Farah Pandith
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Farah Pandith

Senior Advisor

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Farah Pandith
Farah Pandith

Senior Advisor

Farah Pandith is a world-leading expert and pioneer on countering violent extremism (CVE). She served as a political appointee in the George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama administrations at the National Security Council, US Agency for International Development and US Department of State. Most recently she was the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities (2009-2014). Her book is How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat. She is a frequent media commentator and public speaker. She is senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council from 2015-2017.
Amarnath Amarasingam
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Amarnath Amarasingam

Senior Research Fellow

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Amarnath Amarasingam
Amarnath Amarasingam

Senior Research Fellow

Amarnath Amarasingam, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at ISD. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada (2015). He is the editor of Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War (2016), The Stewart/Colbert Effect: Essays on the Real Impacts of Fake News (2011) and Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal (2010). He is also the author of several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has presented papers at over 100 national and international conferences, and has written for Politico, The Atlantic, Vice News, Foreign Affairs, Al-Jazeera English, and War on the Rocks. Amarasingam is an experienced field researcher, having conducted hundreds of interviews for his PhD dissertation on social movement activism, organisational dynamics, and youth identity in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. He also conducted over 50 interviews with former fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) throughout the former war zones of Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013. At the Turkey-Syria border, Amarasingam spoke with dozens of injured fighters, refugees, as well as former and current activists of the Syrian revolution. He has also conducted field research in Somalia, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and amongst different ethnic and religious groups in North America and Europe. As co-director of a study of Western foreign fighters in Syria, he has conducted dozens of interviews with jihadists in Syria and Iraq, supporters of jihadist movements online, as well as family members and friends of individuals who have joined the fight abroad.
Dr. Sarah Ashraf
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Dr. Sarah Ashraf

Consultant, Policy & Research

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Dr. Sarah Ashraf
Dr. Sarah Ashraf

Consultant, Policy & Research

Dr Sarah Ashraf is Manager - Policy & Research at ISD. She has over 10 years’ experience in managing and analysing sensitive material with regards to insurgency, counter-insurgency, extremism, transnational jihadism and the ideological underpinnings of various forms of radicalism. At ISD, Sarah is involved in all areas of research and policy, particularly related to Islamism and South Asia, but also more broadly across different teams. With extensive experience of practical research in challenging security environments, Sarah has worked with the government, research and not-for-profit sectors both independently and collaboratively. She has published and presented several research projects, working with intelligence agencies, military, civil society, media and political leaderships in attaining exclusive access to primary sources and has a deep understanding of the complex causality underpinning contemporary Islamist movements. She has also had a comprehensive experience of reading conflicts in the Middle East, with broad understanding of the challenges faced by the main states and movements historically engaged in the Arab-Israeli conflict i.e. Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Sarah has an PhD in International History, an MSc in Theory and History of International Relations with a focus on Political Islam, both from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA(Hons) in International Relations from Sussex University. She is a guest teacher at the LSE and recently received the LSE Excellence in Teaching Award. Sarah is fluent in five languages: Urdu, Hindi, English, Pushto, Punjabi and can read Arabic.
Jonathan Birdwell
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Jonathan Birdwell

Senior Policy Fellow

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Jonathan Birdwell
Jonathan Birdwell

Senior Policy Fellow

Jonathan is a Senior Policy Fellow at ISD. Until 2020, he was ISD’s Deputy Director with responsibility for Research, Policy and Cities work, overseeing ISD’s policy work and networks including the Policy Planners’ Network and the Strong Cities Network, as well as overseeing ISD’s work on education policy and programming. At ISD, Jonathan authored Prior to joining ISD, Jonathan was Head of Programme at the UK cross-party think tank Demos, where he published over forty research reports on topics including violent extremism both Islamist (The Edge of Violence, 2010) and Far-Right (The New Face of Digital Populism, 2011). Jonathan has also written extensively on education (The Forgotten Half, 2011), social and emotional learning (Character Nation, 2015), youth social action and attitudes towards politics (Tune In, Turn Out, 2014), digital politics and marketing (Like, Share, Vote, 2014), trust in government (Trust in Practice, 2010) and religion and integration (Rising to the Top, 2015), among other topics. Jonathan holds a Master’s degree (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Iris Boyer
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Iris Boyer

Advisor to ISD France

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Iris Boyer
Iris Boyer

Advisor to ISD France

Iris is an Advisor to ISD France. Until 2020, she was Deputy Head of the Communications, Education and Networks team, overseeing a number of programmes supporting and amplifying civil society’s efforts against extremism through scaled partnerships with tech companies and grassroots organisations. Whilst at ISD, Iris authored Before joining ISD, Iris worked at YouTube on the development and coordination of the global campaign Creators for Change, after having managed counter speech and social good programmes at Facebook for their EMEA policy team. Prior to that, she spent some time working for French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a junior policy analyst in Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as for French Ministry of Finance, as an economic attaché covering the South Caucasus region. Iris holds a French 5-year diploma in social sciences and humanities from Sciences Po, as well as an international master in public affairs from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and the London Metropolitan University. Before graduating, Iris has also worked as an intern for a youth-oriented charity in Belgium and a policy-focused think tank Russia, as well as with French MEP and former Minister of Education Vincent Peillon at the European Parliament.
Julia Ebner
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Julia Ebner

Senior Research Fellow

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Julia Ebner
Julia Ebner

Senior Research Fellow

Julia Ebner is a Research Fellow at ISD, specialising in far-right extremism, reciprocal radicalisation and European terrorism prevention initiatives. She is the author of ‘The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism’ as well as several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and policy briefings. On the basis of her research, Julia advises parliamentary working groups, frontline workers and tech firms, speaks at international conferences and delivers workshops in schools and universities. She regularly writes for the Guardian and the Independent and gives interviews in English, German and French on the BBC, CNN, ZDF, ARD, France24, Al Jazeera, LBC and others. Before joining ISD, Julia worked as a Senior Researcher at the counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, where she led research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism. Among other publications, she co-authored the report ‘The EU and Terrorism: Is Britain Safer In or Out?’ as well as a chapter in the Routledge volume Education and Extremisms. In her role as the coordinator of the pan-European network Families Against Terrorism and Extremism (FATE), she carried out radicalisation prevention projects across Europe and North Africa. Julia holds an MSc (Dist) in International History from London School of Economics and an MSc (Dist) in International Relations from Peking University. She completed her undergraduate studies with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and a BSc in International Business.
Dilwar Hussain
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Dilwar Hussain

Fellow

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Dilwar Hussain
Dilwar Hussain

Fellow

Dilwar Hussain is a Fellow at ISD, and an independent consultant working on social policy, Muslim identity and Islamic reform in the modern world. He is founding Chair of New Horizons in British Islam, a charity that works on Muslim identity, integration and reform; Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, University of Coventry; and Lecturer at the University of Leicester. Dilwar also teaches courses on Islam in contemporary society, and is the author of several publications in this field. He has previously worked in academic research, political consultancy, and training for more than 15 years, delivering contracts for private sector groups as well as various governmental departments.
Alex Krasodomski-Jones
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Alex Krasodomski-Jones

Fellow

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Alex Krasodomski-Jones
Alex Krasodomski-Jones

Fellow

Alex Krasodomski-Jones is a Fellow at ISD and a researcher at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM). His main research interest is political extremism and its reportage on social media. He also manages CASM’s analytics capability, including data collection, analytics, and visualisation. Alex is a frequent media commentator, and writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Spectator. Before joining CASM, Alex worked at Accenture Digital in visual analytics.
Hadiya Masieh
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Hadiya Masieh

Fellow

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Hadiya Masieh
Hadiya Masieh

Fellow

Hadiya Masieh is an expert in the area of community cohesion, interfaith relations, counter extremism, and women’s involvement in extremism. She has been a counter extremism consultant for various Governments and NGOs in the US, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. She has also worked with non-profit and commercial organisations including Google Jigsaw. She was appointed to the UK government’s “National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group” which advised senior government officials on theological development, community cohesion, and empowering women from ethnic minorities. Hadiya was one of the authors of the report “Radicalisation and violent extremism-focus on women: How women become radicalised and how to empower them to prevent Radicalisation”, which was produced the European Parliament committee on Women’s Rights and Gender equality. Hadiya was an ambassador for Women Without Borders promoting counter extremism narratives and facilitating discussions within conflict areas. She was appointed to the board of the internationally renowned and award winning peacekeeping organisation The Bereaved Families Forum based in Palestine and Israel, promoting their message of peace within conservative Jewish and Islamic Institutions in the UK. Hadiya was one of the first women to work on the UK channel programme where she has worked closely with scores of women affected by radical and extremist views. She has been interviewed by Radio 4, BBC World Service, BBC Asian Network, CNN, The Guardian, and Vogue Magazine. Hadiya has worked with ISD as a consultant since 2013 on the One to One programme.
Zeenat Rahman
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Zeenat Rahman

Fellow

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Zeenat Rahman
Zeenat Rahman

Fellow

Zeenat Rahman is a Fellow at ISD, as well as an expert on global youth issues, interfaith, and diversity engagement. She is also a former diplomat. Her experience ranges from national security, foreign policy, and leadership development to work in government, the private sector, and NGOs. Zeenat was recently a Presidential Political Appointee, serving as a Special Advisor to Secretaries Clinton and Kerry on global youth issues at the U.S. Department of State. While in this field, she encouraged foreign governments to respond to youth issues through policy change, and created opportunities for young people to pursue their economic and civic goals.
Louis Reynolds
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Louis Reynolds

Fellow

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Louis Reynolds
Louis Reynolds is a Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and has worked across counter-extremism education, research and policy within the Institute. He holds a Masters in Intelligence and International Security from Kings College London and a Bachelors in War Studies from Birmingham University.
Erin Marie Saltman
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Erin Marie Saltman

Fellow

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Erin Marie Saltman
Erin Marie Saltman

Fellow

Erin Marie Satlman is a Fellow at ISD who has worked in academic, NGO, and private sector roles developing innovative research and approaches for counter-extremism and counterterrorism efforts. She currently works for Facebook, where she is a Policy Manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism. She has produced a range of action-oriented research and developed programs on preventing and countering violent extremism, promoting youth activism in challenging hate speech and extremism, as well as analysing the radicalisation of women into violent extremism networks.
Melanie Smith
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Melanie Smith

Fellow

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Melanie Smith
Melanie is a Fellow, assisting with ISD’s social media analysis projects. Melanie is currently an Intelligence Analyst at Graphika, where she uses social media and other open-source data to understand flows of disinformation and propaganda. Her work at ISD focused on the involvement of women in violent conflict, lone-actor terrorism, and the online behaviours of extremists from across the spectrum. Melanie has co-authored reports and articles on these subjects, regularly presenting her findings to governmental audiences as well as national and international press. Previously a Researcher at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College London, Melanie built and cultivated the largest known online database of female members of ISIS. She holds an MA in Geopolitics, Territory & Security from King’s College London and a BA in Geography with Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese from the University of Exeter.
Heather Tsavaris
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Heather Tsavaris

Senior Fellow

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Heather Tsavaris
Heather Tsavaris

Senior Fellow

Heather is currently a Senior Fellow for the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD) where she is serving in both an advisory and research capacity focused on U.S. efforts to build social cohesion and community resilience to counter violent extremism in all its forms. Prior to joining ISD, Heather served as the Senior Community Engagement Coordinator for Columbus, Ohio under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Community Partnerships. Previously, Heather spent a decade working for the U.S. Department of State focused on counterterrorism, countering violent extremism, and promoting Muslim civil society engagement across the globe. Heather has also worked in the philanthropic sector with Innovation Fund America and in the private sector with the Gap Foundation and the Cisco Entrepreneurship Institute. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from The Ohio State University, a master's in international security from George Washington University and a master's in business administration from New York University.