July 21, 2020 | Watch Video
Nina Jankowicz, Author of How to Lose the Information War
Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post National Security Reporter (Moderator)

On July 21, 2020, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group hosted a discussion with Nina Jankowicz, author of How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict, and Washington Post National Security Reporter Ellen Nakashima. In her comments, Jankowicz underlined that disinformation is a multifaceted phenomenon which requires a people-centered response. Though no one has won the information war yet, she noted that of the European case studies in her book, Estonia has come the closest by investing in a nation-wide people-centric approach. To tackle foreign disinformation in the United States, Jankowicz argued that we need a generational, whole-of-society approach that includes greater federal regulation, investment in public media, and media literacy education. Looking ahead to the 2020 elections, she warned against the potential for election-night disinformation. She stressed the importance of informing voters that more mail-in ballots will mean slower results, but that slow results are not a reflection of the legitimacy of the democratic process.

Nina Jankowicz studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe. Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, BuzzFeed News, and Wilson Quarterly. She is a frequent commentator on disinformation and Russian and Eastern European affairs, and has been interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour and PBS's Judy Woodruff. Prior to her Fulbright grant in Ukraine, Jankowicz managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She received her MA in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, and her BA from Bryn Mawr. | @wiczipedia

Ellen Nakashima (Moderator) is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She focuses on intelligence and cyber operations, including the US government’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. She and her colleagues broke stories about a whistleblower complaint over President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine that led to the president’s impeachment this year. In 2018, Nakashima was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Russia investigation, and in 2014, she was part of another team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of NSA surveillance programs. She served as Southeast Asia co-bureau chief from 2002-2006, and has covered the White House and Virginia state politics. She joined The Post in 1995. | @nakashimae