Facing the Facts: Disinformation in the U.S. Election
In order for democracies to guarantee free and fair elections, citizens must have access to reliable information about the candidates for whom they will cast their votes. However, though it is easier than ever to find political content in today’s digital age, there is an increasing chance that the information voters encounter online has been falsified or misconstrued by foreign governments, non-state actors, or even the candidates themselves. How do disinformation campaigns spread so rapidly, and what effect are they having on the 2020 United States Presidential Election? Tune in for a timely discussion of these questions on Friday, October 9th, from 12 PM to 1 PM EST, when we are joined by Yaël Eisenstat, thought leader, democracy activist and strategist, and Nina Jankowicz, Disinformation Fellow at The Wilson Center.
Yaël is a thought leader, democracy activist and strategist working with governments, tech companies, and investors focused on the intersection of ethics, tech, democracy, and policy. She has spent 20 years working around the globe as a CIA officer, a White House advisor, the Global Head of Elections Integrity Operations for political advertising at Facebook, a diplomat, a corporate social responsibility strategist at ExxonMobil, and the head of a global risk firm. Currently, she is a Visiting Fellow at Cornell Tech’s Digital Life Initiative, where she explores technology’s effects on civil discourse and democracy and teaches a multi-university course on Tech, Media and Democracy.
Yaël has become a key voice and public advocate for transparency and accountability in tech, particularly where real-world-consequences affect democracy and societies around the world. Her recent TED talk addresses these issues and proposes ideas for how government and society should hold the companies accountable.
Yaël travels internationally as a keynote speaker at any number of venues seeking informed, inspirational women to help make sense of our world’s most difficult challenges. She can be booked through the Lavin Agency.
Yaël was named to Forbes’ 2017 list of “40 Women to Watch Over 40”. She is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and she provides context and analysis on national security, elections integrity, political and foreign affairs in the media. She has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Brookings Techstream, TIME, WIRED, Quartz and The Huffington Post, has appeared on CNN, BBC World News, Bloomberg News, CBS News, PBS and C-SPAN, in policy forums, and on a number of podcasts. She earned an M.A. in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
More than anything, she is passionate about using her background and skills to help foster reasoned, civil discourse.
Nina Jankowicz studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict (Bloomsbury/IBTauris). Ms. Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and others. She is a frequent television and radio commentator on disinformation and Russian and Eastern European affairs. Prior to her Fulbright grant in Ukraine, Ms. Jankowicz managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She received her MA in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College.