February 1, 2023
Former diplomatic spokesman for the US Disinformation Division

Former diplomatic spokesman for the US Disinformation Division

James Rubin – AFP/Archives

The U.S. Department of State has appointed former State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin to head a unit tasked with combating disinformation emanating from Russia and China.

Rubin will lead a departmental committee responsible for “identifying, understanding, exposing, and countering propaganda and disinformation” from foreign or non-state actors that “threaten the security of the United States and its allies and partners,” according to a press release. Press Office of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Blinken noted that he will specifically “fight disinformation and propaganda from foreign actors including Russia, China, Iran, and extremist organizations such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.”

Rubin, 62, was Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s press secretary from 1997 to 2000 under the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton. He worked as an editor and commentator on television before moving to London with his wife at the time, CNN reporter Christiane Amanbour.

The group, within the State Department, was formed in 2016 to initially combat disinformation from extremist groups, but has since returned to focus on China and Russia, particularly after the invasion of Ukraine last February.