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GMF Launches Project To Pioneer Novel Technologies That Strengthen Democratic Resilience

Washington, DC | February 13, 2024 ― The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is launching two initiatives to strengthen global democratic practices, promote good governance, and support free and fair elections. The projects will develop innovative tools to strengthen electoral processes, prevent the spread of disinformation, and create a new community of global leaders who advance democratic principles. With $1 million in support from The Rockefeller Foundation, these projects will build on GMF’s extensive experience addressing disinformation and strengthening democratic institutions.

“The Alliance for Securing Democracy is at the cutting edge of innovation to protect our democratic institutions,” said Laura Thornton, Senior Vice President at the German Marshall Fund. “In this crucial election year, promoting accurate coverage of elections has never been more difficult or more important. We are grateful to The Rockefeller Foundation for recognizing these stakes and helping ASD at GMF to promote fair and transparent elections.”

In 2024, actors leveraging generative artificial intelligence (AI) are expected play a significant role in key democratic elections worldwide for the first time. To address the potential proliferation of manipulated text, images, and video related to elections, Lindsay Gorman, ASD senior fellow for emerging technologies, will lead the first initiative, which will develop and implement new tools for promoting trust and transparency in institutions and elections. Beginning with the Mexican general elections in June, ASD at GMF will work to increase the adoption of content authenticity technologies in newsrooms.

“Generative AI poses new threats to democratic institutions and values on a scale that we have never encountered before,” said Lindsay Gorman, senior fellow for emerging technologies at ASD. “However, if implemented creatively and responsibly, innovation can also guard against those threats and strengthen democracy. It is our responsibility to design and develop novel technologies that promote transparency in democratic processes and trust in our institutions.”

In a complementary initiative led by Visiting Senior Fellow Shanthi Kalathil (previously coordinator for democracy and human rights at the National Security Council), ASD at GMF will cultivate networks of democratic resilience. The cornerstone of this longer-term effort is to foster lasting connections among civil society actors and policymakers from democracies worldwide so that they may share lessons learned and exchange best practices for strengthening resistance to foreign malign influence.

“Fostering strong connections among practitioners and policymakers around the world is an integral part of building democratic resilience,” said Shanthi Kalathil, Visiting Senior Fellow at ASD. “I’m excited to partner with GMF and The Rockefeller Foundation in this important effort.”

Through the two joint initiatives of this project, ASD at GMF seeks:

  • To promote the adoption of democracy-affirming AI technologies. If journalists are better able to identify and respond to threats presented by AI, and if they have the capacity and organizational structure to adopt content authenticity technologies, then citizens will develop resistance to malign tactics.
  • To foster a more inclusive and global community dedicated to advancing strong democracy and good governance. If representatives of democratic governments, civil society, and the private sector have a platform for engaging in meaningful and open dialogue, and if stakeholders can find consensus on key issues, then they can better advance democratic principles and practices.

“Centered around innovation, data, and network building, these ASD at GMF initiatives draw on important lessons that The Rockefeller Foundation has learned about accomplishing systems change,” said Eric Pelofsky, Vice President and Senior Advisor at The Rockefeller Foundation. “And the urgency to address these challenges could not be greater, especially as over 4 billion voters around the world are expected to go to the polls in 2024.”

 About The German Marshall Fund of the United States

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a non-partisan policy organization committed to the idea that the United States and Europe are stronger together. GMF champions the principles of democracy, human rights, and international cooperation, which have served as the bedrock of peace and prosperity since the end of World War II, but are under increasing strain. GMF works on issues critical to transatlantic interests in the 21st century, including the future of democracy, security and geopolitics, alliances and the rise of China, and technology and innovation. By drawing on and fostering a community of people with diverse life experiences and political perspectives, GMF pursues its mission by driving the policy debate through cutting-edge analysis and convening, fortifying civil society, and cultivating the next generation of leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on X @RockefellerFdn and LI @the-rockefeller-foundation.

This press release first appeared in on February 13th, 2024, and is reposted with permission.

Irvina McCullough

German Marshall Fund

Wyatt Goodwin

The Rockefeller Foundation