global engagement center

Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel discussed the Islamic State’s influential social media presence and how the U.S. can counter it on campus Thursday. The 90-minute discussion [...] focused on the work of the Global Engagement Center (GEC), a State Department anti-extremism initiative, which Stengel oversees. 

The Obama administration has revamped a program designed to lure foreign fighters away from extremist groups like the Islamic State, focusing on a series of new advertisements and social media posts that seek to appeal to emotion rather than logic. Money for the program, which is managed by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, tripled this year, to $16 million, after administration officials concluded that past efforts that had attempted to scare potential militants away from the extremist groups were not working.

Experts told lawmakers on June 23 that new approaches are needed to counter the Islamic State in cyberspace [...] the State Department's efforts to counter the message by the terrorist group is "inadequate" and "falls on deaf ears," mainly because it has the State Department logo attached to everything and therefore is easily ignored as government work. The public diplomacy efforts, he added,  "have really been pretty much a bust, dysfunctional."