Posted:1:22 pm EST
On February 7, Secretary Pompeo announced to State Department employees the appointment of Lea Gabrielle, a former Fox News correspondent and U.S. Navy vet to be Special Envoy and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center (GEC). The State Department’s deputy spox also announced the appointment publicly. The Global Engagement Center is charged with leading the U.S. government’s efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation from international terrorist organizations and foreign countries. Its work is focused around four core areas: science and technology, interagency engagement, partner engagement, and content production.
Secretary’s Pompeo’s announcement says that “Lea’s background makes her an outstanding choice for this role. She is a former CIA-trained Human Intelligence Operations Officer, Defense Foreign Liaison Officer, U.S. Navy Program Director, Navy F/A-18C Fighter Pilot, andnational television news correspondent and anchor. She directed and conducted global clandestine strategic intelligence collection operations. She also deployed in tactical anti-terrorist operations in hostile environments with Naval Special Warfare (SEALs).”
Secretary Pompeo closes his announcement with “The fight against propaganda and disinformation is one we must win. Under Lea’s visionary leadership, America will be better protected from those who would turn hearts and minds against us.”
Pompeo also thanked the Acting-GEC Coordinator Daniel Kimmage “for his steady leadership the past two years.” Mr. Kimmage has been Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for the Global Engagement Center at the Department of State since January 20, 2017. Before assuming his GEC role, he served in a number of State Department positions, including covering counterterrorism issues for the Office of Policy Planning and as the Principal Deputy Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC). He also previously published reports on extremist media strategies including Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas, The Al-Qaeda Media Nexus, and Al-Qaeda Central and the Internet. Mr. Kimmage is fluent in Russian and Arabic.
The new GEC was previously the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), a stand-alone office reporting to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R). It was expanded to include a new counter-ISIL cell to the Center’s operation. Following the departure of Ambassador Alberto Fernandez, who served from 2012-2015, the State Department appointed Rashad Hussain as Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications in February 2015. In January 2016, the State Department announced the appointment of Michael D. Lumpkin as Special Envoy and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center to lead a new interagency effort that leverages the private sector and new data analytics tools to disrupt extremist violent propaganda.
.@StateDeputySpox: I am pleased to announce that Lea Gabrielle will be our new Special Envoy and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center. Lea will provide the permanent leadership we have needed to bolster the GEC’s operations. pic.twitter.com/Pfer5QmNKM
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 7, 2019
Pleased to introduce Lea Gabrielle as the Special Envoy & Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center. As a former Intel Operations Officer, F-18 fighter pilot & TV correspondent, Lea will lead USG efforts against disinformation & those who would undermine our national security. pic.twitter.com/V0KNZ7a1GM
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 7, 2019
First in FP: State Dept taps former Fox News reporter Lea Gabrielle to lead counterpropaganda unit beset by funding and leadership problems. https://t.co/08kjBtsZ7Y
— Elias Groll (@EliasGroll) February 7, 2019
Former Fox News correspondent Lea Gabrielle to lead State Department’s counter-propaganda office https://t.co/EU7zWVJpqH
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 7, 2019
Lea Gabrielle, who joined Fox News in 2013 will be the new head of the Global Engagement Center, an agency that works to counter disinformation from Russia and other countries. https://t.co/Ppd3JxvS3p
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 8, 2019
— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) December 8, 2017
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