Non-profit

Alliance for Securing Democracy

Website:

securingdemocracy.gmfus.org

Type:

Foreign Policy Advocacy Group

Project of:

German Marshall Fund of the United States

Founded:

2017

Executive Director:

Laura Thornton

The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) develops policy recommendations through research projects, including those on election integrity and analyzing various Russian state-backed communications. The Alliance for Securing Democracy is led by Laura Thornton and consists of an advisory council of more than a dozen individuals including John Podesta, former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

About

The Alliance for Securing Democracy is a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the German Marshall Fund is a think tank founded in 1972 that is committed to strengthening international ties between the United States and Europe. [1] Created in 2017, [2] the Alliance for Securing Democracy develops strategies and programs to deter autocratic efforts to undermine democratic values across the globe. [3]

Projects

Alliance for Securing Democracy creates a variety of “long and short form research products” to educate supporters about alleged authoritarian threats around the world. [4] Projects have focused on various elections, such as the 2021 German election and 2022 French election projects that aimed at identifying “information manipulation” [5] during the elections. [6] Other projects include research on election security, malign finance, and various regional issues surrounding China, Iran, and Russia. [7]

ASD created the “Hamilton Dashboard,” a public tool used to track state-backed messaging from China, Iran, and Russia across various public platforms including YouTube and Twitter, as well as state-sponsored websites, to study the spread of government messaging. ASD also conducted simulation exercises ahead of the U.S. 2020 elections to combat potential foreign efforts to disturb the elections. [8]

Finances

Alliance for Securing Democracy is independently funded by private individuals and small family foundations. Significant financial supporters for 2021 included the left-of-center Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the charitable network created by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. Other major left-leaning supporters include The Klarman Family Foundation, Sandler Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. [9]

Leadership

Alliance for Securing Democracy is led by director Laura Thornton, a senior fellow who has prior experience at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), a think tank where she managed various teams across Europe. She also previously worked at the National Democratic Institute. She earned her BA from Northwestern University, and she attended Princeton University and Oxford University for her graduate studies. [10]

ASD’s advisory council consists of over a dozen individuals who either previously served as members of Congress, worked in think tanks, or worked in various intelligence agencies. Advisory council members include Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia in the Obama administration; Michael Morell, former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama; John Podesta, former chair of Hillary for America and an official in the Clinton and Obama White Houses; and Kori Schake, the director of foreign policy at the right-of-center American Enterprise Institute. [11]

References

  1. “About.” The German Marshall Fund of the United States | Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation, April 6, 2022. https://www.gmfus.org/about. ^
  2. “About.” The German Marshall Fund of the United States | Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation, April 6, 2022. https://www.gmfus.org/about. ^
  3.  “About Us.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, February 1, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/about-us/ ^
  4. “Our Work.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, April 23, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/our-work/. ^
  5.  “2021 German Elections Project.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, September 2, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/2021-german-elections/. ^
  6. “Our Work.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, April 23, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/our-work/. ^
  7. “Our Work.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, April 23, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/our-work/. ^
  8.  “About.” The German Marshall Fund of the United States | Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation, April 6, 2022. https://www.gmfus.org/about. ^
  9. “Supporters.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, June 2, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/supporters/. ^
  10. “Team.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, February 28, 2020. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/about-us/team/. ^
  11. “Advisory Council.” Alliance For Securing Democracy, March 25, 2021. https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/about-us/advisory-council/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. William Kristol
    Advisory Board Member
  2. Jake Sullivan
    Advisory Board Member
  3. John Podesta
    Advisory Board Member
  See an error? Let us know!