Pandemic Propaganda: A New Electoral Crisis
July 9, 2020
How will the misinformation pandemic inflamed by the coronavirus crisis reshape the political landscape? And how might domestic and foreign actors weaponize rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation about Covid-19 against American voters in the lead-up to the November election? A distinguished panel discussed measures that can address these challenges in the upcoming months and help ensure the 2020 election is free, fair, and safe.
Laura Rosenberger is the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. The Brennan Center’s Ian Vandewalker is senior counsel for the Democracy Program, where he works to address the influence of money in politics and foreign interference in U.S. elections. Ángel Díaz is counsel in the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program; his work focuses on the intersection of technology with civil rights and civil liberties. They joined Foreign Affairs executive editor Daniel Kurtz-Phelan.
This event was produced in partnership with Foreign Affairs and New York University's Brennan Center for Justice.
Ángel Díaz, Counsel, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Ángel Díaz is counsel in the Liberty & National Security Program. His work focuses on the intersection of technology with civil rights and civil liberties. He is active on issues related to policing and technology, as well as matters related to online speech and content moderation.
Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Díaz was an associate at Gunderson Dettmer, where he advised technology start-ups and venture capital firms on issues related to privacy, information security, and intellectual property. Díaz is a graduate of Berkeley Law and the University of California, Berkeley.
Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, Executive Editor, Foreign Affairs (Presider)
Daniel Kurtz-Phelan became Executive Editor of Foreign Affairs in October 2017. He previously served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and, before that, as a senior editor at the magazine. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker, and his narrative history of George Marshall’s post–World War II mission to China, The China Mission, was published by WW Norton in April 2018.
Laura Rosenberger, Director, Alliance for Securing Democracy; Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Laura Rosenberger is director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Before she joined GMF, she was foreign policy advisor for Hillary for America, where she coordinated development of the campaign’s national security policies, messaging, and strategy. Prior to that, she served in a range of positions at the State Department and the White House’s National Security Council (NSC). As chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and earlier as then-Deputy National Security Advisor Blinken’s senior advisor, she counseled on the full range of national security policy. In her role at the NSC, she also managed the interagency Deputies Committee, the U.S. government’s senior-level interagency decision-making forum on our country’s most pressing national security issues.
Laura also has extensive background in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Northeast Asia. She served as NSC director for China and Korea, managing and coordinating U.S. policy on China and the Korean Peninsula, and in a variety of positions focused on the Asia-Pacific region at the Department of State, including managing U.S.–China relations and addressing North Korea’s nuclear programs. She also served as special assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns, advising him on Asia-Pacific affairs and on nonproliferation and arms control issues. Laura first joined the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow.
She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She received her master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution from American University’s School of International Service, and received her bachelors’ degrees with honors from Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College in sociology, psychology, and women’s studies. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and is an avid Steelers fan.
Ian Vandewalker, Senior Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Ian Vandewalker is senior counsel for the Democracy Program, where he works to address the influence of money in politics and foreign interference in U.S. elections. His work has been featured in press outlets across the nation, including the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Newsweek, and the Los Angeles Times. He has also published academic articles on election law and civil liberties and testified before Congress and in state and local legislatures.
Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Vandewalker held fellowships at the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Vera Institute of Justice. He clerked for Hon. Frederic Block of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He earned his JD cum laude from New York University School of Law, where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow. He holds a master’s degree in philosophy from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida.