Amy Zegart

Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Chair of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and International Security Steering Committee, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management.

Zegart has been featured by the National Journal as one of the ten most influential experts in intelligence reform. Most recently, she served as a commissioner on the 2020 CSIS Technology and Intelligence Task Force (co-chaired by Avril Haines and Stephanie O’Sullivan) and has advised the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. She served on the Clinton administration’s National Security Council staff and as a foreign policy adviser to the Bush 2000 presidential campaign. She has also testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and advised senior officials on intelligence, homeland security, and cybersecurity matters.

The author of five books, Zegart’s award-winning research includes the leading academic study of intelligence failures before 9/11 — Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton 2007). She co-edited with Herbert Lin Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations (Brookings 2019). She and Condoleezza Rice co-authored Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (Twelve 2018) based on their popular Stanford MBA course. Zegart’s forthcoming book is Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence (Princeton 2022). Her research has also been published in International Security and other academic journals as well as Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Previously, Zegart served as codirector of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, founding codirector of the Stanford Cyber Policy Program, and chief academic officer of the Hoover Institution. Before coming to Stanford, she was Professor of Public Policy at UCLA and a McKinsey & Company consultant.

She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, the American Political Science Association’s Leonard D. White Dissertation Award, the National Academy of Public Administration’s Brownlow Book Award, two UCLA teaching awards, and grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Hewlett Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Zegart received an A.B. in East Asian studies magna cum laude from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. She serves on the board of directors of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) and the Capital Group. 

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Featured

Re-Imagining Espionage In The Era Of Artificial Intelligence

by Amy Zegartvia Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Amy Zegart talks about the melding of artificial intelligence with espionage.

Interviews

Amy Zegart: How Open-Source Intelligence Is Disrupting Statecraft

interview with Amy Zegartvia The Economist
Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Amy Zegart discusses how amateurs, activists, and academics are using technology and open-source data to uncover state secrets, and how open-source intelligence is disrupting statecraft.

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China, Big Tech, and Cyber Defense: The World According to Zegart

interview with Amy Zegartvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

In this wide-ranging conversation, Professor Zegart discusses the US relationship with China and how she views that country’s aggressive stance toward Taiwan; why big tech companies are a potential threat not only to privacy, but also to our national security; and why the next war may well be fought with a keyboard rather than on a battlefield.

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China, Big Tech, And Cyber Defense: The World According To Zegart

interview with Amy Zegartvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

In this wide-ranging conversation, Professor Zegart discusses the US relationship with China and how she views that country’s aggressive stance toward Taiwan; why big tech companies are a potential threat not only to privacy, but also to our national security; and why the next war may well be fought with a keyboard rather than on a battlefield.

China, Big Tech, And Cyber Defense: The World According To Zegart

interview with Amy Zegartvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

TRANSCRIPT ONLY

In this wide-ranging conversation, Professor Zegart discusses the US relationship with China and how she views that country’s aggressive stance toward Taiwan; why big tech companies are a potential threat not only to privacy, but also to our national security; and why the next war may well be fought with a keyboard rather than on a battlefield.

Featured

Spies Like Us: The Promise And Peril Of Crowdsourced Intelligence

by Amy Zegartvia Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

On January 6, throngs of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump rampaged through the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to derail Congress’s certification of the 2020 presidential election results. The mob threatened lawmakers, destroyed property, and injured more than 100 police officers; five people, including one officer, died in circumstances surrounding the assault. It was the first attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812 and the first violent transfer of presidential power in American history.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Cybersecurity

featuring Jacquelyn Schneider, Amy Zegart, H. R. McMaster, Herbert Lin, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 27, 2021

From pipeline hacks leading to gasoline shortages to disinformation campaigns during elections, cyberattacks are becoming a more frequent source of disruption in people’s lives. Finding the right responses to these attacks isn’t obvious. Can we take lessons from traditional warfare, or do cyberattacks demand an entirely different response?

Featured

Experts Address Harnessing Technological Innovation For America’s Competitive Edge

featuring John B. Taylor, Amy Zegartvia Hoover Daily Report
Thursday, May 27, 2021

During a session at the Hoover Institution’s 2021 Virtual Spring Retreat in April, Hoover scholars, accompanied by military and business leaders, explored the role of technology in national security strategy, as well as government’s role in fostering innovation. In what marked the first public session of Hoover’s Working Group on Technology, Economics, and Governance, participants included the project’s cochairs, senior fellows John B. Taylor and Amy Zegart; former CISCO chair and CEO John T. Chambers; and retired US Air Force chief of staff, General David Goldfein.

Cybersecurity

by Daniel Heil featuring the work of Jacquelyn Schneider, Amy Zegart, H. R. McMaster, Herbert Lin, Tom Churchvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

From pipeline hacks leading to gasoline shortages to disinformation campaigns during elections, cyberattacks are becoming a more frequent source of disruption in people’s lives. Finding the right responses to these attacks isn’t obvious. Can we take lessons from traditional warfare, or do cyberattacks demand an entirely different response?

In the News

Be Prepared For Cyber Security Fallout, Warns Expert

featuring Amy Zegartvia Barbados Today
Thursday, May 20, 2021

Always assume a cyber attack will happen to your company.This advice has come from a US-based cyber security expert Amy Zegart, who said this kind of thinking would always keep businesses on their toes with a protection plan.

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