Lea Gabrielle is the Special Envoy and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center at the U.S. Department of State. She is a former Human Intelligence Operations Officer, Defense Foreign Liaison Officer, U.S. Navy Program Director, Navy F/A-18C Fighter Pilot, and national television news correspondent and anchor.
While serving in the U.S. Intelligence Community, Ms Gabrielle was a CIA-trained Human Intelligence Operations Officer, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). She directed and conducted global clandestine strategic intelligence collection operations. Ms Gabrielle also deployed in tactical anti-terrorist operations in hostile environments with Naval Special Warfare (SEALs), conducting independent operations in support of Tier One Forces. Ms Gabrielle later served as Director of a U.S. Navy sensitive intelligence program.
Prior to becoming an intelligence operations officer, Ms Gabrielle was a Defense Foreign Liaison Officer for the Office of International Engagements, DIA. In this foreign diplomacy role, Ms Gabrielle was a Department of Defense principal contact with foreign Defense Attachés, organizing international military cooperation and information-sharing operations between these attachés and U.S. Government leaders.
Ms Gabrielle began her public service in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft carrier-based F/A-18C fighter pilot, flying combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq in Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. After 12 years of active duty service, Ms Gabrielle became a television news journalist at NBC News, and most recently served as a correspondent and frequent anchor for the FOX News Channel and Fox Business Network.
Ms Gabrielle is a U.S. Naval Academy Graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She is thrilled to be returning to her roots in U.S. Government service and to be able to apply her extensive national security and diplomacy experience to U.S. foreign policy as the U.S. State Department Special Envoy and Director of the Global Engagement Center.
While the worst of the global COVID-19 pandemic seems to be over, its long-term implications for our societies’ stability and safety will reverberate much longer. Regardless of the actual situation on the ground, effective communication of policy narratives to domestic and foreign audiences will be crucial in any future conflicts or crises. The ability to see patterns and connections between seemingly isolated incidents, that are actually elements of broader hybrid threats strategies, will be of equal importance. The COVID-19 crisis might be turned into an impetus for reforming EU and NATO’s strategic communication efforts and threat perception mechanisms, integrating them much more with their core activities. How should democratic societies react to a rapidly shifting threat horizon and the increasingly difficult task of assigning attribution to attackers? What should be done to boost EU and NATO capacities to detect and deter hybrid threats? How should strategic communication be mainstreamed into a wider range of modern foreign and security policy measures?