Hello, World!

By Rachelle Faust | March 02, 2023

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Hello, world! I’m Rachelle Faust and I’m thrilled to have recently joined the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI) Democracy and Technology team as a program officer. In my new role, I’m contributing to the team’s work on information integrity and emerging technologies, and also managing the Design for Democracy Coalition. After spending much of my early career in a research-oriented environment, I’m excited to collaborate with NDI partners around the world to make technology work for democracy. 

Of course, in 2023, technology is something that’s deeply ingrained in our daily lives—it’s how you’re reading this post! I personally began to view technology through a new lens when I started working for the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) International Forum for Democratic Studies. Through my work on countering authoritarian influence, I learned how illiberal actors abuse emerging technologies to extend their reach into open societies, leverage media partnerships to influence local narratives, and sow discord by spreading disinformation online. But I also learned that these corrosive practices aren’t occurring in a vacuum, and had the privilege to meet incredible activists, scholars, and journalists working to defend the integrity of the information space and leverage technology for good. It’s this line of work—making technology work for our partners and ensuring its use aligns with democratic and human rights—that I’m most excited to dive into at NDI. 

You can listen to me talk about authoritarian “sharp power” on the Human Rights Talks podcast and read some of my past work on COVID-19-era surveillance tech and questions to consider when assessing the risk of social media platforms. In addition to the five years I spent in multiple roles at NED, I previously interned with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and worked as an annual conference associate with the Alliance for Peacebuilding. I graduated from George Mason University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in global affairs. 

In my free time, I enjoy cooking, listening to true crime podcasts, and watching far too many Food Network shows (Guy Fieri is my favorite).