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Military Veterans in Journalism Announces Counter-Disinformation Program Advisory Board

By May 25, 2023June 28th, 2023Resources

Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), a professional association dedicated to supporting veterans’ journalistic career growth and diversifying newsrooms through veteran inclusion, announced the appointees to its Counter-Disinformation Program  Advisory Board. 

This Advisory Board will provide editorial guidance, advice and story leads to the Military Times reporting team and the MVJ community engagement team. Their collective wealth of expertise and diverse perspectives will help ensure the initiative’s success in combating disinformation and extremism. 

Members of the Advisory Board will assist with reviewing the reporting team’s stories, discussing trends in disinformation narratives, and strategizing on how to counter those same narratives. In addition, leaders from two other prominent military- and veteran-serving publications — and Task & Purpose — are joining the advisory board to expand publication of the reporting team’s coverage. The MVJ team welcomes these advisors and the feedback and support they will provide as the reporting and engagement teams begin their work.

“We are honored to have these experts join our Advisory Board, as their advice will significantly enhance our efforts to counter disinformation within military and veteran circles and beyond,” said MVJ Executive Director Zack Baddorf. 

Counter-Disinformation Program 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 & 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.

George Chewing

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 Schoep

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.

Editor in Chief, Task & Purpose

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.