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Digital Fellows Network

The Digital Fellows Network brings together leading experts, academics, diplomats, government officials, journalists and civil society leaders from the US and Canada to cooperatively formulate strategies on countering violent extremism online.  
This Network was originally part of the North American Working Group to Counter Violent Extremism Online established by MIGS in November 2016 with the generous support of the office of public affairs of the US Embassy to Canada 

Wale Adeboye

Wale Adeboye

Wale Adeboye is the West Africa focal representative, Africa Working Group of the Global Action Against Mass Atrocities initiative. Adeboye founded the West Africa Responsibility to Protect Coalition (WAC-R2P),  an independent multi-disciplinary research and cooperation think tank that he leads to create awareness and advocate positive change on issues of national and sub-regional security relating to the protection of civilians. He is also a 2019 Rotary Peace fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. From 2016 to 2017 he was a Global Peace Index Ambassador for the Rotary International and the Institute for Economics and Peace. His work focuses on Counterterrorism, the Responsibility to Protect, and peace negotiations. He regularly travels to different states in Nigeria to engage with parliamentarians, senior civil servants and civil society organizations in peacebuilding and atrocity threats analysis. He volunteers as the Country Coordinator for the Terrorism Research Initiative and has interviewed a number of Boko Haram terrorists. Adeboye has a B.A. degree in Mass Communication, an M.A. degree in Peace and Conflict studies, a certificate in Genocide Studies & Prevention from Keene State College, USA, and is completing a PhD on the Nigerian military operations against Boko Haram. He is an alumnus of the Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and the African Leadership Forum and the West Africa Civil Society Institute, in Accra, Ghana.

Twitter: @waleadeboy


Alyssa Blank

Alyssa Blank holds a Master of Arts degree in Globalization and International Development from the University of Ottawa, where she focused her studies on online hate and the psychological operations of war. She has since served as an online hate expert for several not-for-profits. Her collaborative and pragmatic work combines qualitative and quantitative analyses to bring experts closer to solving the challenge of online hate.


Dr. Joana Cook

Dr. Joana Cook is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King’s College London. She holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies, which examined women in relation to post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism responses in Yemen and the wider MENA region. Her research more broadly focuses on violent extremism, countering violent extremism, and counter-terrorism practices in Yemen and the wider MENA region.

Joana is also a Research Affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS); and an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University (where she currently co-convenes a course on radicalization). She formerly convened the MA course on Homegrown Radicalisation at King’s. She has previously worked with Public Safety Canada’s Research Affiliate Program (Kanishka); as Editor-in-Chief of Strife based out of the Department; and as a journalist in Canada and southern Africa.

She has presented her research to senior government and security audiences in several countries, and at institutions such as the UN Security Council, UN-CTED, Cambridge, Oxford, the London School of Economics, and IISS (amongst others). She has also been featured in media such as Newsweek, Time, the Telegraph, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post and on BBC World News, Sky News, BBC Radio, the National Post and CBC.

She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Regina, and a MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London. In 2016 she was a recipient of the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund (CCSF). Her list of publications is available here. Her first book, ‘A woman’s place: U.S. counterterrorism since 9/11’ will be released in 2019. 

Alexander Corbeil - Profile

Alexander Corbeil

Alexander Corbeil is an independent analyst focusing on conflict, terrorism and radicalization. He has worked with the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate, Western militaries and governments, and NGOs on a number of preventing and countering violent extremism initiatives. Alexander holds an MA in Political Science (2011) and HBA in Political Science and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (2010), both from the University of Toronto. He completed an intensive course on violence, conflict and fragility with the World Bank, and obtained a certificate in conflict management in Arab-Israeli affairs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Alexander possess over five years of experience as a political commentator and open source intelligence analyst focusing on Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. His articles, opinion pieces and commentary have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Carnegie Endowment, Time, The Globe and Mail, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, The Daily Star (Lebanon) and World Politics Review.



Zach Devereaux

Zach Devereaux has been researching social media and it's impact on business, politics, and national security since 2010. Zach won a Gemini Citation of Recognition with the Infoscape Lab at Ryerson University for putting Twitter, YouTube, and Blogs on CBC news during Canada Votes 2008 coverage, and worked in automotive related social media analytics and analysis for 5 years, before becoming a social media expert and defence consultant at the NATO level. Zach is a francophile, sports fan, and dedicated husband and father. 



Article about Zach's work


Jones Enebeli 

Jones Enebeli is a responsible public policy professional with several years of hands-on diverse work experience with international development and partnership agencies. Jones holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Diplomacy, Law and Global Change from Coventry University, England, a MCert. in Public Management and he is concluding a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Saskatchewan.

He is impassioned about Public Policy and International Governance and possesses a deep-seated interest in International Development work; predominately in such areas as: Human Rights, International Aids and Charities, The Responsibility to Protect framework, Atrocities Prevention, Human Security framework, Girl-Child Education, Indigenous Rights and Arms Trade Treaty.

At MIGS, Jones is primarily focused and saddled with galvanizing action and raising voices in respect of getting the Canadian Parliament to pass the 'Paul Dewar Mass Atrocity Prevention Bill' in honor of the late Paul Dewar, a former Member of the Canadian Parliament who was committed to making the world a better place through relentless advocacy for human rights across the globe.

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William G.-Chalifoux

William G.-Chalifoux is working for the education technology (EdTech) firm illuxi based in Montreal. He is also a former researcher at the Raoul Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies (UQAM) and a former United Nations consultant.

William worked at UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 2016 to 2019, where he contributed to the development of global public policies in education, science and culture. He worked on digital education, Internet governance and the prevention of online hate speech and conducted research on the impact of ICT's on terrorism.  More specifically, he conducted research on the role of extremist digital content in the process towards violent radicalisation.

William is a graduate student in International Relations and received a BA in Political Communication in 2014 from the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Twitter : @williamgc_



Mark Kersten 

Dr. Mark Kersten is a Senior Consultant at the Wayamo Foundation, senior researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and a law student at McGill University, Montreal. In 2011, Dr. Kersten founded the blog Justice in Conflict, which regularly publishes articles on the challenges of pursuing transitional justice in the context of ongoing violent political conflicts. He has taught courses on genocide studies, the politics of international law, transitional justice, diplomacy, and conflict and peace studies at the London School of Economics, SOAS, and University of Toronto. In 2016, Oxford University Press published Mark’s book, Justice in Conflict: The Effects of the International Criminal Court’s Interventions on Ending Wars and Building Peace. He holds a PhD and MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Guelph. His research focuses on the politics and effects of interventions by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and has appeared in numerous academic fora as well as in media publications such as The Globe and Mail, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post. Mark has previously been a Research Associate at the Refugee Law Project in Uganda and as a researcher at Justice Africa in London. 

Twitter : @MarkKersten

Website : Blog 


Humera Khan

Humera Khan is the Executive Director of Muflehun, a resource center at the nexus of society, security and technology. Ms Khan designs and implements programs for prevention and intervention of violent extremism around the globe. She contributes in an advisory capacity to multi-national organizations, governments and law enforcement agencies in several countries. Ms Khan is the chair of the GCERF Independent Review Panel. In 2012 she received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for her work and has testified before the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on “Women’s Education: Promoting Development & Countering Radicalism.”

Ms Khan’s 18 years of experience in security strategy and knowledge of theology provide unique expertise for the design of metanarratives to counter online radicalization to extremism. Ms Khan specializes in scenario planning, strategy formulation and threat assessment using agent-based modelling, morphological analysis and system dynamics. Previously, as principal at a DC area think-tank, she designed and integrated methodologies for threat anticipation and risk assessment for the Singapore government “Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning” initiative. She was also a team member designing energy security strategy for US government clients.

Ms Khan holds four degrees from MIT: MS Technology & Policy, MS Nuclear Engineering, BS Art & Design and BS Nuclear Engineering. She also has an MA in Islamic Studies from the School of Islamic and Social Sciences, an affiliate seminary of the Washington Theological Consortium.

Twitter: @khanserai


Shannon N. Green

Shannon N. Green is the Director and Senior Fellow of the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) at CSIS, where she conducts research on civil society, justice and accountability, and the security/human rights nexus. Ms. Green also managed CSIS’s Commission on Countering Violent Extremism, co-chaired by Tony Blair and Leon Panetta.

Prior to joining CSIS, Ms. Green was the Senior Director for Global Engagement on the National Security Council. In that role, she developed and coordinated policies and initiatives to deepen and broaden U.S. engagement with critical populations overseas, including spearheading the President’s Stand with Civil Society Agenda and young leader initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. She also led efforts to discredit and delegitimize ISIL and counter its propaganda.

From 2008 to 2013, Ms. Green worked at the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she developed policies, strategies, and programs to advance political reform and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to that, she served in USAID’s Asia and Near East Bureau, where she was responsible for managing strategic planning, performance reporting, and budget formulation and pioneering new development approaches in fragile, conflict, and post-conflict environments.

Ms. Green received her B.A. in political science and history from the University of Georgia and her M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution from American University.

Twitter: @Shannison


Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting (  He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) from 2001-2013, specializing in Al Qaeda/Islamic State-inspired violent extremism and radicalization.  From 1983 to 2001 he was employed as a senior multilingual analyst at Communications Security Establishment, specialising in the Middle East.  He also served as senior special advisor in the National Security Directorate at Public Safety Canada from 2013 until his retirement from the civil service in May 2015, and as consultant for the Ontario Provincial Police’s Anti-Terrorism Section (PATS) in 2015.  Mr. Gurski has presented on Al Qaeda/Islamic State-inspired violent extremism and radicalization across Canada and around the world.  He is the author of “The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West” (Rowman and Littlefield) and the forthcoming “Western Foreign Fighters: the threat to homeland and international security” (Rowman and Littlefield).  He regularly blogs (Terrorism in Canada and the West – available on his Web site) and tweets (@borealissaves) on terrorism.  He is a visiting fellow at the International Centre for Counter Terrorism (ICCT) in the Netherlands and a fellow at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School for International Affairs  (NPSIA)

Twitter: @borealissaves




Ewelina Ochab

Ewelina U. Ochab is a legal researcher and human rights advocate, and author of the book “Never Again: Legal Responses to a Broken Promise in the Middle East.” Ochab works on the topic of the persecution of minorities around the world, with main projects including Daesh genocide in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram atrocities in West Africa, and the situation of religious minorities in South Asia. Ochab has written over 30 UN reports (including Universal Periodic Review reports) and has made oral and written submissions at the Human Rights Council sessions and the UN Forum on Minority Issues. Ochab is currently working on her PhD in international law, human rights and medical ethics. Ochab is a Contributor to Forbes. She has also published in the Providence Magazine, Oxford Human Rights Hub, UnHerd, and Washington Examiner. 

Twitter @EwelinaUO


Nicolai P​ogadl

Nicolai P​ogadl works at the Canadian International Council. His professional focus is on projects and research at the intersection of digital technology, international security, atrocity prevention, and human rights. More precisely, he focuses on tools and procedures for human rights groups to counter surveillance and suppression, and is motivated to bring policy and tech professionals closer together.  

Through his work he helped conceptualize and organize several conferences and training programs at Concordia University, conducted research at the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman Center, participated in several conflict and atrocity prevention hackathons, and advised two teams at a Stanford University "Hacking for Diplomacy” course.  

Nicolai is a Swiss/German citizen, he studied International Affairs in Switzerland where he has also been active as an event organizer and alumni representative for the St. Gallen Symposium, a yearly conference which brings together 200+ students from around the globe with 500+ leading politicians, academics, and business executives. 


Photo K-Pontbriand

Karine Pontbriand

Karine Pontbriand is currently doing her residency at the Research Group on Cyber Diplomacy and Cyber Security (GCC) at the Montreal Institute of International Studies (IEIM). She has also been given a Junior Research Fellowship at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, where she has published "Canada-Japan Cyber Security Cooperation: Enhancing the Fight Against Cyber Threats". She is a member of the Research Group on International and Intercultural Communications (GERACII). Karine looks at the impact of cyberspace on international security. She holds a Bachelor in International Relations and International Law and is completing a Masters in International and Intercultural Communications at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). Before pursuing her Masters, she worked for 6 years as a journalist for different media outlets such as television network TVA and Quebecor Media Inc. Karine wishes to combine her professional experience and her academic studies to enhance international knowledge and research on cyber security and cyber diplomacy.

Twitter: @KPontbriand


Anne Speckhard

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine and has also taught the Psychology of Terrorism for the Security Studies Department in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. Dr. Speckhard has been working in the field of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the 1980’s and has extensive experience working in Europe, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. She was the chair of the NATO Human Factors & Medicine Research and Technology Experts Group (HFM-140/RTG) on the Psychosocial, Cultural and Organizational Aspects of Terrorism. She is a member of the United Nations Roster of Experts for the Terrorism Prevention Branch Office on Drugs and Crime and was previously awarded a Public Health Service Fellowship in the United States Department of Health & Human Services where she served as a Research Fellow.

She has provided expert consultation to European and Middle Eastern governments as well as the U.S. Department of Defense regarding programs for prevention and rehabilitation of individuals committed to political violence and militant jihad. Since 2002, she has collected more than four hundred research interviews of family members, friends, close associates and hostages of terrorists and militant jihadi extremists in Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Russia, Chechnya, Belarus, Canada, the United Statese, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium and France.

Dr. Speckhard is the director of the Holocaust Survivors Oral Histories Project – Belarus. She also co-directed the NATO Advanced Research Workshops – Ideologies of Terrorism: Understanding and Predicting the Social, Psychological and Political Underpinnings of Terrorism and Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalization among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe and served on the NATO/Russia Counter-Terrorism Advisory Group.

Dr. Speckhard has consulted to NATO, OSCE, foreign governments and the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA and FBI.  She is a sought after speaker, media expert and consultant. She is the author of seven books.

Twitter: @AnneSpeckhard

Jeff Weyers

Jeff Weyers

Jeff holds a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and Security Studies from the University of Ottawa, a Diploma in Law and Security Administration from Conestoga College, a B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Wilfrid Laurier University and finally a M.Sc. in Investigative Psychology from the University of Liverpool. He is an active contributor to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium.

Jeff has trained in the areas of Anti-Terrorism Training, Intelligence and Security, Major Case Investigations, Major Case Management, Internet and OSINT Investigations, and Interviewing and Interrogation. Jeff is currently studying the risk assessment of terrorist groups and individuals and terrorist social networks.

Jeff has consulted with numerous agencies on identifying individuals vulnerable to violent extremism as well as using social media in intelligence gathering and investigations. As a result he has received numerous commendations for his work in diverting persons from violent extremism.

Specialties: Terrorist Social Networks, Open Source Intelligence, and the Assessment of Extremist Groups and Individuals.


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