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Frances Fragos Townsend, who joined the Concordia Leadership Council in 2011–its founding year–has held public service roles in national security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism for over a decade in the post-9/11 era. Her service as Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2004 to 2008 included responsibilities overseeing the Homeland Security Council and reporting on policy and counter-terrorism strategy to the President.

Prior to her role in the White House, Frances Townsend spent 13 years with the Department of Justice and subsequently served in the United States Coast Guard, ending her tenure as Assistant Commandant for Intelligence. She first embarked on a career in public service in 1985 as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, shortly after graduating cum laude from American University with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Psychology and thereafter receiving her J.D. from the University of San Diego.

Since she left the White House, Frances Townsend has served on a variety of boards for think tanks, non and for-profit companies–including for the Bipartisan Policy Center–and moreover has acted as a correspondent for CNN news. In 2014, she founded the Counter Extremism Project (“CEP”), along with former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Mark Wallace. The stated mission of the CEP is to fight global extremism with focus areas in disrupting terrorist financing and online recruitment and propaganda with a Public-Private Partnership method of connecting public and private sector stakeholders.

With the salience and unfortunate recruitment success of “ISIS,” or “ISIL,” Townsend’s efforts are profoundly appropriate, justified, and well-needed by the international community. The CEP “Digital Disruption Campaign,” started in 2014, aimed at flagging extremists on social media sites and reporting them for removal, as well as lobbying major internet companies to shape policy prohibiting the use of their services for spreading messages of hatred and violence, ultimately has provoked threats of violence against Townsend and her collaborators by extremist individuals targeted by the program.

Concordia is pleased to host Frances Fragos Townsend for a Conversation on July 21, where she will discuss the current climate of Counter-Violent Extremism (“CVE”) strategy, a perpetually topical issue for both world leaders and citizens.

To learn more about Frances Fragos Townsend and her role on Concordia’s Leadership Council, see her biography.

For more information about how to become a member of Concordia and receive invitations to this and other events, please visit http://concordia.net/membership/ or contact Program Manager, Donniell Silva at dsilva@concordia.net.

Engage with the conversation by tweeting @ConcordiaSummit and @FranTownsend using the hashtag #ConcordiaConvo.