Alliance for Securing Democracy

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Citing Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election, the Alliance for Securing Democracy claims that their organization "...will help ensure that our democracies are resistant to foreign interference in the future. Doing so will not only strengthen the resilience of our democracy, it will be a reaffirmation of the entire democratic experiment."

The Alliance for Securing Democracy describes itself as "a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), [which] will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions. The Alliance will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe."

The New York Times described the Alliance for Securing Democracy as "a bipartisan group created to focus attention on Russian interference in the West."


"The Alliance will forge partnerships across the Atlantic with political leaders, policymakers, like-minded institutions, and technical experts to address the urgent need to secure our democracies, create a common understanding of the techniques used to undermine democracies, and share lessons learned about effective defensive and deterrent strategies. Enlisting leading transatlantic experts on cyber security, disinformation, illicit finance, Russian influence operations, and other relevant areas, the Alliance will develop strategies for making democracies more resilient against future meddling and better able to counter Russian efforts to use the subversion of democracy as a weapon. The Alliance will bring together experts across these areas and work with the private sector and civil society to develop and employ strategies to strengthen and secure our democracies.
"Finally, it will analyze emerging technological and societal trends to identify areas of vulnerability to the eventual challenge from other state and nongovernmental actors who may attempt to replicate these tactics. By analyzing what Russia is doing today, the project will develop a shared playbook with recommendations for democratic leaders about how democracy can be better safeguarded tomorrow.[1]

Supportive of Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster

The Alliance for Securing Democracy was cited in the New York Times[2] for making the claim that criticism surrounding Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster's purging of staff from President Donald Trump's National Security Council was driven by "Russian influence operations," but did not attempt to provide support for this claim.

"The #FireMcMaster hashtag was tweeted more than 50,000 times since Wednesday. Echoing the drumbeat were social media organs tied to the Russian government. According to the Alliance for Securing Democracy,...the top hashtag among 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations at one point on Thursday was #FireMcMaster."

Hamilton 68

Hamilton 68 propaganda

Using "social network analytical techniques largely developed by J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan," The Alliance for Securing Democracy explains the Hamilton 68 project on Facebook,[3] which purportedly "seeks to expose the effects of online influence networks and inform the public of themes and content being promoted to Americans through a near real-time look at Russian propaganda and disinformation efforts online:"

"In the Federalist Papers No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote of protecting America’s electoral process from foreign meddling. Today, we face foreign interference of a type Hamilton could scarcely have imagined. The Hamilton 68 dashboard, a project with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, seeks to expose the effects of online influence networks and inform the public of themes and content being promoted to Americans through a near real-time look at Russian propaganda and disinformation efforts online."


According to J.M. Berger, Non-Resident Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy, "Accounts were selected for their clear connection to Russian influence, but not all of the accounts are directly controlled by Russia." The author warns:

"Not all content in this network is “created” by Russia. A significant amount—probably a majority—of content is created by third parties and then amplified by the network because it is relevant to Russian messaging themes.
"Not all content amplified by this network is pro-Russian. The network frequently mobilizes to criticize or attack individuals or news reports that it wishes to discredit.
"Because of the two points above, we emphasize it is NOT CORRECT to describe sites linked by this network as Russian propaganda sites. We are not claiming that content producers linked by this network are Russian propaganda sites. Rather, content linked by this network is RELEVANT to Russian messaging themes.[4]

Advisory Council

The following list is the Advisory Council of the Alliance for Securing Democracy as of August 7 2017:[5]

  • Mike Chertoff was U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009. There, he worked to strengthen U.S. borders, provide intelligence analysis, and protect infrastructure. He increased the Department’s focus on preparedness ahead of disasters, and implemented enhanced security at airports and borders. Following Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff helped to transform FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) into an effective organization. He also served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals Judge from 2003–05. He co-founded the Chertoff Group, a risk-management and security consulting company, and works as senior of counsel at the Washington, DC law firm Covington & Burling.
  • David J. Kramer joined Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs as a senior fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy in May 2017. Before moving to Miami, Kramer had worked in Washington, DC for 24 years, most recently as senior director for Human Rights and Democracy with The McCain Institute for International Leadership. Before that, he served for four years as president of Freedom House. Prior to that, he was a senior transatlantic fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. Kramer served eight years in the U.S. Department of State during the George W. Bush administration, including as assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs; professional staff member in the Secretary’s Office of Policy Planning; and senior advisor to the undersecretary for Global Affairs. Kramer is a member of the board of directors of the Halifax International Security Forum and a member of the advisory council for the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Human Freedom Project.
Advisory Board members Bill Kristol & Mike Morell (Screenshot from Securing Democracy Website)
  • Michael Morell was acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2011 and again from 2012 to 2013, and had previously served as deputy director and director for Intelligence at the Agency. In his over thirty years at the CIA, Morell played a central role in the United States’ fight against terrorism, its initiatives to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and its efforts to respond to trends that are altering the international landscape — including the Arab Spring, the rise of China, and the cyber threat. He was one of the leaders in the search for Osama bin Laden and participated in the deliberations that led to the raid that killed bin Laden in May 2011. He has been with Beacon Global Strategies as a senior counselor since November 2013.
  • Kori Schake has served in various policy roles including at the White House for the National Security Council, at the Department of Defense for the Office of the Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff, and at the State Department for the Policy Planning Staff. During the 2008 presidential election, she was senior policy advisor on the McCain–Palin campaign. She is now a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is the editor, with Jim Mattis, of the book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military. She teaches at Stanford, is a contributing editor covering national security and international affairs at The Atlantic, columnist for Foreign Policy magazine, and a contributor to War on the Rocks.
  • Julianne Smith served as the deputy national security advisor to the U.S. vice president from 2012 to 2013, acting national security advisor to the vice president in 2013, and principal director for European and NATO policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. Smith is currently senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
  • Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (Ret.) served as commander of European Command and as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe from 2009 to 2013. He commanded U.S. Southern Command in Miami from 2006–09 and commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Arabian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from 2002–04. He was a strategic and long-range planner on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has also served as the executive assistant to the secretary of the navy and as senior military assistant to the secretary of defense. He is now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and chairman of the U.S. Naval Institute board of directors.
  • Jake Sullivan served in the Obama administration as national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the senior policy advisor on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. He is now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Martin R. Flug visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School.
  • Nicole Wong served as deputy U.S. chief technology officer in the Obama administration, where she focused on internet, privacy, and innovation policy. Prior to her time in government, Nicole was Google’s vice president and deputy general counsel, and Twitter’s legal director for products. She frequently speaks on issues related to law and technology. Nicole chairs the board of Friends of Global Voices, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting citizen and online media projects globally. She also sits on the boards of WITNESS, an organization supporting the use of video to advance human rights, and the Mozilla Foundation, which promotes open internet. Nicole currently serves as an advisor to the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Business School Digital Initiative, the Democratic National Committee Cybersecurity advisory board, Refactor Capital, and the Albright Stonebridge Group.


The following list is the Staff of the Alliance for Securing Democracy as of August 7 2017:[6]

  • Laura Rosenberger is the 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 as later, 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.
  • Jamie Fly is a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. He served as counselor for Foreign and National Security Affairs to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) from 2013–17, serving as his foreign policy advisor during his presidential campaign. Prior to joining Senator Rubio’s staff in February 2013, he served as the executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) from its founding in early 2009. Prior to joining FPI, Fly served in the Bush administration at the National Security Council (2008–09) and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2005–08). He was director for Counterproliferation Strategy at the National Security Council, where his portfolio included the Iranian nuclear program, Syria, missile defense, chemical weapons, proliferation finance, and other counterproliferation issues. In the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he was an assistant for Transnational Threats Policy, where he helped to develop U.S. strategy related to the proliferation of missiles as well as nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. For his work in the Department of Defense, he was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. Fly received a B.A. in international studies and political science from American University and an M.A. in German and European studies from Georgetown University.

Other Staff