International Affairs at the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) in Nice, France.
Sara Bundtzen
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Sara Bundtzen

Research and Policy Analyst, ISD Germany

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Sara Bundtzen
Sara Bundtzen

Research and Policy Analyst, ISD Germany

Sara Bundtzen is a Research and Policy Analyst at ISD Germany. She is involved in the Digital Policy Lab (DPL), a new intergovernmental working group focused on policy responses to prevent and counter online disinformation, hate speech and extremism. She also supports ISD’s wider research and advisory on election-related disinformation and influence campaigns, as well as extremism and terrorism-related content. Sara holds an MA in International Security from Sciences Po Paris and a BSc in European Studies from the University of Southern Denmark.
Jon Jones
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Jon Jones

Evaluation and Outreach Associate

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Jon Jones
Jon Jones

Evaluation and Outreach Associate

Jon Jones is an Evaluation and Outreach Associate at ISD for the Strong Cities Network (SCN). Jon is an MSc graduate in Middle East politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and holds a BA in international relations from the University of Sussex. He has worked in consulting, evaluation and learning in the humanitarian sector and cultural heritage preservation in Palestine. Prior to joining ISD, Jon was involved in the development of a research and pedagogical initiative that centres global perspectives around issues of (in)security.
Akyar Maalim 
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Akyar Maalim 

Associate, East Africa

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Akyar Maalim 
Akyar Maalim 

Associate, East Africa

Akyar Maalim is an East Africa Associate at ISD, working under the PROACT program. Her work entails supporting the PROACT program by implementing project activities, conducting background research and coordinating communication for the project. Akyar hold a Masters degree in International Peace, Conflict and Development studies from Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain under the UNESCO Chair of Education and Philosophy and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the United States International University-Africa. She has previously worked as Communication and Knowledge Management Intern at the United Nations Development Program and as a communications intern at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Paula Matlach
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Paula Matlach

Research Associate

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Paula Matlach
Paula Matlach

Research Associate

Paula Matlach is a Research Associate at ISD. She studies the spread of disinformation and propaganda in German and English-speaking countries. Prior to her work at ISD, she worked as a researcher at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, where she published articles on network regulation and foreign influence, among other topics. At ISD, she has co-authored the research report „Fluchtwege. Wie das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz auf etablierten sozialen Medien durch die Verlinkung zu alternativen Plattformen umgangen wird“. 
Krystalle Pinilla
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Krystalle Pinilla

Communications Associate

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Krystalle Pinilla
Krystalle Pinilla

Communications Associate

Krystalle Pinilla is a Communications Associate at ISD. She assists our communications department in coordinating our external written content including publications, blog posts, newsletters and other outputs relating to our research, and subsequent digital and broadcast media appearances. Before joining ISD, Krystalle was a Research Intern and Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State, where she focused on CVE programs, and disinformation in relation to terrorist and violent extremist groups. She also worked for many years as a National Reporter and Editor for NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, a Spanish-language media company in the U.S. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Florida and is currently a Masters candidate in Geopolitics and Strategic Studies at the University Carlos III of Madrid.
Sameen Zehra
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Sameen Zehra

YouthCAN Associate

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Sameen Zehra
Sameen Zehra

YouthCAN Associate

Sameen is a Youth Civic Action Associate at ISD. She supports the delivery of ISD’s youth empowerment programmes, Young Cities and YouthCAN, assisting in developing online communications, campaigns, and supporting youth activists and their projects globally. Sameen holds an M.S. in Global Affairs with a Peacebuilding specialization from New York University, and a B.A. in Peace, Conflict, and Justice from the University of Toronto. Before joining ISD, she worked at the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) to develop strategic communications, digital advocacy campaigns, and coordinate a multimedia training program for local women-led peacebuilding organizations. As a graduate student, she was also a Consultant with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate, and the Ugandan-based African Youth Initiative Network.
Lucy Cooper
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Lucy Cooper

Intern

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Lucy Cooper
Lucy Cooper

Intern

Lucy Cooper is an intern 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.
David Leenstra
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David Leenstra

Research Intern

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David Leenstra
David Leenstra

Research Intern

David Leenstra is a Research Intern at ISD as part of the Europe and Five Eyes team. He holds a master’s in Conflict Studies & Human Rights from Utrecht University and a master’s in History of International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. During his studies, he researched different forms of extremist activism across the ideological spectrum, conducting ethnographic research on far-right movements in Belgium to explore the dominant ideologies and motivations that inspired young Flemish adults to engage in collective action. During his second master’s, he analysed Western-oriented Islamic State propaganda, mapping the ways in which the organisation legitimized its statehood and violent rule.
Zoë Rübbert
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Zoë Rübbert

Trainee

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Zoë Rübbert
Zoë Rübbert

Trainee

Zoë Rübbert is a Trainee undergoing the ISD Germany Traineeship curriculum, which allows her to be involved with, and learn from, a diverse range of projects in the areas of research, policy advice and civil society involvement. In addition to her Traineeship she is also a part of the project management of the Business Council for Democracy, an adult education project about digital citizenship and countering hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy narratives online. Zoë holds a BSc in International Relations from Leiden University.