Seeking fresher and more comprehensive ways to counter the influential messaging of international terrorist groups, in particular the Islamic State and al Qaida, President Barack Obama on Monday directed the State Department to begin a new government-wide counter-terrorism communications effort.
The Global Engagement Center will lead the United States’ counter-terrorism public communications abroad, develop “U.S. strategic counterterrorism narratives,” and work with domestic agencies and groups on helping to create “positive alternative narratives and to diminish the influence” of international terrorist organizations abroad, according to Obama’s executive order establishing the center.
Executive Order 13584 also establishes a special envoy and coordinator to lead the center. The envoy will report through the State Department’s under secretary for public diplomacy.
The order also establishes within the State Department a temporary Global Engagement Center Coordination Office (GECCO) that will support the center “in its efforts to build and maintain a network of partners outside the U.S. Government, including private sector entities and non-governmental organizations, and to develop research and analytics to enable measurement and evaluation of the activities of the center and related activities conducted by other agencies,” the order says. The GECCO will be led by the special envoy.