Event Partner:  

Best Practices in Combatting Disinformation In the Public and Private Sector: 2023


Dan Brahmy

Dan Brahmy

Co-founder and CEO


(Tel Aviv)

Dan Brahmy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cyabra, a social search engine working with government agencies and consumer brands to uncover the good, bad and fake of online conversations. Prior to his role at Cyabra, Dan was the VP of Business Development and Co-Founder at Spark as well as a consultant at Deloitte Digital and Google. Dan is a graduate of Reichman University with a B.A in Business specializing in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

Andy Carvin

Andy Carvin

Managing Editor and DFRLab Senior Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab)

Atlantic Council

Andy Carvin is senior fellow and managing editor at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) based in Washington D.C., where he leads the lab’s research and reporting efforts.

Andy is an award-winning journalist who has pioneered new forms of online collaboration for more than 20 years. Most recently he served as senior editor-at-large for the social video startup NowThis, developing the company’s breaking news strategy and serving as lead editor for major breaking news stories ranging from international terrorism to the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Prior to joining NowThis, Andy was founder and editor-in-chief of reported.ly, a social news initiative at First Look Media. Using social media and digital forensic tools, reported.ly covered breaking news stories around the world, with a particular emphasis on human rights and social justice. The project received the 2015 Online Journalism Award for its groundbreaking use of social media to cover the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris.

From 2006 to 2013, Andy was senior strategist at NPR, where he founded the company’s social media desk and developed new reporting techniques to improve the quality and diversity of NPR’s journalism. Over the course of 2011 and 2012, he became known as “the man who tweets revolutions” due to his innovative coverage of the Arab Spring using social media. For his work during the Arab Spring, Andy received a 2011 Knight-Batten Award for journalism innovation, and the 2012 Shorty Award for best journalist on Twitter. He was also a semifinalist for the 2011 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In early 2013, Andy released the book Distant Witness: Social Media, The Arab Spring And A Journalism Revolution, published by CUNY Journalism Press. His work has been featured at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which is displaying the iPhone he used to cover the Arab Spring as part of its permanent exhibit on the history of American innovation.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2006, Andy was the director and editor of the Digital Divide Network, an online community of educators, community activists, policymakers and business leaders working to bridge the digital divide. For this work he was named to Technology Review’s annual TR-35 list of the world’s most innovative science and technology leaders ages 35 and under.

During natural disasters and other major crises, Andy has used his online community-building skills to mobilize online volunteers. On September 11, 2001, he created SEPT11INFO, a news forum for the public to crowdsource information and help refute rumors in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. He also worked with the online volunteer initiative CrisisCommons, to help with their development of shared technology solutions to improve emergency management and humanitarian activities in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Andy graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in rhetoric and an MA in telecommunications policy. He lives near Washington DC with his wife, two kids, two dogs, two cats, and a very large lathe, which he uses to make wooden bowls and vases in his spare time.

Welton Chang

Welton Chang

Co-founder & CEO

Pyrra Technologies Inc.

(Washington D.C.)

Dr. Welton Chang is co-founder and CEO of Pyrra Technologies. Most recently he was the first Chief Technology Officer at Human Rights First and founded HRF’s Innovation Lab. Prior to joining HRF, Welton was a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory where he led teams and developed technical solutions to address disinformation and online propaganda. Before joining APL, Welton served for nearly a decade as an intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency and in the Army, including two operational tours in Iraq and a tour in South Korea. Welton received a PhD and MA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from Georgetown University, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Matthew F. Ferraro

Matthew F. Ferraro



Matthew F. Ferraro, Counsel WilmerHale, advises clients on matters related to defense and national security, cybersecurity and crisis management. In the cyber domain, Mr. Ferraro regularly works with companies to prepare for and respond to cyberattacks. Mr. Ferraro counsels clients, writes, and speaks on the threat that digital disinformation and deepfakes pose to corporations, brands and markets—an area of practice he has termed disinformation and deepfakes risk management (DDRM). His articles on these topics have appeared in The Washington Post, CNN, Lawfare, Corporate Counsel, The Hill, Law360, Brunswick Review and Studies in Intelligence, the CIA’s journal, among others. He also authored the chapter on disinformation and deepfakes in the ABA Cybersecurity Handbook (3rd ed.).

Dave Fleet

Dave Fleet

Managing Director, Head of Global Digital Crisis


Dave Fleet has been advising companies on reputation management and digital communications for more than two decades. As Edelman’s Head of Global Digital Crisis, Dave helps companies around the globe to navigate digitally-driven crises, dynamics and channels in order to safeguard their reputations.

In his role Dave also leads Edelman’s global Disinformation Shield team – bringing together intelligence, strategy and response capabilities aimed at combatting mis- and disinformation threats. He has worked on a wide range of situations including geopolitical, consumer and employee advocacy, major corporate malfeasance, class action lawsuit, labour relations, misinformation and disinformation issues, among others.

Ed Hoover

Ed Hoover

Crisis & Issues Management. Senior Manager

Mars, Incorporated

Ed oversees crisis preparedness and crisis response for Mars, and partners with multiple internal stakeholders to align on Mars’ positions and responses to critical issues facing the business.

In this role, Ed established Mars’ first globally aligned crisis management program, bringing the company’s numerous business segments together to coordinate efforts in preparing for, preventing and managing threats to the company’s reputation. This work includes developing a comprehensive training program for management teams across Mars, ensuring leaders are equipped to prevent situations from becoming a crisis, and to manage crises according to the Mars Purpose and The Five Principles. He works closely with the Mars Leadership Team to coordinates the corporate Crisis Management Team and serves as a strategic resource for Mars leaders throughout the world in best practice for crisis management.

Earlier in his tenure at Mars, Ed began the transformation for Mars’ Consumer Care function, creating the first global standard for conducting interactions with consumers across all Mars segments, and led the creation of the Consumer Care job function within Corporate Affairs. After establishing a cross-segment team of experts, Ed led a project to update the technologies supporting the Consumer Care function, leading to the creation of Mars Pulse, a comprehensive consumer management system based on Salesforce technology, which now manages 89% of all consumer contacts across Mars.

Ed joined Mars in 2010 after more than a decade advising numerous clients in public affairs, government relations, corporate positioning, crisis and issues management, and stakeholder outreach in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Sydney, Australia.

He has managed crisis and litigation communications for Dole; community outreach and public affairs during the DeepWater Horizon oil spill; media relations and outreach to minority communities for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing; media relations, advertising, sports marketing, and consumer care for the Public Utility Commission of Texas; and issues management for Accenture.

For two years, Ed represented global, national and local clients to federal and state/territory governments in Australia. Based in Sydney, he served as a federal lobbyist for Nutricia and Colgate; managed media relations for Hankook Tyres; and issues and crisis management for Colgate and Accenture.

Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and journalism from Texas A&M University. A lifelong classical singer, he sings with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, a Grammy award-winning leader in the choral music field and an icon in the Washington, D.C., cultural scene. Performing with the group’s Chamber Singers and the Symphonic Chorus, he has appeared on numerous recordings and television broadcasts in addition to the group’s annual concert series at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

He also serves on Choral Arts’ Board of Directors, chairing its Audience Development Committee and serving on the Governance and Development committees. He has also served as special brand adviser to the Executive Committee, and co-chairs a working group to redefine Choral Arts for the future. In July 2020, Choral Arts launched an entirely new brand identity and strategic plan to bring choral music into the future.

Ed is also an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in Artforum, Roll Call, DCist, Londonist and NPR.org, and his work has appeared at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Longview Gallery, the DCist Exposed Photography Show, InstantDC and FotoweekDC.

He lives in Washington, D.C., with his partner, Heather, and their cat, Mimolette.

John Kelly

John Kelly

Founder and CEO


(New York)

John W. Kelly, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of Graphika, a social media analysis firm founded on technology he invented that blends social network analysis, content analysis, and statistics to make complex online networks understandable. Dr. Kelly is also a recognized expert on advanced computational techniques for measuring online behavior. Most recently, he was invited to provide his expert testimony on foreign interference in the U.S. presidential election before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He is also an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he works with leading academics to design and implement empirical studies of the Internet’s role in business, culture, and politics around the world. A quantitative social scientist by training, Dr. Kelly earned his Ph.D. in Communications from Columbia University, and has also studied at Stanford and the Oxford Internet Institute, where now serves as a strategic advisor. Today, Kelly leads a team of business professionals and data scientists to bring new analytic technologies to market via the Graphika platform.

Richard​​ ​​Leblanc

Richard​​ ​​Leblanc

Professor of Governance, Law​​ ​​&​​ ​​Ethics

York​​ ​​University

Richard Leblanc brings to business and professional clients a depth of information from his extensive research and work with boards of directors and training and development of leaders and managers. He is engaging, dynamic, personable and an award-winning educator, lawyer, consultant and author. Because of his work with leading companies and current research, Richard is always on the cutting edge of emerging global developments. His insight has guided leaders of organizations through his teaching, writing and direct consultation to government regulators and corporations.

Author or contributing author of dozens of scholarly and practitioner articles, books and programs, Richard’s work has been described by various faculty at Harvard, Yale, London Business School and elsewhere as “great & much needed,” “wonderful and pragmatic,” “thorough” and “nothing short of remarkable,” as well as by Fortune 500, NYSE, FTSE and other company leaders as “leading edge,”“ground-breaking,” “valuable guidance,” “indispensable,” “compelling” and “exceptional.”

Richard adopts a framework for governance effectiveness developed over several years. His work, directly or indirectly, has impacted companies throughout the world, including those that have used Richard’s methodology to strengthen their governance effectiveness and accountability practices.

Richard is frequently consulted by stakeholders – such as companies, investors, associations, partnerships, not-for-profits, the media and regulators – for the latest developments and trends and customizes his speaking engagements to please all types of audiences and classes. He received a recent teaching award as one of five of the top university teachers in Ontario. Richard is a strategic advisor at the Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance at the University of Texas at Dallas and in 2012 developed and taught a course in corporate governance at Harvard University, where he received an instructor rating of 4.89 out of 5. View a sample video of Richard speaking here.

Professor Leblanc is the recipient of awards for his research, teaching and other contributions, including the School of Administrative Studies Award for Theory and Practice, the Schulich School of Business Award for Teaching Excellence, and Merit Awards. Click here for more. He is a frequent speaker and media commentator. See here (speaking), here (television, etc.) and here (media outreach) respectively.

Erin McAweeney

Erin McAweeney

Director of Analysis


(Washington, D.C.)

Erin McAweeney is the Director of Analysis at Graphika, focusing on election integrity, online social movements, and public health misinformation. Her recent work uses qualitative and quantitative methods to map and analyze the global spread of mis- and disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines. Prior to Graphika, she was a research analyst at the research institute Data & Society and a Google News Lab research fellow.

Jake McLeod

Jake McLeod

Head, UK Digital Crisis



Jake is a global campaigns and communications professional with over ten years experience working with governments, the private sector, NGOs, and UN agencies across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Within Edelman, Jake leads our digital crisis work out of the London office. He is an expert in managing issues online with a specific focus on tackling disinformation and managing activism campaigns.

Jake helps clients develop and implement campaigns to tackle disinformation and misinformation for a number of global organisations and business in the global health, biomedical and transport sectors.

Previously, Jake headed up the Government Relations Team for UNICEF in London, overseeing their political relations and campaigns across the UK, as well as managing several reputational issues including the international development safeguarding scandal and threats to the UK’s 0.7% Aid commitment.

Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy

Vice President of Strategic Operations


Former Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence, Department of Homeland Security

(Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area)

Since September 2021, Brian Murphy has been the Vice President of Strategic Operations for Logically. In his role, he assisted in developing and implementing advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence solutions to find harmful  threat content at scale and across languages and platforms on social media. Before joining Logically, Mr. Murphy served as both the Principal and Acting Under Security for Intelligence for the Department of Homeland Security (2018 to 2021). In these roles, he served as the Chief Intelligence Officer, Chief Information Sharing Officer, and Chief Counterintelligence Officer for the department. In this capacity, he provided intelligence leading to more than 250K personnel. Mr. Murphy led intelligence analysis, data integration, and program management for 22 component organizations within the department.

Mr. Murphy was a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for over 20 years. While there, he performed duties from street agent up to roles as a national manager. While in the senior executive service at the FBI, he served as the primary point of contact for federal, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism programs. During his career, he served in New York, Afghanistan, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Murphy began his federal service in 1994 as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

He would later return to this role in 2004 after he was recalled to active duty for service in Iraq.

Mr. Murphy received his PhD from Georgetown University in 2022; Master of Arts in Islamic Studies from Columbia University; Bachelor of Arts in Government College of William and Mary. He is a certified U.S. Intel Community Intelligence Officer and Joint Duty Certified and maintains a Top Secret clearance.

Recent publications:

  • The US Needs a Center to Counter Foreign Malign Influence at Home – Defense One
  • Ukraine’s History Shows Where Russian Disinformation Can Take Hold (logically.ai)
  • Making Sense of Russian Disinformation and Propaganda (logically.ai)
  • “Decaying National Security: Understanding the Implications of Imagined Tribalism and its Connection to the Decay of
  • Nationalism in a Radically Changed Information Context” – RUSI Journal | Royal United Services Institute.
  • Chapter: Introduction to T&S and Law Enforcement – Trust & Safety Professional Association (tspa.org)
  • The Ever-Shrinking Worlds of National and Homeland Security (hsenterpriseforum.com)


2020 awarded for excellence by DHS • 2018 recognized by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance • 2018 recognized formally by members of Congress • 2003 and 2007 recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Investigations • 2006 and 2006 nominated for the FBI Director”s Award In Investigation • Awarded membership in the NYPD Detectives Endowment Association • 2005 NYC Counterterrorism Investigator of the Year • Recognized eight times by the FBI for excellence in investigations and leadership • 2011 received U.S. State Department Letter of Commendation • 2001 and 2005 received the United States Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Investigations.

Daria Azariev North

Daria Azariev North

Program Manager, Europe and Eurasia

International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Daria Azariev North is a Program Manager with the Europe and Eurasia department at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), where she oversees the program design and implementation of a broad portfolio including the Regional Europe Program and Belarus.

As part of her role on the Regional Europe Program, Azariev North works with electoral stakeholders from the Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership and Visegrad 4 countries to build their capacity in responding to persistent and emerging challenges to democratic resilience. She specializes in civic engagement and media literacy programming, including IFES’ Democracy Camps, and provides thought leadership on countering disinformation and foreign influence. Azariev North spearheaded the launch of the European Working Group for election management bodies on Social Media, Disinformation and Electoral Integrity in 2020 and has led the development of IFES’ Crisis Communications and Countering Disinformation Playbook as a global tool. She also supports programming related to cybersecurity, women’s empowerment, anti-corruption and electoral jurisprudence.

Previously, Azariev North has worked at the Atlantic Council supporting the Transatlantic Relations and Ukraine programs, as well as the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Project on Nuclear Issues where she examined US-Russia strategic relations. Early in her career, she also worked at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris (FRS) and the Center for International Relations in Warsaw.

Azariev North holds a master’s degree in security and strategic studies and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Warsaw. She is fluent in Polish, speaks French and Spanish and possesses a working knowledge of Russian.

Jesse Rutledge

Vice President for External Affairs

National Center for State Courts (NCSC)

Jesse Rutledge, vice president for External Affairs, National Center for State Courts (NCSC), oversees Association and Conference Services, Communications and Online Media, and Knowledge and Information Services. He serves as project director on NCSC’s State of the State Courts public opinion work and as staff to two committees of the Conference of Chief Justices: Judicial Politics and Compensation and Public Engagement, Trust and Confidence. He plays a leadership role in shaping NCSC’s signature conferences and collaborates with many of NCSC’s association partners to advance shared goals. Rutledge led NCSC’s collaboration with Brunswick to develop and train Court Communicators and Judges from over 35 states on how to use a playbook to combat disinformation targeted against the courts. Rutledge’s commentary has appeared in a wide variety of media, including the ABA Journal, NPR and BBC Radio.

Melanie Smith

Melanie Smith

Head of Research, Digital Analysis Unit

Institute of Strategic Dialogue

(Washington, D.C.)

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.

Jack Stubbs

Jack Stubbs

VP Intelligence



Jack Stubbs is Vice President of Intelligence at Graphika, where he leads a team that specializes in mapping and understanding online communities. Previously he worked at Reuters news agency, reporting from more than 10 countries including Russia and Ukraine before moving to cover cybersecurity with a focus on disinformation and influence operations. Jack’s work has helped expose a wide range of harmful online activities, from violent conspiracy movements, to coordinated harassment campaigns and state-backed information operations.

Daniel Tisch

Daniel Tisch

President & Chief Executive Officer



Daniel Tisch is widely known as an international expert in public relations, public engagement and reputation management. He is the CEO of Argyle, one of North America’s largest engagement, communication and reputation advisory firms, a Fellow of the Canadian Public Relations Society, and the 2011-2013 chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, the confederation of the world’s PR and communication professional associations.

Since Daniel assumed leadership of Argyle, the firm has grown dramatically from $1M in revenue, 10 employees and one office in 2003 to $38M, 155 employees and ten North American offices today. Argyle has appeared in the Globe and Mail or Canadian Business rankings of Canada’s fastest-growing companies six times since 2015. The firm has earned more than 300 industry awards during Daniel’s tenure, including recognition as Global Mid-Sized Agency of the Year for both 2017 and 2018, and Canadian Agency of the Year in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

As a consultant, Daniel has advised a long list of Global 500/Fortune 500 companies as well as both Canadian and international government leaders. He is particularly well-known for expertise in reputation, issues and crisis management, serving as the lead communications advisor to an industry association affected by the largest food recall in North American history. Daniel’s other areas of practice include reputation management strategy, stakeholder engagement, governance and executive leadership communication. Dan has also been deeply involved in the global sustainability reporting movement as a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

Earlier in his career, Daniel held senior communications roles in the Canadian government, including serving as Senior Policy Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the latter role he was a member of the Canadian delegation to the G7 Economic Summit.

Daniel has spoken at conferences on every continent, lectured at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business since 1996, and contributed to leading public relations and marketing textbooks. He appears regularly in print and broadcast media, including weekly commentary on CBC Radio and Global News during the 2019 and 2021 Canadian federal elections. In 2021, Daniel was named one of the world’s “top 100” social media influencers on public relations.

Born in Spain to a Latin American family and raised in Toronto, Daniel speaks English, French and Spanish. He holds two degrees from Queen’s University — a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and a Master of Business Administration. Daniel has served as vice chair of the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, a leader in the international Scouting movement and a board member of Social Venture Partners International.

Jennifer van der Valk

Jennifer van der Valk

VP Communications & Public Affairs

Toronto Region Board of Trade

Jennifer is a seasoned executive with 20 years of experience leading large, multi-functional teams in private sector, government and agency environments. Her diverse expertise spans marketing, brand, digital strategy, corporate transformation, public relations and communications.

Jennifer is fueled by a passion for building strong, cohesive teams with a reputation for sound judgement, trusted relationships and creative strategy. As Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications with the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Jennifer leads an integrated team of communications, PR, and digital specialists dedicated to building the voice and brand of the Board and driving economic growth on behalf of the Region’s business community.

Prior to joining the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Jennifer’s passion for city building was fueled through her time with Metrolinx, the agency responsible for the province’s $70B transit expansion program and operator of UP Express, PRESTO and GO Transit services. Her recognized ability to lead people and drive change moved her through multiple areas of the business including Brand, Marketing and Creative Services, and VP with the Planning and Development Division, stepping in over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as Chief Planning Officer and then Chief Communications Officer. Jennifer has also held multiple senior roles within Cabinet Office at the Government of Ontario, working closely with Premier’s Office on brand, marketing, digital communications strategy and market research to deliver dozens of award-winning campaigns in partnership with over 20 ministries across government.

Jennifer also sits on the Board of Michael Garron Hospital and has served as a volunteer mentor with the AMA, and as an Advisory Board Committee Member with the Salvation Army and Not-for-Profit Committee of the Canadian Marketing Association.

Greg Vanier

Greg Vanier

Head of Crisis & Reputation Risk

Edelman Canada