David Salvo is senior fellow and managing director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) at GMF. An expert in Russian affairs, Salvo has been analyzing the Kremlin’s authoritarian toolkit to undermine democracy at home and abroad throughout his career.
Salvo has worked at ASD since 2017, first as a resident fellow and then as deputy director. He is the principal author of The ASD Policy Blueprint for Countering Authoritarian Interference in Democracies and makes regular media appearances, including on NPR, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and ABC News, to discuss US-Russian relations, Russian foreign policy toward its near abroad, and Russian tactics and objectives to undermine democracy in the United States and Europe.
Prior to joining GMF, Salvo was a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, serving most recently as the deputy secretary of state’s policy advisor for Europe, Eurasia, and international security issues. He also advised senior-level State Department negotiators on the protracted conflicts in the South Caucasus, worked on US policy toward NATO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and served overseas in Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He speaks Russian and Serbo-Croatian and has a basic knowledge of French.
David received his master’s degree from Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and a bachelor’s degree in government and Russian from Georgetown. He is an avid music lover and plays in several DC-area bands, including a tribute to the renowned rock band Phish.
Rachael Dean Wilson is managing director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) at GMF, where she leads work on US elections and political analysis. Driven by her belief that safeguarding democracy must involve all Americans, Wilson has spoken in cities across the country about the importance of building democratic resilience to autocratic efforts to undermine democracy. She has commented on election security issues for print and broadcast news outlets ranging from The Washington Post and C-SPAN to WVTM-TV Birmingham and The Arizona Republic.
Wilson served in senior roles on Capitol Hill and political campaigns, and has experience in corporate communications and PR consulting. She worked for the late Senator John McCain for six years, most recently as his Senate communications director and advisor to his 2016 reelection campaign. Wilson received a bachelor’s degree in communication in public service from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in global policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.
Peter Benzoni is the investigative data and research analyst on the Alliance for Securing Democracy‘s information manipulation team, where he manages ASD's data-driven tools, develops new methodologies to combat information threats, and conducts open-source investigations.
Peter most recently was a data analyst with Atlas Public Policy, where he was involved in the development of many of ASD’s tools—most notably, the Hamilton dashboard. Prior to his work at Atlas, Peter spent time as a cybersecurity associate with the US Department of Energy and as a development consultant with Accenture. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering and a B.A. in political science and international studies from Iowa State University.
Joseph Bodnar is a research analyst with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. He is part of ASD’s information manipulation team and focuses on Russian propaganda and disinformation. His research has been cited by outlets including The Economist, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg. His writing has been published in the National Interest, Inkstick, and the Dallas Morning News, among other outlets.
Prior to joining ASD, Joseph worked with the Atlantic Council’s Global Strategy Initiative. He received a master's degree in international affairs from American University. His capstone project involved working with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center to identify trends in foreign disinformation targeting the 2020 U.S. election. Joseph has BA in history with a minor in political science from Kennesaw State University.
Kayla Goodson is the senior communications coordinator at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She translates ASD’s high-level policy work into digestible content for social media, journalists, and other external audiences. Previously, she served as the managing editor of Strife Blog, and she covered local government for The Salt Lake Tribune and The Daily Universe. Kayla is passionate about using storytelling to elicit social change and sees great value in using her communications skills to strengthen democracy across the transatlantic space.
She received her MA in international peace and security with distinction from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where her research focused on the intersection of international politics, law, and communications. She holds a BA in news media and French from Brigham Young University. Kayla is a current member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ young professionals briefing series, and she has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting.
Lindsay Gorman is the Senior Fellow for Emerging Technologies at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. She leads ASD’s work on US-China technology competition, including efforts on AI, quantum information, 5G and advanced telecommunications, democratic responses to autocratic technology influence and interference, cybersecurity, and transatlantic innovation.
Lindsay most recently served as a senior adviser in the Biden White House. At the Office of Science Technology and National Security Council, she crafted US technology and national security strategy and led international technology initiatives through the US-EU Trade and Technology Council and Quad. She was also the principal architect of the Advancing Technology for Democracy agenda of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal and multilateral technology initiatives on export controls and AI.
Prior to serving in the White House, Lindsay spent over a decade at the intersection of technology development and national security policy. She is the former CEO and managing director of a technology consulting firm she founded, Politech Advisory, where she advised start-up companies and venture capital. She has served as an expert contributor to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission on international standards; a technology adviser to U.S. Senator Mark Warner; a consultant to Schmidt Futures on 5G; and a fellow with National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on International Security and Arms Control, conducting track II dialogues on cyber and nuclear security. And early in her career, as a quantum physicist and computer scientist, she led the Perception Team for Princeton University’s entry into the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, pioneered initial experiments on topological insulators, and advised start-up companies in Silicon Valley on cybersecurity tools.
Lindsay regularly delivers keynote addresses and briefs senior leaders across the Atlantic on China’s digital technology and building a democratic approach to emerging technologies. Her analysis regularly appears in outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic, and she frequently appears in TV and radio interviews on CBS News, NPR, and Bloomberg. She is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Truman National Security Project, and an awardee of the U.S. State Department Speaker Program. Lindsay holds an A.B. in physics from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a M.S. in applied physics from Stanford University.
Nathan Kohlenberg is a research assistant at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, where he tracks authoritarian interference activities in the MENA region and provides research support to fellows on issues including election interference, digital surveillance, and information manipulation on social media, among others. He previously served as a policy associate at the Truman National Security Project, where he remains a fellow. He has written about disinformation and foreign election interference in Defense One, Salon, Just Security, and elsewhere.
Nathan received a BA from Carleton College in Minnesota and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he conducted research on the South China Sea conflict and contributed a chapter to South China Sea: Maintaining Peace/Preventing War, published by the JHU Press in 2017.
David Levine is the senior elections integrity fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, where he assesses vulnerabilities in electoral infrastructure, administration, and policies. David is also an advisory committee member for the Global Cyber Alliance's Cybersecurity Toolkit for Elections, an advisory council member for The Election Reformers Network, a member of the Election Verification Network, and a contributor to the Fulcrum. Previously, he worked as the Ada County, Idaho Elections Director, managing the administration of all federal, state, county, and local district elections.
David’s research interests and recent publications focus on election access, trust and security, and the nexus between external threats from malign actors and the challenges many democracies face in conducting free and fair elections. David’s work has been published and quoted in USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg Technology, The Hill, Business Insider, MIT Technology Review, BBC, EU Observer, and others.
He received his JD from the Case Western School of Law, where he discovered his passion for election integrity. Since then, he has administered elections, worked with advocacy groups to improve the election process, and observed elections overseas in a number of countries for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Vassilis Ntousas is Head of European Operations for GMF’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. His research interests lie in European foreign policy and the European Union’s global engagement.
Prior to joining GMF, he was the Senior International Relations Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies in Brussels, where he led the foundation’s global research, advocacy, and strategic convening work. In 2019–2020, he held the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Academy fellowship at Chatham House, where he remains an Academy Associate with the institute’s Europe program. He is the author of several policy papers and regularly comments on global affairs for international media outlets. He is also the co-editor of two books published by Routledge, The European Union and China’s Belt and Road: Impact, Engagement and Competition (2021) and EU Climate Diplomacy: Politics, Law and Negotiations (2018). Ntousas holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA in International Relations and Politics from the University of Sheffield. He speaks English and Greek.
Josh Rudolph is the senior fellow for malign finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. He is an expert in the financial channels that enable autocratic efforts to undermine and interfere in democratic institutions. Josh has researched and authored leading work on authoritarian malign finance, strategic corruption, and kleptocracy, as well as public policies to deter, detect, defund, and defend against these threats. He regularly gives private briefings and public testimonies to governmental bodies, including the U.S. Congress to the European Parliament. Josh frequently appears on national and international television, radio, and podcast programs, and has published work in The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, Dallas Morning News, Just Security, and The Hill.
Before joining ASD, Josh served in a range of U.S. Government positions at the intersection of finance and national security. As advisor to the U.S. executive director at the International Monetary Fund, Josh formulated and represented official U.S. positions towards matters being decided by the IMF executive board. At the White House National Security Council, he chaired interagency diplomatic and technical work on Russia sanctions and coordinated other economic statecraft initiatives. He also served as deputy director of the markets room at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before his public service, Josh worked for seven years at J.P. Morgan in New York as an investment banker and financial markets research strategist. He received his undergraduate degree in finance from Babson College and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a concentration in international trade and finance.
Louis Savoia is a program assistant for the Alliance for Securing Democracy at GMF, where he serves as the lead author of ASD's weekly newsletter, the Securing Democracy Dispatch. A recent graduate of American University’s School of International Service, Louis received a bachelor’s in international relations and focused his studies on the European Union and NATO, US foreign policy, and democratic governance. As part of his coursework, Louis spent a semester studying European affairs in Brussels, Belgium. His capstone project investigated patterns of hostage-taking by US adversaries, which he and his research group presented to the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.
Bret Schafer is a senior fellow and head of the Alliance for Securing Democracy's information manipulation team. Bret is the creator and manager of Hamilton 2.0, an online open-source dashboard tracking the outputs of Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state media outlets, diplomats, and government officials. As an expert in computational propaganda, state-backed information operations, and tech regulation, he has spoken at conferences around the globe and advised numerous governments and international organizations. His research has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and he has been interviewed on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, and the BBC. Prior to joining GMF, he spent more than ten years in the television and film industry, including stints at Cartoon Network and as a freelance writer for Warner Brothers. He also worked in Budapest as a radio host and in Berlin as a semi-professional baseball player in Germany’s Bundesliga. He has a BS in communications with a major in radio/television/film from Northwestern University, and a master’s in public diplomacy from the University of Southern California, where he was the editor-in-chief of Public Diplomacy Magazine.
Krystyna (Krysia) Sikora is a program assistant for the Alliance for Securing Democracy, where she serves as the assistant to the director. A recent graduate of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, Krysia received a master's in Eurasian, Russian, and East European studies and focused her studies on right-wing populism, disinformation, and democratic decline in Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining ASD, Krysia played professional soccer in Poland for two years, during which time she played both for the Polish National Team and in the Women’s Champions League. She graduated from Duke University, where she received a bachelor's in political science and a certificate in policy journalism and media studies.
Etienne Soula is a research analyst with the Alliance for Securing Democracy based in Brussels. His research focuses on China’s growing political and economic assertiveness in the transatlantic space. Etienne recently spear-headed the expansion of ASD’s authoritarian interference tracker to cover over 150 incidents of Chinese interference in Europe and North America. He also contributes to weekly reports on Russian, Chinese, and Iranian diplomats and state-media activity using the Hamilton 2.0 dashboard. Etienne previously worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Hudson Institute, and NATO. Fluent in French and German, he holds a dual master’s in international affairs from American University and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, as well as a law degree from the University of Nottingham.
As senior vice president of democracy, Laura Thornton leads teams whose programs defend and promote democracy. She oversees the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), through which GMF tracks, analyzes, and builds strategies to thwart malign internal and external influence operations that target democracies worldwide. Thornton guides GMF’s global democracy initiatives to build communities of practices, share lessons, and forge transnational alliances. She participates in numerous democracy networks and working groups as a leader and expert.
Thornton also oversees GMF’s transatlantic trusts, which support civil society organizations and actors in Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, the Black Sea and Eurasia regions, Belarus, and Ukraine that bolster democratic resilience through civic education, media literacy, public awareness campaigns, and media and watchdog activities.
Prior to joining GMF, Thornton was director of global programs at International IDEA, a Stockholm-based intergovernmental think-and-do tank that advances democracy. She led multiple teams across Europe focused on constitution-building, parliamentary processes, elections, gender and inclusion, political parties, and democracy assessment and analysis. She managed the development of global comparative knowledge and applied research products aimed at supporting and advancing democracy worldwide, including the Global State of Democracy report and the Global Monitor on COVID-19’s impact on human rights and democracy.
Thornton served for more than 20 years in leadership positions at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), working throughout Asia and the former Soviet Union. She has written extensively about political party development, political finance and corruption, elections, and disinformation, and has led multiple election observation missions worldwide. At NDI, Thornton designed public opinion research efforts, including national polls, focus groups, and experimental research designs to explore disinformation, security, geopolitics, democracy and human rights, and political developments. She is the co-author of Political Parties in Asia: Promoting Reform and Combating Corruption in Eight Countries (NDI, 2003). Thornton has a master’s degree from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.