Darya spends most of her day focused on: 1) understanding the motivation and techniques of groups who ‘hire’ technology to spread harmful narratives and 2) defining the ever-evolving harm (both on and offline) that emerge at the intersection of conspiracy theories and dangerous group affiliations. Before transitioning into tech, Darya was embedded in conflict and post-conflict zones with the US government where she worked to uncover the human aspect of conflict and unintended consequences of military operations. She earned her Master of Public Health with an emphasis on Global Health from George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego. When she's offline, Darya loves sailing, flying, and learning new hobbies. This year, she's growing heirloom vegetables in her urban garden and getting certified to operate a chainsaw as part of her volunteer work with Team Rubicon disaster response organization.
How do we do what’s right when it's really hard? How hard can it really be? What do we do when people take our advice? What do we do when they don't? And, how do we prepare for and cope with the consequences?
This talk will take the audience from the frontlines of conflict in Afghanistan to uncovering the deteriorating human security created by the gig economy in Indonesia to fighting the threats of online conspiracy theories from behind a remote computer screen in Nashville, TN. I will share my experience leveraging research to create change in unlikely places, whether from a Navy ship at sea, the desert of Mogadishu, or the urban conflicts of South Africa, Bogota, and Sao Paolo. These stories will help unravel many of the common assumptions we hold, challenging us to think critically about the unintended consequences of our work, especially when faced with hard choices in harsh places. But, more than a lecture, this will be an honest conversation about the difficult and sometimes isolating reality of moving forward when none of your options look like the right thing to do.