Task Team Leaders
Raghav Aggarwal is a junior triple-majoring in International Relations & Global Studies, Economics, and Asian Studies, with a specialization in international security. Throughout his time at UT, he has developed his interest in political and social interactions between China, India, and the United States, from historical and contemporary perspectives. As a TTL in GDIL, Raghav helped publish two intelligence briefings for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency about the Ukraine Refugee Crisis. Raghav is also an Undergraduate Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security. After graduation, he hopes to attend graduate school for security studies, later embarking on a career of furthering U.S. engagement in the Asia Pacific. In his free time, Raghav likes to practice his Hindi and Mandarin language skills, dance and sing to Bollywood music, or play too many video games.
Zachary Daum is a second-year undergraduate mathematics major at UT Austin pursuing a minor in Arabic and certificates in Security Studies and Elements of Computing. He is one of the Tasking Team Leads for Project Tearline where he focuses on satellite imagery and geospatial-intelligence analysis. He is also working towards an undergraduate thesis in the field of intelligence analysis with a particular focus on methodologies for quantitative data analysis in intelligence.
Team Cyber Pacific
Kevin Lentz is a dual master’s degree student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs studying Global Policy and Asian Studies. His current research interest is the role of US military alliances in cyberspace in the Indo-Pacific theatre. Prior to LBJ he lived in Sydney, Australia for two years working in restaurants and pursuing the study of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.
Mykhaylo (Misha) Simanovskyy
Team Pravda and Team #BoycottBiz
Mykhaylo (Misha) Simanovskyy is a dual Master’s student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and a graduate researcher at the Global Disinformation Lab. Currently, he leads two projects (#BoycottBiz and Pravda) mentored by Ukrainian scholars-in-residence. Misha’s interest in disinformation stems from his passion for conflict resolution, which is closely tied with combating mis- and disinformation
Team Evergreen and Student Leadership
Ryan Williams is a PhD student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He is passionate about research that develops understanding at the intersection of emerging technology and global policy. Ryan researches how information disorders affect global policy. Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Russian from Texas A&M University. In 2018 Ryan was awarded an MA in Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and an MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. While at UT, Ryan specialized in emerging technology policy. He contributed to research as a graduate research fellow with Innovations for Peace and Development and as a Research Delegate to the Stanford US Russia Forum. Ryan also helped launch the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies digital humanities lab, the Fusion Room. After completing his MA program, Ryan joined New Knowledge as a Computational Disinformation Analyst and Data Science Team Lead. While at New Knowledge, he conducted information operations investigations and developed tools and procedures for studying narratives and affinity groups online.
Liz Wong is a first-year PhD student at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. Liz has worked as a digital marketer on both sides of the Great Firewall and brings her varied expertise in SEO, marketing, and linguistics to UT Austin as a Cyber and Brumley Fellow. She is passionate about identifying unique disinformation campaign structures through marketing signals.
Cullan is a dual-degree master’s student with the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. He is interested in digital nationalism and the ways that new media shapes public historical memory.
Erica joined GDIL in Spring 2022 and is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and Security Studies. She also works as a research assistant in the Anxiety and Health Behaviors lab. Additionally, Erica is conducting a departmental honors thesis exploring the affective and cognitive impact of uncertainty language in Russian disinformation.
Adam Hanzel is a masters student in the Department of Slavics and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in mixed methods approaches combining region qualitative analysis with machine learning. His master’s thesis analyzes the rhetorical function and narrative of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in digital contexts.
Varij joined GDIL in the Spring of 2022 and is a senior triple majoring in International Relations & Global Studies, Government, and Asian Studies, specializing in International Security. Academically, his studies have focused on the history of America’s engagement with Asia, seeking to understand both the successes and failures of the past to inform future policy decisions. As one of the Tasking Team Leads for Project Tearline, he focuses on East Asia, hoping to use satellite imagery and open-source knowledge to produce unclassified intelligence on the security challenges facing the U.S. and its regional partners. Outside of the Lab, he is a Crisis Director for Central Texas Model United Nations, a member of the International Relations & Global Studies Council and International Affairs Society, and plays for Texas Rugby. Post-graduation, he hopes to serve his country as a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department, eventually helping to shape U.S. Security Strategy in the Indo-Pacific.