State-backed disinformation campaigns: How can democracies fight back?



28 April 2020




Free but registration is essential

While the United States and Australia have both increased scrutiny of state-backed disinformation and foreign interference campaigns in recent years, the coronavirus pandemic has seen an increase in disinformation alongside targeted actions by foreign governments designed to leverage this crisis for strategic effect. How serious are these disinformation campaigns? What threat do they pose to democratic processes and institutions? How are free and open societies such as the United States and Australia responding to these intrusions?

To discuss these issues, USSC hosted a webinar panel discussion featuring Zack Cooper and Laura Rosenberger, Co-Directors of the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy program, and USSC Director of Foreign Policy and Defence Ashley Townshend, in a conversation moderated by USSC CEO Professor Simon Jackman.


  • Dr Zack Cooper
    Dr Zack Cooper
    Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

    Zack Cooper is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies US strategy and alliances in Asia. Zack is also co-director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown and Princeton Universities, and a partner at Armitage International.

  • Laura Rosenberger
    Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy

    Laura Rosenberger is director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Before she joined GMF, she was foreign policy advisor for Hillary for America, where she coordinated development of the campaign’s national security policies, messaging, and strategy. Prior to that, she served in a range of positions at the State Department and the White House’s National Security Council (NSC).

  • Ashley Townshend
    Ashley Townshend
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Ashley Townshend is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Senior Fellow for Indo-Pacific Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founding co-chair of the annual US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and was the Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre from June 2017 to June 2022.

The Foreign Policy and Defence Program receives funding support from the following partners