Members of the EGRN are researchers, practitioners, and public/private sector service providers with a vested interest in understanding the links between gaming(-adjacent) platforms and radicalization, extremism, and preventing/countering violent extremism. If you’re interested in learning more about the Network and our work, please look through the pages here and use the contact form at the bottom of the page to get in touch with us.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the EGRN, you can register your interest as an individual or an organization at the form below.
The Network is organized across three groups:
Galen is a senior researcher and management professional working at the nexus of violent extremism, conflict, and tech issues. His work promotes human rights and positive, sustainable peace. For over 10 years, Galen has worked across 30+ countries to manage projects for humanitarian and development NGOs, United Nations agencies, governments, think tanks, and many of the largest tech platforms. Galen co-founded and jointly convenes the Extremism and Gaming Research Network. He is a Preventing & Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) advisor to various clients and is an Associate Fellow at RUSI.
Dr Jessica White is a Senior Research Fellow in RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict group. Her expertise encompasses counter-terrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism policy and programming, as well as gender mainstreaming strategies. She has over a decade’s worth of experience as a researcher and security practitioner, with a prior career as an intelligence and language analyst in the United States Navy. Jessica conducts research and manages projects on a range of topics including far-right extremism and terrorism, security policy, gender, and terrorism in the media and online. She is also an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT).
Claudia Wallner is a RUSI Associate Fellow and was formerly a Research Fellow in RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict research group. Her research focuses on preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE), including a multi-year project assessing the evidence base for P/CVE interventions in different thematic areas, as well as contributions to EU-funded P/CVE training and the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Policy Support. Aside from her focus on P/CVE, Claudia is also conducting research on radicalisation and recruitment into violent extremism, with a particular focus on far-right extremism and terrorism.
Petra Regeni is a Research and Project Officer in the Terrorism and Conflict group at RUSI Europe, focusing on the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Policy Support programme. Prior to joining RUSI, she worked for the research and analysis department at Hedayah on VE/CVE-related projects and served as a capacity building and third-party M&E officer at Trust Consultancy in Gaziantep, Turkey. Petra holds a BA with Honours in Political Science from Dalhousie University, having also studied international security at the Australian National University, where her dissertation examined the fluctuating interpretation and operationalization of ‘jihad’ among radical Islamist groups and across time. She is also completing her MSc in International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology at the VU Amsterdam with a focus on terrorism and extremism.
Linda Schlegel is a PhD student at the Goethe University Frankfurt and a Research Fellow at modus zaD in Berlin. Her research focuses on the nexus between gaming and extremism, gamification, the use of gaming content in P/CVE projects, and storytelling in narrative campaigns against extremism. She has published multiple articles on gaming and (counter-) extremism, including for the Radicalization Awareness Network, GNET, and academic journals.
Jacob Davey is Head of Research & Policy for Far-right and Hate Movements at ISD. Jacob has managed projects focusing on online hate speech, the international far-right and political violence. He has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation and hate speech online, including analysis tracking hate groups in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, and is currently leading a major programme of work mitigating hate threats in the US. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. Jacob has managed and co-authored numerous ISD reports including Between Conspiracy and Extremism: A Long COVID Threat?, ISD’s Gaming and Extremism Series, and A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram.
Jared Shurin is the strategy lead at M&C Saatchi World Services, developing communications solutions to complex and challenging problems.
Dr. Erin Saltman is the Director of Programming at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). She was formerly Facebook’s Head of Counterterrorism and Dangerous Organizations Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; working with multi-sector stakeholders and building out CVE programs for Facebook in partnership with international NGOs. Dr Saltman’s background and expertise includes both far-right and Islamist extremist processes of radicalization within a range of regional and socio-political contexts. Her research and publications have focused on the evolving nature of online extremism and terrorism, gender dynamics within violent extremist organizations and youth radicalization. Previous roles include Senior Research and Programs positions at Quilliam Foundation and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD Global), where she remains a Research Fellow.
Suraj Lakhani is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Sussex. He also holds the roles of Research Fellow at VoxPol, Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, and Core Member of the Extremism and Gaming Research Network. His research interests include the sociology of terrorism, (violent) extremism and the internet, radicalisation, violent extremism and video-gaming, and counter-terrorism policy. He has published a number of peer reviewed journal articles in internationally recognised academic publications, including Critical Studies on Terrorism, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, and The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, amongst others. He also has a number of book chapters in edited collections. Suraj has acted as primary investigator, both individually and leading recognised international consortiums consisting of a number of renowned world-leading experts on terrorism, on research projects funded by, for example, the Home Office, European Commission, Research England, ESRC, British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust.
Michèle Leaman has nearly 20 years of for-profit, non-profit, and academic experience in the United States and Europe. At Ashoka, the world’s leading organization supporting social entrepreneurship, she built an accreditation process for universities wishing to become global leaders in social innovation, such as B. Brown and Duke Universities, and led a national college initiative to promote personal and social responsibility at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She has a BA and MA in Philosophy and was a member of Elon University’s 3-year research seminar on teaching democratic thinking.
Katie works on the design and delivery of digital counter-messaging and intervention projects at Moonshot, specialising in the monitoring and evaluation of online at-risk user activity. Her work includes both the violent far right and Islamism across a wide range of geographical regions including North America, Europe and Asia.
Rachel Fielden is an International Campaigns Manager at Moonshot where she works on the design and delivery of digital counter-messaging and intervention projects. She specialises in the development of gaming technologies and tools to counter disinformation and prevent violent extremist activity online.
Nusrat Farooq is the Technology and Programs Associate at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). She has worked as a Lead Research Assistant, under Professor Tamar Mitts, at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University. She’s also worked as a Consultant to the World Bank, New America Foundation and UNICEF-India. Before completing her Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Nusrat worked as a Project Manager at India Institute, a non-profit think tank in India. She is an alumna of International Academy for Leadership-Germany and a core member of Women’s Regional Network-India.
Scott Johnson is the Tech Lead at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). Scott worked for over fifteen years in the technology industry for a variety of companies and in various roles including software engineering, systems and data analysis, and product development management. As an engineer, Scott designed and delivered backend systems, microservices and APIs, developer infrastructure, and platform integrations. Scott specializes in applied research on the intersection of technology, social knowledge, and collective behavior. Scott is a graduate of The College of William & Mary (B.S. in Computer Science) and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Library and Information Science at the University of Washington with a focus on understanding the information science of disinformation and extremism.
Ashton Kingdon is a lecturer in criminology as the University of Southampton. Her research is interdisciplinary combining criminology, history, and computer science to explore the ways in which technology and imagery act as accelerators of radicalisation. Additionally her research analyses the relationship existing between terrorism and climate change.
Rachel Kowert, Ph.D is a research psychologist and the Research Director of Take This. She is a world-renowned researcher on the uses and effects of digital games, including their impact on physical, social, and psychological well-being. An award-winning author, she has published a variety of books and scientific articles relating to the psychology of games and, more recently, the relationship between games and mental health specifically. In 2021, Dr. Kowert was chosen as a member of The Game Awards Future Class, representing the best and brightest of the future of video games.
Kesa White is a Program Research Associate at PERIL. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Master of Science degree in Terrorism and Homeland Security from American University. Her work focuses on white supremacy, violent extremism in online spaces, and de-radicalization with a focus on homeland security.
Kesa’s interest in the far-right came after she was the victim of a hate crime. She realized that anyone can be a victim of a hate crime, and these are issues that must be studied to deter them. Since then, she has completed classes and research to develop her expertise in the subject in order to speak authoritatively on the far right. In the future, Kesa hopes to become a distinguished scholar and have a direct impact on policymaking.
George Weiss is the founder and CEO of Radio La Benevolencija Humanitarian Tools Foundation (“RLB”), an organization that sets up media projects to teach populations to resist hate speech and incitement to identity-based violence. RLB is one of the first to use long-duration nation-wide broadcast campaigns to mass audiences for the purpose of a citizen “inoculation” against scapegoating and propaganda, as well as teaching trauma healing techniques to wounded populations. Based on Weiss’ experiences working for La Benevolencija Sarajevo, a unique local NGO during the Bosnia War of 1992-95, RLB’s work promotes an agenda of sanity, empathy and mutual help among minorities and individuals who are target of hate speech- and those who want to protect them.
Mick Prinz is the project manager of Good Gaming – Well Played Democracy. After studying social sciences, he started working at the Amadeu Antonio Foundation in Berlin. His main focus is the instrumentalization of German gaming spaces by the far right. Apart from that, he is interested in how narratives are utilized in video games and loves creative open world designs.
Garett Reppenhagen is the son of a Vietnam Veteran and grandson of two World War II Veterans. He served in the U.S. Army as a Cavalry/Scout Sniper in the 1st Infantry Division. Garett completed a deployment in Kosovo on a 9-month peace-keeping mission and a combat tour in Baquaba, Iraq. Garett gained an Honorable Discharge in May of 2005 and began working as a veterans advocate and a dedicated activist. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Iraq Veterans Against the War, worked in Washington, DC, as a lobbyist and as Vice President of Public Relations for the Nobel Prize winning Veterans For America, as a Program Director for Veterans Green Jobs and was the Rocky Mountain Director for Vet Voice Foundation. Garett lives in Colorado where he serves as the Executive Director for Veterans For Peace.
Chris Velazquez is the Digital Organizer for Veterans For Peace and the lead organizer for the Gamers For Peace initiative. Chris was a civil affairs operator in the United States Marine Corps from 2004 to 2010 with combat deployments to Fallujah, Iraq and Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Chris is a life-long gamer, who is committed to using digital gaming and hobby spaces to engage antiwar and social justice activism, while combating the predatory recruiting practices of the military.
Veterans For Peace is a global organization of Military Veterans and allies whose collective efforts are to build a culture of peace by using our experiences and lifting our voices. Our network is comprised of over 140 chapters worldwide. Gamers For Peace (GFP), an initiative of Veterans For Peace (VFP), carries on the legacy of veterans speaking openly to young people about their military service. We’re bringing these stories to today’s digital world through the combined efforts of anti-war veterans, allies and gamers. U.S. military branches have infiltrated online spaces to target children below legal age in their recruiting efforts. They do this by: 1) using charismatic service members to talk to children online through social media like Twitch, Discord and Facebook; 2) using esports teams to appeal to many children’s dreams of becoming professional gamers; and 3) attending video game conventions like GalaxyCon, Geek’dCon and PaxEast with cutting edge video game equipment.
The Amadeu Antonio Foundation is one of Germany’s foremost independent non-governmental organizations working to strengthen democratic civic society and eliminate neo-Nazism, right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of bigotry and hate in Germany. Since its founding in 1998, the foundation has funded more than 1,800 projects and campaigns in pursuit of this goal. The foundation’s project “Good Gaming – Well Played Democracy”, which started in 2020, monitors the far right in gaming spaces and develops prevention measures for gaming communities.
Tech Against Terrorism is an initiative launched and supported by the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) working with the global tech industry to tackle terrorist use of the internet whilst respecting human rights.
Our plan of action revolves around three pillars: outreach, knowledge-sharing, and practical support. Learn more at https://www.techagainstterrorism.org/
Justice for Prosperity (JfP) leverages innovation and technology to build tools for resilience, weaponizing intelligence, knowledge, and information to protect those under siege. Our vision is that peace and justice are strengthened through providing material and immaterial support to vulnerable individuals, communities, civil society, and / or governments, whilst advocating for their rights. JfP is an independent non-profit based at the Amsterdam UN SDG House. Web www.justiceforprosperity.org Instagram @justice_for_prosperity
SCENOR is a non-profit organization located in Austria and specialized in the research of extremism, radicalization and terrorism, in particular in the German speaking world, and with an emphasis on the Internet and social media. Among others, SCENOR has implemented projects that use games and gaming in extremism prevention.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a training arm of the United Nations System. The Institute provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.
DIIS is an independent public research institution for international studies. DIIS conducts and communicates multidisciplinary research and aims to be agenda-setting in research, policy and public debate. DIIS researches foreign, security and development policy, providing independent research according to the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.
Textgain is a spin-off of the University of Antwerp specialised in technological developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Using explainable A.I., we detect and analyse hate speech, extremism, terrorism, and disinformation (Fake News) on social media. Textgain is the coordinator of EU projects such as the European Observatory of Online Hate ( <http://www.eooh.eu> www.eooh.eu) and Detect Then Act (<http://www.dtct.eu> www.dtct.eu), and the technological partner of BENEDMO, the Belgian – Dutch chapter of the European Digital Media Observatory (<http://www.edmo.eu> www.edmo.eu).
Radio La Benevolencija HTF is a Dutch NGO that uses media to empower groups and individuals in vulnerable societies to recognise and resist identity-based incitement. Through fictional edutainment broadcast series, cinema films, TV- and radio debates as well as video games and online edutainment, it embeds in knowledge of the psychological triggers of incitement in mass audiences and stimulates active bystandership under the motto: “Attack problems, not people!”