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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Recent Commentary

Introducing the Technology, Economics, and Governance Working Group

by John B. Taylor, Amy Zegartvia Hoover Daily Report
Friday, April 30, 2021

New technologies—from Internet advances to artificial intelligence to synthetic biology and many more—are transforming the global economy and connecting us in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. Emerging technologies are offering unmatched opportunities to alleviate poverty, raise economic growth, treat disease, and improve lives all over the world. But these technologies are also fueling new geopolitical competition between the United States and China and they are posing unprecedented governance challenges to domestic political institutions. The purpose of the Technology, Economics, and Governance Working Group at the Hoover Institution is to address these and other questions that lie at the nexus of technology, economics, and governance.

Keep Spies Out in the Cold

by Amy Zegartvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 26, 2021

How to respond to the recent Russia hacking scare? Not by talking tough but by erecting tough barriers to further espionage.

Interviews

Amy Zegart: Protecting Against Insider Threats

interview with Amy Zegartvia Stimson
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Amy Zegart joins a panel that discusses protecting against insider threats.

In the News

Protecting Against Insider Threats

mentioning Amy Zegartvia Stimson
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
The International Nuclear Security Forum (INSF) invites you to a discussion on insider threats. Recent investigations into the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol have revealed that many involved were active-duty military, law enforcement, and, in one case, a former employee of a nuclear plant. This disturbing news raises serious questions about the effectiveness of insider threat programs in the United States. Join security experts for a discussion on how nuclear and non-nuclear facilities around the world can best protect against insider threats.
In the News

The Next 5 Years Of Defense Innovation With Eric Schmidt, Michael Brown, And Dr. Amy Zegart

mentioning Amy Zegartvia Defense Innovation Unit
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Please join the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for a virtual fireside chat to discuss the next five years of defense innovation from our speakers’ perspectives as commercial, defense, and academic leaders at the intersection of technology and national security. Historically, partnerships between these sectors have been essential to game-changing advancements in science and technology. 

Featured

The Moment Of Reckoning: AI And The Future Of US Intelligence

by Amy Zegartvia HAI Human-Centered Artifical Intelligence | Stanford University
Friday, March 12, 2021

The US intelligence community faces a moment of reckoning  and AI lies at the heart of it. Since 9/11, America’s intelligence agencies have become hardwired to fight terrorism. Today’s threat landscape, however, is changing dramatically, with a resurgence of great power competition and the rise of cyber threats enabling states and non-state actors to spy, steal, disrupt, destroy, and deceive across vast distances — all without firing a shot.

Policy InsightsAnalysis and Commentary

International Women’s Day

featuring Elizabeth Economy, Margaret (Macke) Raymond, Amy Zegart, Jacquelyn Schneidervia PolicyEd
Thursday, March 11, 2021

International Women’s Day is a globally significant day in which we honor women’s social, economic, social, cultural, and political contributions. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting four of our female Hoover Institution fellows who are leading and transforming their respective fields.

International Women’s Day

featuring the work of Elizabeth Economy, Jacquelyn Schneider, Margaret (Macke) Raymond, Amy Zegartvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Thursday, March 11, 2021

International Women’s Day is a globally significant day in which we honor women’s social, economic, social, cultural, and political contributions. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting four of our female Hoover Institution fellows who are leading and transforming their respective fields.

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International Women's Day @ The Hoover Institution | A Focus On Women In National Security

interview with Condoleezza Rice, Elizabeth Economy, Rose Gottemoeller, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Amy Zegartvia Fellow Talks
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

AUDIO ONLY

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Director of the Hoover Institution and the 66th Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, hosted a conversation with four of our leading female national security and foreign policy scholars: Elizabeth Economy, Rose Gottemoeller, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Amy Zegart on March 8 from 2:15 - 3:30PM PT.
In the News

Hoover Institution Panelists Say Women Face Significant Barriers In National Security, Academia

featuring Elizabeth Economy, Rose Gottemoeller, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Condoleezza Rice, Amy Zegartvia Stanford Daily
Monday, March 8, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow and former NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller made no bones about the challenges of being a woman in foreign policy and national security.

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