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Security & Defense

The Hoover Institution hosts some of the world’s most eminent national security thinkers and practitioners, including a former Secretary of Defense and two National Security Advisors, committed to developing and articulating new strategies to cope with an increasingly chaotic world.

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Amy Zegart

Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow
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Amy Zegart

Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow

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 Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The author of five books, she specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management. 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). Her most recent book is the bestseller Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence (Princeton, 2022), which was nominated by Princeton University Press for the Pulitzer Prize. She also coauthored Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity, with Condoleezza Rice (Twelve, 2018) and coedited Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations with Herbert Lin (Brookings, 2019). Her op-eds and essays have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Politico, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Zegart has advised senior officials about intelligence and foreign policy for more than two decades. She served on the National Security Council staff and as a presidential campaign foreign policy advisor and has testified before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. In addition to conducting research and teaching, she led Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, founded the Stanford Cyber Policy Program, and served as 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 Prize, and research 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 AB in East Asian studies, magna cum laude, from Harvard and an MA and a PhD in political science from Stanford. She serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, and the American Funds/Capital Group.

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Condoleezza Rice

Tad and Dianne Taube Director | Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy
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Condoleezza Rice Hoover Headshot

Condoleezza Rice

Tad and Dianne Taube Director | Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow on Public Policy. She is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm. From January 2005 to January 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first black woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to January 2005, the first woman to hold the position. Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999, during which time she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer. As Professor of Political Science, she has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the university’s highest teaching honors. From February 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director, then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs, as well as Special Assistant to the President for National Security. In 1986, while an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth (2019), co-authored with Philip Zelikow. Among her other volumes are three bestsellers, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017); No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011); and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010). She also wrote Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity (2018) with Amy B. Zegart; Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; edited The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and penned The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army; 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance (1984).  In 1991, Rice co-founded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, an affiliate club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Dallas. Rice remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after-school programs.  Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at Rice, Hadley, Gates, & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, and former diplomat, author, and advisor on emerging markets, Anja Manuel. In 2022, Rice became a part-owner of the Denver Broncos as a part of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group. In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, formerly the Bowl Championship Series. She served on the committee until 2017.  Rice currently serves on the boards of C3.ai, an AI software company; and Makena Capital Management, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a trustee of the Aspen Institute. Previously, Rice served on various boards, including Dropbox; the George W. Bush Institute; the Commonwealth Club; KiOR, Inc.; the Chevron Corporation; the Charles Schwab Corporation; the Transamerica Corporation; the Hewlett-Packard Company; the University of Notre Dame; the Foundation of Excellence in Education; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the San Francisco Symphony. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master’s in the same subject from the University of Notre Dame; and her Ph.D., likewise in political science, from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded over fifteen honorary doctorates.

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H.R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow
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H.R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

H.R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  Upon graduation from the US Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the US Army for thirty-four years.  He retired as a lieutenant general in June 2018 after serving as the twenty-fifth assistant to the US president for the Department of National Security Affairs. From 2014 to 2017, McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general, futures, of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. He has commanded organizations in wartime including the Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2010 to 2012; the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Eagle Troop, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. McMaster holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an assistant professor of history at the US Military Academy. He is author of the bestselling books Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. His many essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. McMaster is the host of Battlegrounds: Vital Perspectives on Today’s Challenges and is a regular on GoodFellows, both produced by the Hoover Institution. He is a Distinguished University Fellow at Arizona State University.

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Philip Zelikow

Botha-Chan Senior Fellow
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Philip Zelikow

Botha-Chan Senior Fellow

Philip Zelikow is the Botha-Chan Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. For 25 years he held a chaired professorship in history at the University of Virginia. For seven years before that, he was an associate professor at Harvard University. In his scholarship, Zelikow focuses on critical episodes in world history and the challenges of policy design and statecraft. His most recent book is The Road Less Traveled: The Secret Turning Point of the Great War, 1916-17 (2021). An attorney and former career diplomat, Zelikow's federal service includes work across the government in the five administrations from Reagan through Obama, and is a strategic consultant for the current Biden administration.  On the NSC Staff (1989-91) he took part in the diplomacy to unify Germany and end the Cold War. As Counselor of the Department of State (2005-07) he had deputy-level policy responsibilities on issues around the world. He is one of few Americans to have served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board for presidents from both political parties. Zelikow has also directed three successful and bipartisan national commissions: the Carter-Ford commission on federal election reform (2001), the 9/11 Commission (2004), and the Covid Crisis Group. That group's acclaimed report, Lessons from the Covid War, was published in April 2023. 

Key Research Teams
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Middle East and the Islamic World Working Group

Middle East and the Islamic World Working Group

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Global Policy and Strategy Initiative on International Security

Global Policy and Strategy Initiative

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National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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