Keynote Panel

Click here to access WHYY’s audio recording


November 2, 2018, 4-6pm at the National Constitution Center

Public Keynote Panel Presentation: 

Foreign Interference in the Democratic Process: Countdown to the Midterms


            Trudy Rubin                        Clint Watts                     Raymond Baker        Mitchell Orenstein              Shawn Turner

U.S. political philosophy has always encompassed a deep-rooted aversion to any form of foreign interference against the country’s democratic institutions. But today, the threat is astonishing. Rapid advances in technology, interconnected global communications, flattening of in-person social interactions, creation of social media “bubbles,” and anonymized financial networks have fed and resulted in effective foreign interference efforts on a scale and scope not seen before…and that many believe are outpacing U.S. counter-efforts.

A timeless dilemma but evolving faster than ever before…

  • How can the United States and other liberal democracies protect themselves against foreign interference in elections?
  • Have recent efforts to shore up internal defenses against outside interference been adequate? Or do they require re-working?
  • Efforts by foreign adversaries have been successfully covert. Can we really quantify the scope of these harmful operations and their impact on past (and future) campaigns and outcomes? If the U.S. government cannot conclusively attribute the interference to a specific actor, how can it retaliate?
  • How does the current face of foreign interference differ from that of previous eras? And what will the future of foreign interference operations look like?

A distinguished panel will examine these questions and more.

Moderated by Trudy Rubin, award-winning foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the panel includes:

  • Clint Watts, Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), author of Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News, and frequent MSNBC commentator
  • Raymond Baker, President of Global Financial Integrity and internationally renowned authority on dark money
  • Mitchell Orenstein, Department Chair of Russian and Eastern European Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania 
  • Shawn Turner, Director of Communication for Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a former senior national security communication executive in the U.S. government, and a regular contributing on-air national security analyst with CNN 

The keynote panel will take place at the National Constitution Center (525 Arch Street) and is open to the public and free of charge. 

This program has been approved for 2.0 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $80.00 ($40.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.