Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox 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 writer to The Atlantic. From 2013 to 2018, she served as co-director of the Freeman Spogli Institute’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and founder and co-director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Program. She previously served as the chief academic officer of the Hoover Institution.

She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management. 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.

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 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. 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 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.

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. 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.

Administrative Appointments

  • Chair, Steering Committee on Artificial Intelligence and International Security, HAI (2021 - Present)
  • Founder and co-director, Stanford Cyber Policy Program (2013 - 2018)
  • Co-Director, Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) (2013 - 2018)
  • Director, Robert and Marion Oster National Security Affairs Fellows Program, Hoover Institution (2013 - Present)
  • Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Hoover Institution (2013 - 2015)

Program Affiliations

  • American Studies
  • Program in International Relations
  • Public Policy

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Political Science (1996)
  • M.A., Political Science, Stanford University (1993)
  • A.B., Harvard College, East Asian Studies (1989)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

U.S. intelligence, cybersecurity, political risk, grand strategy


  • Information Warfare Working Group, Stanford University (November 2018)


    Stanford, CA


    • Herbert Lin, Dr., Stanford

All Publications

  • Bytes, Bombs, and Spies: The Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations Lin, H., Zegart, A. Brookings Institution Press. 2019
  • Political Risk: How Business and Organizations can Anticipate Global Insecurity, with Condoleezza Rice Rice, C., Zegart, A. B. Twelve Books. 2018
  • Cheap Fights, Credible Threats: The Future of Armed Drones and Coercion Journal of Strategic Studies Zegart, A. 2018
  • Managing 21st Century Political Risk Harvard Business Review Rice, C., Zegart, A. 2018: 130-138
  • Introduction to the Special Issue on Strategic Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations Journal of Cybersecurity Lin, H., Zegart, A. 2017; 3 (1): 1-5
  • The Fort Hood Terrorist Attack: An Organizational Postmortem of Army and FBI Deficiencies Insider Threats Zegart, A. Cornell University Press. 2017
  • Pragmatic Engagement: A National Security Strategy for the Next President Krasner, S. D., Zegart, A. The American Interest. 2016
  • An INS Special Forum: The U.S. Senate Select Committee Report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program Intelligence and National Security Zegart, A. 2016; 31 (1): 17-20
  • Insider Threats and Organizational Root Causes: Understanding the 2009 Fort Hood Terrorist Attack Parameters Zegart, A. 2015; 45 (2): 35-46
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis as Intelligence Failure POLICY REVIEW Zegart, A. B. 2012: 23-39
  • The Domestic Politics of Irrational Intelligence Oversight POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY Zegart, A. B. 2011; 126 (1): 1-25
  • “Spytainment”: The Real Influence of Fake Spies International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence Zegart, A. 2011; 24 (3)
  • Implementing Change: Organizational Challenges Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations Zegart , A. The National Academies Press. 2011
  • The Roots of Weak Congressional Intelligence Oversight Future Challenges in National Security and Law Series Zegart , A. Hoover Institution . 2011
  • Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community Zegart, A. Hoover Institution Press. 2011
  • Implementing Change: Organizational Challenges Intelligence Analysis : Behavioral and Social Scientific Foundations Zegart, A. The National Academies Press. 2011
  • Agency Design and Development Oxford Handbook o f American Bureaucracy Zegart , A. Oxford University Press . 2010
  • Congressional Intelligence Oversight: The Electoral Disconnection Intelligence and National Security Zegart, A., Quinn , J. 2010; 25 (6)
  • Policy Planning in the Twenty - First Century: Why the Best is Not Yet to Come Avoiding Trivia: Strategic Planning in American Foreign Polic y Zegart , A. Brookings Institution Press . 2009
  • Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 Zegart , A. Princeton University Press . 2008
  • A First Draft of History of the Bush Administration: The Legend of a Democracy Promoter The National Interested Zegart , A. 2008
  • 9/11 and the FBI: The Organizational Roots of Failure Intelligence and National Security Zegart , A. 2007 ; 22 (2)
  • Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC Zegart , A. Stanford University Press . 1999