Women looking straight forward

Amy Zegart, PhD

  • Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science

CISAC
Stanford University
Encina Hall, E216
Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 725-9754 (voice)
(650) 723-0089 (fax)

Biography

Amy Zegart is a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, 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 contributing writer at The Atlantic. The author of five books, Zegart is an internationally recognized expert in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies, and global political risk management.

Her 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 co-authored Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity, with Condoleezza Rice (Twelve, 2018) and co-edited 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, Washington Post, and 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, as a presidential campaign foreign policy advisor, and has testified before the House and Senate Intelligence committees. 

In addition to her 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 Fullbright 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 a PhD in political science from Stanford. She serves on the board of directors of the council on Foreign Relations, Kratos Defense & Secretary Solutions (KTOS), and the American Funds/Capital Group.

publications

Commentary
August 2019

The Next Director of National Intelligence: A Thankless Job Is Getting Even Harder

Author(s)
The Next Director of National Intelligence: A Thankless Job Is Getting Even Harder
Commentary
May 2019

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: Why U.S. Intelligence Agencies Must Adapt or Fail

Author(s)
Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: Why U.S. Intelligence Agencies Must Adapt or Fail
Books
January 2019

Bytes, Bombs, and Spies - The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations

Author(s)
Bytes, Bombs, and Spies - The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations

In The News

U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna [center] onstage with Amy Zegart [left] and Michael McFaul [right].
News

Congressman Ro Khanna Addresses Intersection of America's Economy and U.S.-China Geopolitical Challenges

The congressman joined Michael McFaul and Amy Zegart for a discussion co-sponsored by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution on American economic resiliency in the face of U.S. competition with China.
Congressman Ro Khanna Addresses Intersection of America's Economy and U.S.-China Geopolitical Challenges
Ukraine Intelligence
Commentary

Open Secrets: Ukraine and the Next Intelligence Revolution

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a watershed moment for the world of intelligence.
Open Secrets: Ukraine and the Next Intelligence Revolution
Spies, Lies and Algorithms book cover
News

Inside the secret world of U.S. intelligence with Stanford scholar Amy Zegart

In her new book, Stanford scholar Amy Zegart examines the evolution of the U.S. intelligence community and how technology is changing how it operates.
Inside the secret world of U.S. intelligence with Stanford scholar Amy Zegart
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