From 8-17 September 2020, Professor Brianne Todd led 42 participants from 27 countries through a virtual exploration of the theme, “Innovative Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism,” during the NESA Center’s Combating Transnational Threats Senior Executive Seminar (CTSES). The seminar began with NESA Center Director LTG (ret) Terry Wolff briefing the group on lessons learned from the fight against ISIS. Participants then spent eight days working through four thematic modules and discussing best practices in four languages across 12 time zones on Microsoft Teams. The seminar concluded with a panel discussion on violent extremism in the era of COVID-19. One participant noted, “The seminar is so interesting and so insightful. It has made me look at violent extremism in a different way.”In conjunction with the CTSES , NESA hosted a Washington Seminar panel discussion on “Violent Extremism in the Era of COVID-19” on 17 September 2020. The Washington Seminar speaker series is designed to provide senior diplomatic officials from the NESA region and U.S. partner countries with a forum for candid and substantive discussion on issues of critical importance to national and regional security.
Professor Brianne Todd moderated the discussion with Chelsea Daymon, Associate Fellow at the Global Network on Extremism and Technology; Hassan Hassan, Director of the Non-State Actors and Geopolitics Program at the Center for Global Policy; and Dr. Seth Jones, Harold Brown Chair, Director of the Transnational Threats Project, and Senior Adviser to the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Much of the discussion focused on how violent extremist organizations are operating in cyber and other ungoverned spaces during the pandemic and how the remnants of ISIS continue to exploit local conditions around the world.
The views presented in this article are those of the speaker or author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.