David Salvo is senior fellow and managing director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) at GMF. An expert in Russian affairs, Salvo has been analyzing the Kremlin’s authoritarian toolkit to undermine democracy at home and abroad throughout his career.  

Salvo has worked at ASD since 2017, first as a resident fellow and then as deputy director. He is the principal author of The ASD Policy Blueprint for Countering Authoritarian Interference in Democracies and makes regular media appearances, including on NPR, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and ABC News, to discuss US-Russian relations, Russian foreign policy toward its near abroad, and Russian tactics and objectives to undermine democracy in the United States and Europe. 

Prior to joining GMF, Salvo was a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, serving most recently as the deputy secretary of state’s policy advisor for Europe, Eurasia, and international security issues. He also advised senior-level State Department negotiators on the protracted conflicts in the South Caucasus, worked on US policy toward NATO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and served overseas in Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He speaks Russian and Serbo-Croatian and has a basic knowledge of French. 

David received his master’s degree from Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and a bachelor’s degree in government and Russian from Georgetown. He is an avid music lover and plays in several DC-area bands, including a tribute to the renowned rock band Phish. 

Media Mentions

One of the reasons why he [Putin] was so quick to strike a deal, rather than jail or kill Prigozhin, is because the Russian military relies on the mercenaries. They need these guys as cannon fodder on the front lines. And not only that, they’re elite-performing cannon fodder.
Keeping [Paul Whelan] in jail gives [Russia] another pawn for future negotiations. They left Paul out of the deal because they knew they could. It’s something else for them to extract leverage over down the road.
While I still think it’s possible [Viktor Bout] can be used again by Russian authorities to activate his network and wreak havoc, I’m skeptical he’s going to reemerge as the biggest arms dealer on the planet as soon as he lands in Russia.
When the war crimes in Bucha came to light, we searched for 'Bucha' every day. Initially, links to websites debunking Russian propaganda appeared, but they suddenly disappeared from the list. Then you only got links to general information about Bucha or Instagram pages."
Translated from Dutch
Whatever is going to happen to her [Brittney Griner] has already been decided at the highest levels. I don’t think what her defense team is doing is going to make things any worse because I don’t think they can markedly change the landscape.
It’s almost certain that a depleted Russian military after Ukraine is going to again double down on hybrid tactics to wreak havoc against us and other allied countries.
[Putin] preys on weakness. If Zelensky capitulates to those Russian demands right now, you can be sure that President Putin will then try to extract more demands not just from Ukraine, but from the West.