Alex Stamos

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Alex Stamos is a cybersecurity expert, business leader, and entrepreneur working to improve the security and safety of the Internet through his teaching and research at Stanford University. He is an adjunct professor at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, a William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Prior to joining Stanford, Stamos served as the chief security officer of Facebook. In this role, he was charged with understanding and mitigating information security risks to the company and safety risks to the 2.5 billion people on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. He led the company’s investigation into manipulation of the 2016 US election and helped pioneer several successful protections against these new classes of abuse.

Before joining Facebook, he was the chief information security officer at Yahoo, rebuilding a storied security team while dealing with multiple assaults by nation-state actors. While at Yahoo, he led the response to the 2013 Edward Snowden disclosures and represented the company in a hearing of the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

In 2004, he cofounded iSEC Partners, an elite security consultancy. As a trusted partner to the world’s largest technology firms, he coordinated the response to the “Aurora” attacks by China's People’s Liberation Army at multiple Silicon Valley firms and led groundbreaking work securing the world’s largest desktop and mobile platforms. During this time, he also served as an expert witness in several notable civil and criminal cases, such as the Google Street View case, and performed pro bono work for the defendants in the Sony vs. George Hotz case and United States vs. Aaron Swartz.

A noted speaker and writer, he has appeared at the Munich Security Conference, NATO CyCon, Web Summit, DEF CON, CanSecWest, and Black Hat and has highlighted the work of diverse technologists as an organizer of the Trustworthy Technology Conference and OURSA.

Stamos has been involved with securing the US election system as a contributor to Harvard’s Defending Digital Democracy Project. He is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Security Task Force, the Bay Area CSO Council, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves on the advisory board to NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.

Stamos earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California-Berkeley. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and three children.

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Interviews

Alex Stamos On Securing American Elections

interview with Alex Stamosvia Lawfare
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Alex Stamos discusses what happened in 2016, and the enormously complex landscape of defending not just election infrastructure but also preserving the integrity of the information ecosystems in which Americans make their decisions about how to vote, including the possible consequences of regulating foreign media.

Featured

It’s Time To Secure The 2020 Election

by Michael McFaul, Alex Stamos, Ro Khannavia The Washington Post
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has completed his investigation of what happened regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. It is time now to pivot to addressing what needs to be done to prevent future meddling from Russia or any other foreign government.

Interviews

Michael McFaul & Alex Stamos: How To Secure The 2020 Elections

interview with Michael McFaul, Alex Stamosvia MSNBC
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hoover Institution fellows Michael McFaul and Alex Stamos discuss the Washington Post article they co-authored with Ro Khanna titled "It’s time to secure the 2020 election."

In the News

SIEPR Summit Highlights Trade, Tech And THC

quoting Alex Stamosvia Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cyber threats lurking in our cell phones. Tectonic shifts in trade. The powerful rise of tech giants. And the not-so-thrilling aspects of marijuana regulation. As ominous as some of the topics were at the 2019 SIEPR Economic Summit, they are among some of today’s most pressing policy questions, according to the conference speakers.

Interviews

Alex Stamos: Trust, Safety And Privacy In An Era Of Cyber Threats

interview with Alex Stamosvia Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Alex Stamos discusses digital privacy at the 2019 SIEPR Economic Summit.

Stanford Oval
In the News

Future Of Arts, Media & Entertainment Summit Brings Heavy Hitters From NYC, Hollywood & Bay Area To Stanford

quoting Alex Stamosvia Business Wire
Thursday, February 21, 2019

he annual Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) Future of Arts, Media, and Entertainment Summit (FAME) will be held at the Knight Management Center on Wednesday, March 6. The conference is organized by the Stanford GSB student-led Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) Club and will explore trends, opportunities, and challenges that will transform the arts/media/entertainment landscape over the coming years.

How The U.S. Has Failed To Protect The 2018 Election--And Four Ways To Protect 2020

by Alex Stamos
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

In the swirl of news this week, it would be easy to miss recent announcements from two of America's largest and most influential technology companies that have implications for our democracy as a whole.