Amy Zegart

Davies Family Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Amy Zegart is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she directs the Robert and Marion Oster National Security Affairs Fellows program. She is also a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies (FSI), professor of political science (by courtesy) at Stanford University, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic. From 2013 to 2018, she served as codirector of the Freeman Spogli Institute’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and founder and codirector of the Stanford Cyber Policy Program. She previously served as the chief academic officer of the Hoover Institution.

Her areas of expertise include cybersecurity, US intelligence and foreign policy, drone warfare, and political risk. An award-winning author, she has written four books. These include Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations (2019) coeditor with Herb Lin; Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018) with Condoleezza Rice; Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and Origins of 9/11 (2007), which won the National Academy of Public Administration’s Brownlow Book Award; Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (1999); and Eyes on Spies: Congress and the US Intelligence Community (Hoover Institution Press, 2011). She has also published in leading academic journals, including International Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and Political Science Quarterly.

Zegart has been 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 also testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee; provided training to the US Marine Corps; and advised officials on intelligence, homeland security, and cybersecurity matters. Her commentary has been featured on national television networks, NPR, the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Before her academic career, Zegart spent three years as a McKinsey & Company management consultant advising leading companies on strategy and organizational effectiveness. She came to Stanford from UCLA, where she was a professor of public policy in the Luskin School of Public Affairs.  

She has won two UCLA teaching awards, the American Political Science Association’s Leonard D. White Dissertation Award, and grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Hewlett Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Zegart’s public service includes serving on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force on Nuclear Nonproliferation, the FBI Intelligence Analysts Association National Advisory Board, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Counter‑Terrorism and Community Police Advisory Board, the National Academies of Science Panel to Improve Intelligence Analysis, and the Social Science Research Council Task Force on Securing Knowledge. A former Fulbright Scholar, she 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. She is a native of Louisville, Kentucky.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Criminal Minds

by Amy Zegartvia ForeignPolicy.com
Friday, May 3, 2013

Private Spies

by Amy Zegartvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 26, 2013

Analysis and Commentary

Wait, Did the System Just Work?

by Amy Zegartvia Foreign Policy
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

No One Saw This Coming

by Amy Zegartvia ForeignPolicy.com
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Not Just Another Movie

by Amy Zegartvia Foreign Policy
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

The Briefing: The Three Most Dangerous Things About Threat Lists

by Amy Zegartvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Second Term Challenges

The Three Most Dangerous Things About Threat Lists

by Amy Zegartvia The Briefing
Thursday, January 31, 2013

The New Year is always a time for making lists, and presidential inaugurations crank the Beltway list-making machine into overdrive.

men with bomb ticking

That's Spytainment

by Amy Zegartvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2013

Movie and TV audiences love the world of spycraft. But in the real world, neither Bourne nor Bauer can be trusted. By Amy B. Zegart.

Analysis and Commentary

The Three Most Dangerous Things About Threat Lists

by Amy Zegartvia ForeignPolicy.com
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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