US launches new centre for counter-violent-extremist communications | The Daily Star
12:22 PM, January 09, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:30 PM, January 09, 2016

US launches new centre for counter-violent-extremist communications

The US State Department is revamping its counter-violent-extremist communications efforts through a new Global Engagement Center, a State Department press release said.

Michael D Lumpkin was appointed by the State Department to lead this new effort as the Director of the new Global Engagement Center. 

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The global engagement centre will more effectively coordinate, integrate and synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that undermines the disinformation espoused by violent extremist groups, including Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and that offers positive alternatives.

The centre will focus more on empowering and enabling partners, governmental and non-governmental, who are able to speak out against these groups and provide an alternative to ISIL’s nihilistic vision.

To that end, the centre will offer services ranging from planning thematic social media campaigns to providing factual information that counters-disinformation to building capacity for third parties to effectively utilise social media to research and evaluation, the press release read. 

Lumpkin currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, a Senate-confirmed position he has held since late 2013.

“I am delighted that Michael has agreed to bring his wealth of experience and expertise on counterterrorism issues to lead the new Global Engagement Center at the State Department,” said Secretary of State John Kerry according to the release.

“At this critical stage in the fight against Daesh [Islamic State] – and in the global effort to counter violent extremism – the GEC will lead the effort to synchronize messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups,” he added.

The centre will continue to be housed within the Department of State and staffed by experts from the private sector and US Government agencies charged with protecting our national interests and security – as well as the security of our allies – against the threat of international terrorism.

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