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MVJ Information Integrity Project

MVJ’s Information Integrity Project is a nonpartisan initiative dedicated to combating the spread of deceptive narratives and violent extremism in veteran and military communities. The program supports a team of journalists, including several military veterans, to report on violent extremist groups and narratives and engage directly with the community online to counter these groups’ recruitment efforts.

The spread of misleading information is a threat to our nation. Misleading narratives used by violent extremist groups are especially dangerous in military and veteran communities, where widespread belief in false narratives can have serious consequences for national security and the well-being of those who have served. The Information Integrity Project seeks to address this problem by providing accurate and fact-based reporting on issues affecting military and veteran communities and countering false and extremist narratives that undermine public trust in our nation’s institutions.

The program is made possible through the support of our funders – the Knight Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the MacArthur Foundation – whose generous contributions have enabled us to bring together a team of experienced journalists and media professionals to lead this fight against disinformation and violent extremism.

Several organizations have joined MVJ in support of this effort. Military Times, a trusted, independent source for news for the military and veteran communities, is a key managing partner of the project. In addition to Military Times, MVJ is partnering with two other prominent military- and veteran-serving publications — and Task & Purpose — on this project. Additionally, the Associated Press is partnering on this effort to help ensure national coverage on these issues. The Poynter Institute and PolitiFact will train the team on fact-checking and investigative approaches, and the Task Force Butler Institute will teach best practices for investigating extremist groups. The University of Alabama’s Veterans and Media Lab will research the military and veteran community’s consumption of information and trust levels in media. MVJ will also support We the Veterans and START at the University of Maryland in community engagement efforts.

Meet the team of reporters and media professionals who are leading MVJ’s effort to counter the spread of false and deceptive narratives among service members and veterans:

Carla O, Counter-Disinfo Marketing Manager

Carla O

Marketing Manager

Carla O is a former combat correspondent and news director for the U.S. Marine Corps. She has also worked as a writer, editor, and policy analyst. With a focus on social media, O strives to make information accessible, transparent, and engaging. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public policy and a minor in writing from Oregon State University, as well as an associate degree in psychology from the University of Maryland Global Campus. O is a distinguished honor graduate of the Defense Information School.

Chris Lancia

Video Producer

Chris is Tennessee's first Director of Military and Veteran Initiatives, where he has been charged to build additional infrastructure to make Tennessee the destination of choice for veterans and their families. He serves as the director of the Tennessee Governor’s Veteran Fellowship Program and the chief of staff of the Tri-Stars and Stripes: The Governor’s Council for Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families.

He retired from the Army after a 26-year career as a logistician and public affairs officer, where he designed small- and large-scale sustainment plans and created and managed routine and crisis communications plans for organizations of more than 3,500 employees. During his time in service, he was the first Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Defense Information School's Public Affairs and Communications Strategy Qualification Course.

Chris has more than a decade of journalism experience, including serving as the founding editor of Effingham Now, a three-day-a-week tabloid publication serving one of coastal Georgia's fastest-growing counties. He has covered a wide range of topics, including local and national athletics, military, and local news.

Chris has also served in the veteran non-profit space for more than a decade, assisting in coaching, mentoring, and leading community service events to build easier access points between service members, veterans, and their civilian communities.

Chris has a bachelor’s degree in English Communications from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., and is completing coursework towards a master’s degree in public policy from Liberty University. He is a graduate of the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program and the Travis Manion Foundation’s Spartan Leadership Program, is the co-founder of Grid Square Recon, LLC, which aims to create a sense of belonging for military families by connecting them with the communities surrounding military installations, and is on the board of directors for the Two Ravens Foundation, a veteran-focused equine therapy non-profit.

Courtney Robertson

Social Media Manager

Courtney joins MVJ from the U.S. Marine Corps, where she served as a combat photographer and social media manager at 3d Marine Logistics Group in Okinawa, Japan, and 3rd Marine Air Wing in Miramar, California. In these roles, Courtney spearheaded innovative programs that resulted in significant growth across social media platforms.

Since transitioning from the military, Courtney has been dedicated to assisting Floridians in accessing medical insurance, leveraging her experience in communication and service to make a positive impact in her community. Joining the MVJ team has allowed her to continue serving the military community by ensuring service members and veterans have access to the information and services they need.

An award-winning photographer and graduate of the Defense Information School, Courtney brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her toddler and exploring her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

Jeffrey Treistman, Ph.D.


Dr. Treistman is an Associate Professor of National Security at the University of New Haven’s Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. Prior to coming to the University of New Haven, Dr. Treistman was a Research Assistant at the Institute of National Security and Counterterrorism. He also served as a consultant to the Department of Defense’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) and was a Policy Advisor for the Department of State in Iraq. Dr. Treistman currently sits on the editorial board for the journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. His research interests focus on military policy, international relations, asymmetric war, and terrorism.

Nikki Wentling

Beat Reporter, Disinformation & Extremism

Nikki Wentling is a former reporter for Stars and Stripes who covered issues affecting veterans, service members, and their families. She reported from Congress, the White House, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as throughout the country. Wentling previously worked at the Lawrence Journal-World, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Denver Business Journal. She is also an alumna of the Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellowship. Wentling has been recognized for her reporting on homeless veterans during the coronavirus pandemic and, in 2018, she was named one of the 100 most influential people in regard to veterans policymaking by the nonprofit HillVets.

MVJ appreciates and honors the contributions of the following former program team members:

Allison Erickson

Investigative Reporter, Disinformation & Extremism

Allison Erickson is a U.S. Army veteran and a former Medical Service Corps officer. During her service, she rose to the rank of captain and completed a combat deployment to Afghanistan, where she earned the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.
Erickson's journalism career began before she became a soldier when she studied editorial journalism at Texas Christian University. She wrote for publications such as the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Texas Monthly, and The Point. After transitioning back to civilian life, she earned a master's degree in creative publishing and critical journalism from The New School in New York.
Erickson has worked freelance assignments in print and digital news and produced podcast reporting on topics such as migration, politics, and health. She previously served as MVJ's Texas Tribune Military Affairs Reporting Fellow for 2022. In this role, she covered military and veteran affairs in her home state.
Photo of Hugh Harsono, Counter-Disinfo Strategy Consultant. Pictured here wearing a suit and tie and with his hair slicked.

Hugh Harsono

Strategy Consultant

An Army veteran originally from San Francisco, CA, Hugh Harsono has a professional background focused on a mix of strategy, innovation, operations, and policy work for different emerging technologies. He has finished a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of California, Berkeley and completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied economics. Harsono has previously been published by TechCrunch, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, Hacker Noon West Point’s Modern War Institute, and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Advisory Board

Dr. Anne Speckhard

Director/Founder, International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism

Dr. Anne Speckhard is the Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. As an expert in interviewing terrorists and extremists, she has developed counter-narrative projects that utilize real testimonials to discredit extremist ideologies.

Christa Sperling

Co-founder and Board Member, We The Veterans

Christa Sperling is a Co-founder and Board member of We The Veterans, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening American democracy by empowering the veteran and military family community. Through her work on the Mis-/Dis-/Malinformation (MDM) Working Group, Christa contributes to novel solutions that counter misinformation.

Doowan Lee

CEO & Cofounder, VAST-OSINT

Doowan Lee is a technologist and national security expert specializing in aggregating, detecting, and analyzing large-data sources related to foreign and extremist information operations. Lee's work has focused on studying, mitigating and preventing the harms of malign influence exploiting the openness of the information environment.

Ellen Gustafson

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, We The Veterans

Ellen Gustafson is a Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of We the Veterans, empowering the veteran and military family community to strengthen democracy. With her background in entrepreneurship and social impact, she contributes to building effective strategies to counter disinformation and promote a more inclusive society.

Erin Saltman

Interim Executive Director, Director of Programming

Dr. Erin Saltman is the Interim Executive Director and Director of Programming at GIFCT. She has worked in the technology, NGO, and academic sector building out counterterrorism strategies and programs internationally. Dr Saltman’s background and expertise includes both white supremacy and Islamist extremist processes of radicalization within a range of regional and socio-political contexts. Her research and publications have focused on the evolving nature of violent extremism online, youth radicalization, and the evaluation of counterspeech approaches.

She was formerly Meta’s Head of Counterterrorism and Dangerous Organizations Policy across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She also spent time as a practitioner working for ISD Global and other CT/CVE NGOs before joining GIFCT. Dr Saltman is a graduate of Columbia University (BA) and University College London (MA and PhD).

George Chewning

Deputy Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation,

George Chewning is a veteran advocate and technology expert who has served in various roles, including as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs. His experience at the intersection of technology, policy, and well-being contributes to developing innovative solutions to combat disinformation.

Jeff Scheop

Founder, Beyond Barriers

Jeff Schoep, Founder of Beyond Barriers, brings a unique perspective as a former leader of a neo-Nazi organization. Through personal transformation, he now dedicates himself to helping individuals leave extremist organizations and supports communities affected by extremism.

Kristofer Goldsmith

Founder & CEO, Task Force Butler

Kristofer Goldsmith, a former US Army sergeant turned advocate and investigator, specializes in countering disinformation and extremist recruitment efforts targeting American troops and veterans. His work at High Ground Veterans Advocacy and Sparverius, LLC focuses on training veterans and detecting and disrupting disinformation campaigns.

Marty Skovlund Jr.

Task & Purpose, Editor in Chief

Marty Skovlund is an award-winning journalist and editor-in-chief of Task & Purpose. Known for his narrative long-form storytelling, Marty's coverage of high-profile events and conflicts provides important perspectives in countering disinformation and shaping public discourse.

Scott M. Parrot

Associate Professor in Journalism and Creative Media, The University of Alabama

Scott Parrott is an academic researcher specializing in media representations of mental illness and how exposure to media content influences attitudes and behaviors related to mental health. His expertise in media studies brings unique insights into the impact of disinformation on public perceptions and provides valuable guidance for countering such narratives.

Zachary Fryer-Biggs

Managing Editor

Zachary Fryer-Biggs is the managing editor at and an experienced national security journalist. With a decade of experience covering defense and security issues, his expertise in investigative reporting contributes to the development of effective strategies to counter disinformation campaigns with high-quality journalism.

Training Partners

The Information Integrity Project team has trained with a variety of partner organizations to provide more comprehensive coverage serving the military and veteran communities. The PolitiFact and Poynter Institute teams conducted sessions on effective fact-checking and tracking down bad actors via investigative journalism. Task Force Butler Institute’s trainers shared their expertise in investigating extremist groups, and the Solutions Journalism Network team offered insights on covering misleading information with a solutions-oriented approach. Project Over Zero’s trainers covered ways to strengthen societal resilience against identity-based division via journalism.

The training these partners have provided is instrumental in equipping our program team with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to navigate the complex world of deceptive information and extremist engagement. We thank them for their contributions and collaboration.

Coalition Partners

Military Veterans in Journalism has also partnered with the following coalitions as part of the Information Integrity Project.