During this episode, COL Mike Taylor discusses the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center’s (GEC) hub & spoke model for directing, leading, synchronizing, integrating, and coordinating the efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations. Our wide ranging conversation covers the major components of the GEC, its data-driven approaches, and the importance of coordination within the US government and with allies and partners.
Colonel Mike Taylor, U.S. Army, is the Director for Counter-terrorism at the Global Engagement Center (GEC), U.S. Department of State, in Washington, D.C. He serves as the principal advisor to the GEC’s Special Envoy and Coordinator on countering foreign Violent Extremist Organization’s (VEO) propaganda and disinformation (CPD) activities. In this role he is responsible for overseeing GEC CT operations and planning to include interagency and international coordination such as with the Communications Working Group of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Prior to the assumption of this assignment, Mike served as the Director, CJ39 Information Operations (IO), Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Operation Resolute Support (RS) and US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A).
In previous assignments, Taylor served as the U.S. Army’s Integrated Joint Special Technical Operations (IJSTO) Force Modernization Proponent Chief and as the U.S. Army Service IJSTO Chief, Operations and Technology Division, Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, Washington, D.C.; Branch Chief, Deputy Director for Global Operations (DDGO), J-39, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; Information Operations Field Support Team Chief, 1st Battalion, 1st IO Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and J39 IO Chief, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Balad, Iraq.
Earlier in his career, Taylor served in multiple tactical command and staff assignments to include as military advisor to the G-3, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, OIF, Tikrit, Iraq; Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 24th Infantry Division and the United States Army Garrison, Fort Riley, Kansas; Commander, HHC, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) “Devil Brigade,” 1st Infantry Division (ID), Fort Riley, Kansas and OIF, Khalidiyah, Iraq; Commander, Cobra Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st BCT, 1st ID, OIF, Iraq; Plans Chief, 1st BCT, 1st ID, Ft. Riley, Kansas; Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop (HHT), 3d Squadron, 16th Cavalry (CAV) Regiment, Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Executive Officer and Tank Platoon Leader with 2d Battalion, 72d Armor, Camp Casey, Korea. Taylor enlisted in the United States Army Reserve and served as Wheeled Heavy Equipment Operator, 892d Transportation Company, Belleville, Illinois and Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Saudi Arabia.
Taylor’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Combat Action Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, and was also awarded the U.S. Armor Association’s Bronze Medallion of the Order of St. George.
Colonel Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Operations Management from Eastern Illinois University, a Master’s in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington D.C., and is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff Officer’s Course and the U.S. Army Information Operations Qualification Course.
Colonel Taylor was born in Biloxi, Mississippi and is the eldest of three children of a retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant. Taylor resides in Lake Ridge, VA, married to the former Constance (Connie) Lorraine Bremer, has two daughters Madison (Maddie) and Elizabeth (Ella), and enjoys cheering on the Green Bay Packers.
About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.
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