McCain Institute partners with Arizona State University’s Looking Glass and Georgia-based Economic Policy Research Center and Rustavi 2 for program

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 7, 2018) – The Department of State’s Global Engagement Center awarded the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University (ASU) and ASU’s Looking Glass a one-year grant to track and refute disinformation in Georgia. The McCain Institute and  Looking Glass, an advanced digital data mining program, are  partnering  with the Tbilisi-based advocacy-driven think tank Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), and Rustavi 2 (R2), Georgia’s largest private TV station, to identify, analyze and refute anti-Western disinformation spread by Russia.

Georgia has seen a rapid spread of fake news, propaganda and false information. Largely behind this effort is Russia, as it seeks to sour public support towards the United States, Europe and democracy. As the only pro-U.S. country in the region, Georgia remains critical to American interests related to combating terrorism, ensuring energy security, and halting Moscow’s aggressive policies to turn back the clock in the region.

“This project builds on the work of the McCain Institute to advance Georgia’s democracy by helping civil society, media, and the government to identify social media driven disinformation campaigns that may threaten Georgia’s security and stability,” said Fron Nahzi, Senior Director of Global Development, and Project Manager.

The program will be implemented in three phases:

  1. Monitor and identify disinformation, propaganda and the foreign entities promulgating them.
  2. Flag, report, and analyze purported falsehoods and sources of disinformation.
  3. Debunk falsehoods through TV and social media platforms in Tbilisi and in Washington, D.C.

About the McCain Institute’s Global Development Program

The McCain Institute’s in-house and university-wide experts include world-renowned scholars, diplomats and practitioners in the rule of law, good governance, human rights, counterterrorism, security and conflict resolution sectors. This allows the McCain Institute to develop innovative approaches to projects to address today’s global issues. Some of the Arizona State University’s colleges and programs the McCain Institute works with to develop interdisciplinary projects include: the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering; the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications; the College of Public Service and Community Solutions; the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; and the Global Security Initiative.

About the McCain Institute for International Leadership

The McCain Institute, founded in 2012 as part of Arizona State University, is located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Inspired by the leadership of Senator John McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute is a non-partisan, action-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership and civic engagement in the U.S. and abroad. The Institute advances security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity.  Learn more at and follow along at #InTheArena


Luke Knittig
Senior Director of Communications
McCain Institute
[email protected]  +1 202 601 4288