The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to set up a new board aimed at countering misinformation related to homeland security, with a focus specifically on Russia and irregular migration. The board will also combat misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms.
The board will be called the “Disinformation Governance Board.” It will be headed by executive director Nina Jankowicz – previously a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center.
“Our Undersecretary for Policy, Rob Silvers is co-chair with our Principal Deputy General Counsel, Jennifer Gaskell, in leading a just recently constituted misinformation disinformation governance board. So we’re bringing — the goal is to bring the resources of the department together to address this threat,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said while speaking with the House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee on Wednesday.
Jankowicz had advised the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry as part of the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship. She also oversaw Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute.
The new board is now advising and providing resources to the nation’s secretaries of state, Mayorkas explained.
“We have just established a miss-and-disinformation governance board in the Department of Homeland Security to more effectively combat this threat, not only to election security, but to our homeland security.
“We are disseminating information to the secretaries of state. We are counseling them and providing resources to ensure better physical security. We are addressing all aspects of election security given, of course, the midterm elections that are upon us, and the fundamental integrity of our democratic processes that is at stake.”
Jankowicz made the announcement on Twitter, writing: “Cat’s out of the bag: here’s what I’ve been up to the past two months, and why I’ve been quiet on here… Honored to be serving in the Biden Administration @DHSgov and helping shape our counter-disinformation efforts.” Mayorkas also named Rob Silvers and Jennifer Gaskell as leaders of the new board.
She added that “a HUGE focus of our work, and indeed, one of the key reasons the Board was established, is to maintain the Dept’s committment (sic) to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties.”
Jankowicz is a fellow at the Wilson Center where she studies the “intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe.” She is also the author of ‘How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.’