“Counter-Disinformation and Public Diplomacy” with Todd Leventhal

Todd Leventhal is the Chief of the Counter-Misinformation Team for the U.S. Department of State. He will discuss the role of the counter misinformation office and its on-going efforts to provide information about false and misleading stories in the Middle East.

Todd Leventhal has thirteen years of experience in analyzing and countering misinformation, urban legends, and conspiracy theories. For examples of Mr. Leventhal's work, see the Department of State's "Identifying Misinformation" webpage, at http://usinfo.state.gov/media/misinformation.html.

Mr. Leventhal has authored several reports in this area, including Soviet Active Measures in the Era of Glasnost, in 1988, Soviet Active Measures in the "Post Cold War" Era, in 1992, and The Child Organ Trafficking Rumor: a Modern "Urban Legend," in 1994.

Mr. Leventhal took the lead in countering Iraqi disinformation and propaganda during 1991 Gulf war and later wrote a monograph on this subject for the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Iraqi Propaganda and Disinformation During the Gulf War: Lessons for the Future (1999).

Mr. Leventhal has given numerous media interviews, on CNN, Good Morning America, ABC's 20/20, and with the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Sunday Times of London, and many other media outlets. During the 1991 Gulf War, he participated in nine video press conferences with journalists from some 35 countries.

Mr. Leventhal has also worked as a journalist with the Voice of America for seven years. He wrote radio documentaries on the Soviet Union and national security affairs from 1984 to 1987 and was a reporter and broadcaster in VOA's Africa division from 1996 to 2000.

From 1978 to 1980, Mr. Leventhal conducted the research for former President Richard Nixon’s best-selling book The Real War.

Mr. Leventhal worked for former SALT negotiator Lt. Gen. Edward Rowny from 1980 to 1981, assisting in Gen. Rowny’s book on Soviet negotiating techniques. From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Leventhal worked at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs.

Mr. Leventhal has a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University, a Masters of Arts in Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Colorado.


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