Amy Zegart

Davies Family Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Amy Zegart is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, professor of political science (by courtesy), and co-director and senior fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). She directs the Cyber Policy Program and is a contributing editor to The Atlantic.

Before coming to Stanford in 2011, Zegart served as professor of public policy at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her research examines U.S. intelligence challenges, cyber security, grand strategy, and American foreign policy. She has authored several books, including Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC, which won the highest national dissertation award in political science, and Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11, which won the National Academy of Public Administration’s Brownlow Book Award. Her most recent book is Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community.

Her current research includes a book with Condoleezza Rice on how business leaders can manage political risk (Twelve Books, 2018), a project on drones and coercion, and a book about intelligence challenges in the digital age.

Zegart was featured by the National Journal as one of the ten most influential experts in intelligence reform. She served on the Clinton administration's National Security Council staff and as a foreign policy adviser to the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign. She has testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, provided training to the Marine Corps, and advised officials on intelligence and homeland security matters. From 2009 to 2011 she served on the National Academies of Science Panel to Improve Intelligence Analysis. Her commentary has been featured on national television and radio shows and in the New York TimesWashington Post, and Los Angeles Times.

Before her academic career, Zegart spent three years at McKinsey & Company advising leading companies about strategy and organizational effectiveness.

A former Fulbright scholar, Zegart received an AB in East Asian studies magna cum laude from Harvard University and an MA and PhD in political science from Stanford University. She served on the FBI Intelligence Analysts Association National Advisory Board and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Counter-terrorism and Community Police Advisory Board. She also served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force on Nuclear Nonproliferation and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She currently serves on the Social Science Research Council Task Force on Securing Knowledge and on the board of directors of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions.

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Managing 21st-Century Political Risk

by Condoleezza Rice, Amy Zegartvia Harvard Business Review
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

In 2010, Gabriela Cowperthwaite read a news article that changed her life. It described how an orca whale had killed a trainer during a show at SeaWorld in Orlando.

Analysis and Commentary

The 'First Woman CIA Director' Is A Smokescreen

by Amy Zegartvia Atlantic
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gina Haspel's gender is the least important fact about her.

Featured

Cheap Fights, Credible Threats: The Future Of Armed Drones And Coercion

by Amy Zegartvia Journal of Strategic Studies
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Drones are considered poor coercion tools: They cannot operate in contested airspace and they offer low-cost fights instead of more credible, costly signals. However, this article finds that technological advances will soon enable drones to function in hostile environments.

Devin Nunes's Fake Oversight

by Amy Zegart
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The House Intelligence Committee chairman’s actions are toxic to the democratic process and dangerous to American national security.

IntellectionsFeatured

Why Cyber Is Different

by Amy Zegartvia PolicyEd.org
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cyber attacks are a new type of dangerous threats that are vastly different from traditional warfare. Cyber attacks threats are increasing, making powerful nations even more susceptible. Because cyber attacks can occur unexpectedly, we need to be more vigilant and increase coordination among organizations to prevent attacks.

Featured

The Specter Of A Chinese Mole In America

by Amy Zegartvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The case of a suspected turncoat couldn’t come at a worse time for the intelligence community.

Analysis and Commentary

New Year's Resolutions Are Predictions About The Future

by Amy Zegartvia The Atlantic
Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 was a wild ride, and 2018 doesn’t seem inclined to put on the brakes. Who could have guessed last year that Matt Lauer would go from Today to yesterday—felled, along with Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Bill O’Reilly, and so many others, by the open discussion of their creepy “open secrets”? 

Featured

How Cyber Attacks Threaten Our Security

by Amy Zegartvia Policyed.org
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

There are many ways that cyber attacks threaten our national security. For instance, cyber warfare could affect our nation’s communication systems, intellectual property, or the military’s capability to react and defend the country. Understanding the nature of cyber attacks will help us prevent and defend against them.

Featured

The Tools Of Espionage Are Going Mainstream

by Amy Zegartvia The Atlantic
Monday, November 27, 2017

Great-power deception is no longer designed just to trick a handful of leaders. It’s designed to trick us all.

Featured

Trump Isn't The Only Problem With Trump's Foreign Policy

by Amy Zegartvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

America’s approach to the world is a complicated mess, for reasons that predate the current president.

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