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2021

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Title slide for CSINT Conversations with Clint Watts - click to view recorded webinar

 

About this event

This CSINT Conversations was held on Monday, October 11, 2021 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, in which CSINT Director, Prof. Audrey Kurth Cronin engaged in a conversation with Clint Watts, a counterterrorism, cybersecurity and homeland security expert and author of Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News . This in-depth dialogue explores the rise of social media influence, including misinformation campaigns, fake news, and electronic espionage operations and how we can protect against them. To read our CSINT Book Review on Messing with the Enemy, written by Nicholas Davis, click here. Additionally, questions were fielded by attendees during this live session.

About our Guest:

Clint Watts is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. He is also a national security contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. He recently examined the rise of social media influence by publishing his first book entitled Messing With The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News. His research and writing focuses on terrorism, counterterrorism, social media influence and Russian disinformation. Clint’s tracking of terrorist foreign fighters allowed him to predict the rise of the Islamic State over al Qaeda in 2014. From 2014 – 2016, Clint worked with a team to track and model the rise of Russian influence operations via social media leading up to the U.S. Presidential election of 2016. This research led Clint to testify before four different Senate committees in 2017 and 2018 regarding Russia’s information warfare campaign against the U.S. and the West. Clint’s writing has appeared in a range of publications to include the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Politico, Lawfare, War On The Rocks and the Huffington Post. Before becoming a consultant, Clint served as a U.S. Army infantry officer, a FBI Special Agent, as the Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC), as a consultant to the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) and National Security Branch (NSB), and as an analyst supporting the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Title slide for recorded webinar - CSINT Conversations - Killing Strangers with Tim Wilson - click to watch

 

This CSINT Conversations was held on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 from 10:00 - 11:30 AM, in which CSINT Director, Prof. Audrey Kurth Cronin had an open dialogue with Tim Wilson, historian and author of Killing Strangers: How Political Violence Became Modern. The engaging conversation addressed the development of political violence, techniques and forms of contemporary political violence, and the changing roles of technology and communication. Questions submitted by attendees during this session were also addressed.

About our Guest:

Dr. Tim Wilson is a notable historian and the Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews, a position assumed in 2016. As the Director of Europe’s oldest research centre devoted solely to the academic study of terrorism, he is frequently invited to comment upon terrorism in the media. His most recent book, Killing Strangers: How Political Violence Became Modern (Oxford University Press, 2020), explores why militant violence in Western societies has taken the forms that it has over the past 150 years. His first book Frontiers of Violence – an ambitious comparison of violence in the contested borderlands of Ulster and Upper Silesia between 1918 and 1922 – was nominated for the Royal Historical Society’s prestigious Whitfield Prize. Dr. Wilson’s research interests and media appearances range widely focusing on the past, present and future of terrorism and political violence. He is especially interested in why such horrors take the particular forms that they do.

Title slide for recorded webinar - 20 Years After 911 Counterterrorism - click to watch

During this event, CSINT Associate faculty member, Professor Joe Young moderates a panel discussion on counterterrorism. The conversation explores where counterterrorism stood before 9/11, how counterterrorism has changed during the last two decades, and what it may look like in the future. Panelists include Audrey Kurth Cronin, SIS distinguished professor and Director of AU’s Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology (CSINT); Mubin Shaikh, former security intelligence and counter terrorism operative; and Aaron Zelin, Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and founder of Jihadology.net. An audience Q&A follows the conversation. The event was held virtually on September 8, 2021. CLICK HERE for recorded webinar. 

Our Panelists:

Audrey Kurth Cronin joined the faculty of the School of International Service (SIS) in August 2016. She is the founding director of the Center for Security, Innovation and New Technology (CSINT) at AU. Her career has combined academic positions and government service. She was a faculty member and director of the core course on War and Statecraft at the U.S. National War College (2007-2011). Before that, she was Academic Director of Studies for the Oxford/Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War at Oxford University (Nuffield College), from 2005 to 2007. Prior to that, she was Specialist in Terrorism at the Congressional Research Service, responsible for advising Members of Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. An award-winning author, her best-known book is How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns. Her latest book, Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists, analyzes the risks and opportunities of emerging technologies, especially their use by individuals, terrorists, insurgents, militias, proxy armies, and other private actors.

Mubin Shaikh is a former Muslim supremacist who deradicalized after the 9/11 attacks and after spending two years studying Arabic and Islamic Studies in Damascus, Syria. Returning to Canada, he was recruited to work undercover for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, where he worked multiple CLASSIFIED infiltration operations. He traversed to become a Police Agent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) in the so-called “Toronto 18" terrorism case of 2006. Ultimately, eleven aspiring violent extremists were convicted after five legal hearings over four years ending in 2010, in which Shaikh was the main Fact Witness. He was subsequently involved with the ISIS social media boom upon infiltrating their networks online during their heyday between 2012-2017. He is currently a professor in the School of Public Safety at Seneca College, and a Counter Extremism Specialist for the renowned NGO, Parents for Peace in the United States. His life and work are incorporated into a permanent exhibit at the new International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. under, “Preventing Terror.”

Aaron Y. Zelin is the Richard Borow Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a visiting research scholar in the Department of Politics at Brandeis University, and founder of the widely acclaimed and cited website Jihadology.net. He is the author of the book, Your Sons Are At Your Service: Tunisia's Missionaries of Jihad. Zelin's research focuses on Sunni Arab jihadi groups in North Africa and Syria as well as the trend of foreign fighting, online jihadism, and jihadi governance.

Joseph Young (moderator) is a professor at American University's School of International Service and School of Public Affairs. His interests relate to the cross-national causes and consequences of political violence. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles across academic disciplines, including political science, economics, criminology, and international studies. He has been invited to speak to organizations in the defense community and has consulted on a Department of Defense initiative focusing on countering violent extremism. The National Science Foundation and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) have funded his research. Professor Young will be releasing a book about torture and counterterrorism in July 2020.

This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology (CSINT) and AU's School of Public Affairs.

Title slide for  past event - academic workshop on emerging technologies with Julie George -

CSINT co-hosted an Academic Workshop with the Political Violence and Security Research Cluster. The event spotlighted the work of Cornell University Ph.D. Candidate Julie George. This workshop event, held on March 26, 2021, explored the topic of emerging technologies and provided an in-depth and interactive experience for both our speaker and attendees. This event was held virtually, but due to the internal nature it was not recorded. 

Click here to view CSINT Conversations Recorded Webinar with Bruce Schneier

This CSINT Conversation focused on the recent Russian hacks, the continued importance of internet security, and our societable vulnerablities to ongoing breaches. Director Audrey Kurth Cronin engaged in an in-depth discussion with internationally renowned security technologist, Bruce Schneier as a part of our speaker series. Schneier is a public-interest technologist, fellow and lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School, a board member of EFF, and the Chief of Security Architecture at Inrupt, Inc. The event was held virtually on March 2, 2021. CLICK HERE for recorded webinar.

About our Guest: Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by the Economist. He is the New York Times best-selling author of 14 books -- including Click Here to Kill Everybody -- as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter Crypto-Gram and blog Schneier on Security are read by over 250,000 people. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School; a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, AccessNow, and the Tor Project; and an advisory board member of EPIC and VerifiedVoting.org. He is the Chief of Security Architecture at Inrupt, Inc.

Recorder webinar for CSINT Conversations Information Technology and Military Power with Jon Lindsay - click to watch

This CSINT Conversation took place between Director Audrey Kurth Cronin and Jon Lindsay about his book, Information Technology and Military Power, which tackles how the dissemination of information in the military is almost completely achieved through digital systems, and how these systems can impede the process of communication within the same organizations they are supposed to be aiding. Lindsay, is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. The event was held virtually on February 16, 2021. CLICK HERE for recorded webinar.

About our Guest: Jon Lindsay is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Information Technology and Military Power (Cornell University Press, 2020) and co-editor of China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain (Oxford University Press, 2015), with Tai Ming Cheung and Derek Reveron, and Cross-Domain Deterrence: Strategy in an Era of Complexity (Oxford University Press, 2019), with Erik Gartzke, as well as publications in international relations, intelligence studies, and the sociology of technology. He is currently working on a book project called Age of Deception: Technology, Intelligence, and Control in International Relations. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in computer science and B.S. in symbolic systems from Stanford University. He has also served in the U.S. Navy with assignments in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Title slide for CSINT Conversations - Strategy in Cyberspace - Recorded Webinar - click to viewCSINT Conversations host a conversation around the publication Ten Years In: Implementing Strategic Approaches to Cyberspace, which examines a series of challenges for U.S. Cyber Command on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. The book includes essays from current Cyber Command officers as well as scholars who study the various uses of cyberspace for national security. The CSINT Conversation panel includes several of the authors, moderated by CSINT Co-director Josh Rovner. Speakers include Dr. Jackie Schneider of Stanford University, Dr. Michael Warner of Cyber Command, Dr. Erica Borghard of the Atlantic Council, and Professor Nina Kollars of the Naval War College Cyber & Innovation Policy Institute. The event was held virtually on February 1, 2021. CLICK HERE for recorded webinar.

Our Panelists:

Prof. Josh Rovner

● Prof. Joshua Rovner is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. Dr. Rovner is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011); and the co-editor of Chaos in the Liberal Order: The Trump Presidency and International Politics in the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 2018). In addition to many articles and book chapters on intelligence and strategy, he writes a regular column at War on the Rocks. Dr. Rovner is the Managing Editor of H-Diplo's International Security Studies Forum, and Deputy Editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies. In 2018 and 2019 he served as Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.

Dr. Jacquelyn Schneider

● Dr. Jacquelyn Schneider is a Hoover Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the intersection of technology, national security, and political psychology with a special interest in cybersecurity, unmanned technologies, and Northeast Asia. In addition to her position at Stanford, she is also a non-resident fellow at the Naval War College's Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute and a senior policy advisor to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. She has a BA from Columbia University, MA from Arizona State University, and PhD from George Washington University.

Dr. Michael Warner

● Dr. Michael Warner serves as Command Historian at U.S. Cyber Command. He has written and lectured on cyber and intelligence history, theory, and reform and teaches as an adjunct professor at American University. His forthcoming book, The Use of Force for State Power: History and Future, is coauthored with John Childress. His most recent book, The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: An International Security History, was published in 2014. Other writings include “Intelligence in Cyber—and Cyber in Intelligence,” in Understanding Cyber Conflict, ed. Perkovich and Levite (Georgetown, 2017); “Notes on the Evolution of Computer Security Policy in the U.S. Government, 1965–2003,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 37, no. 2 (April–June 2015); and “Cybersecurity: A Pre-history,” Intelligence and National Security 27, no. 5 (October 2012). Dr. Warner sits on the board of editors of the peer-reviewed journal Intelligence and National Security.

Dr. Erica Borghard

● Dr. Erica Borghard is a resident senior fellow with the New American Engagement Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Erica’s own work addresses US grand strategy, with a particular focus on the strategic implications of emerging technologies; public-private partnerships and resilience; and covert action and proxy warfare. Erica continues to serve as a senior director on the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Erica has published on topics ranging from grand strategy, cyber strategy and policy, coercion and military intervention, and international crisis bargaining. Erica received her PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. She is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and an adjunct research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

Professor Nina Kollars

● Dr. Nina Kollars is Associate Professor in the Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. She is a senior adjunct scholar at the Center for a New American Security; a fellow at the Brute Krulak Center at Marine Corps University; and an editorial board member for the Texas National Security Review. She publishes in both scholarly and policy-facing outlets on cybersecurity, hackers, and military innovation. Kollars is an active speaker and volunteer at hacker conferences to include BSides, ShmooCon, LayerOne, and DefCon. Her own hacker project "Confessions of a Nespresso Money Mule" was featured at DefCon 27. Kollars is also part of the executive board of the Educational Wargaming Cooperative.

Title slide for SolarWinds - Russian Hackers and International Security - Recorded Webinar - click to view

This CSINT Conversation focused on the December 2020 revelation of the SolarWinds hack, an alleged Russian espionage campaign targeting private firms and government agencies, which has led to grave concerns among lawmakers and industry leaders. Hosted by CSINT Director Audrey Kurth Cronin, the panelists included CSINT Co-Director Josh Rovner; Dr Alexi Drew, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College, London; and Dr. Ben Buchanan, author of The Hacker and the State. The event was held virtually on January 26, 2021. CLICK HERE for recorded webinar.

Our Panelists:

Prof. Josh Rovner

Prof. Joshua Rovner is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. Dr. Rovner is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011); and the co-editor of Chaos in the Liberal Order: The Trump Presidency and International Politics in the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 2018). In addition to many articles and book chapters on intelligence and strategy, he writes a regular column at War on the Rocks. Dr. Rovner is the Managing Editor of H-Diplo's International Security Studies Forum, and Deputy Editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies. In 2018 and 2019 he served as Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.

Dr. Alexi Drew

Alexi Drew is a research associate at The Policy Institute (King's College London), an associate fellow at the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET), and an executive manager at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative (EECRI). Her work focuses upon emerging technologies, the international norms surrounding them, and their impact upon international relations and geopolitics. Dr Drew was awarded her PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London and her thesis examined cyber capabilities and norm construction methods. She has since worked on a post-doctoral project examining the role of social media on conflict escalation funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and has researched and published on the role of Emerging Technologies in China’s foreign policy.

Dr. Ben Buchanan

Dr. Ben Buchanan teaches at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he is a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology. He was previously a fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is the author of The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics (2020) and The Cybersecurity Dilemma (2017).

 

Title slide for CSINT Conversations with Tom Parker  Recorded Webinar - click to watch

The Center launched it's new series CSINT Conversations with an open dialogue between Tom Parker, author of Avoiding the Terrorist Trap: Why Respecting Human Rights is the Key to Defeating Terrorism and Center Director, Audrey Kurth Cronin addressing the flaws in in our counter-terrorist policies, exploring current research on the matter, and discussing possible strategies for a more effective approach to overcome terrorism. Tom Parker was Chief of Party of a European Union project providing assistance to the Office of the National Security in Baghdad, Iraq. He has previously served as an adviser on human rights and counter-terrorism to United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) where he was the lead drafter of the Secretary General’s Plan of Action for Preventing Violent Extremism, as well as the Policy Director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights for Amnesty International USA, a war crimes investigator for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) working in the field in Bosnia and Kosovo, and an Intelligence Officer in the British Security Service (MI5). Tom has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses on international terrorism at Yale, Bard College, and the National Defense University at Fort Bragg. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics (BSc), the University of Leiden (LLM) and Brown (AM), and has held research fellowships at Yale and Duke universities. The event was held virtually on January 21, 2021. CLICK HERE for the recorded webinar.

2020

Title slide for Jenna Jordan Book Talk - click to watch recorded webinar

CSINT paired with the Political Violence and Security Research Cluster to welcome Jenna Jordan for a thought provoking discussion on her book Leadership Decapitation. Dr. Jenna Jordan is an associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her discussion explored the effectiveness of leadership targeting as a counterterrorism strategy. Dr. Jordan was joined by AU's Prof. Audrey Kurth Cronin to expand on the conversation of terrorism, political violence, and international security. This event was held virtually on September 22, 2020. CLICK HERE for recorded webinar. 

Title slide for recording of cybersecurity event

CSINT hosted a panel discussion entitled The Present and Future of U.S. Cybersecurity - a topic which plays a growing role in discussions of finances, elections, and national security. Our panel of experts engaged in a conversation about new cybersecurity threats that have emerged in recent years - both at the private and state levels, how the U.S. government can respond, and what the future holds for cybersecurity. This event was held virtually on August 19, 2020. CLICK HERE to watch recorded webinar.

Our Panelists:

Dr. Diana Burley

• Dr. Diana Burley is the Vice Provost of Research at American University and is a nationally recognized cybersecurity expert with experience in the private sector, academia, and government. Dr. Burley is a member of the U.S. National Academies Board on Human-Systems Integration and is also a researcher with the Cyber Operations Group at John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. Burley regularly conducts cybersecurity trainings for top executives around the world and has testified before Congress on cyber issues. Title: Vice Provost of Research at American University.

Prof. Josh Rovner

• Prof. Joshua Rovner is the Co-Director of the Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology (CSINT) and an Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. He spent the last year as Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. Dr. Rovner's research focuses on intelligence and strategy. He is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011); and the co-editor of Chaos in the Liberal Order: The Trump Presidency and International Politics in the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 2018). His recent scholarship explores issues surrounding new technologies and international security, including offensive cyberspace operations in peace and war, deterrence and emerging nuclear powers, and how the information revolution affects intelligence.

Dr. Jacquelyn Schneider

• Dr. Jacquelyn Schneider is a Hoover Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the intersection of technology, national security, and political psychology with a special interest in cybersecurity, unmanned technologies, and Northeast Asia. In addition to her position at Stanford, she is also a non-resident fellow at the Naval War College's Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute and a senior policy advisor to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. She has a BA from Columbia University, MA from Arizona State University, and PhD from George Washington University.

Dr. Fiona Cunningham

• Dr. Fiona Cunningham is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University and a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2020-21. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology and conflict, with an empirical focus on China. Fiona has held fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, the Cyber Security Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and at the Renmin University of China in Beijing in 2015-2016, where she conducted extensive fieldwork on Chinese foreign policy. Fiona received her Ph.D. in 2018 from the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a member of the Security Studies Program.

Banner for past CSINT Event - The Reality Game book talk with Samuel Woolley

CSINT hosted researcher and writer, Samuel Woolley, for an engaging discussion on book The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth (2020). Dr. Woolley is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas-Austin, as well as the Program Director of disinformation research at the Center for Media Engagement at UT. He discussed the technology risks involved with new innovation such as automated voice systems, machine learning, "deepfake" videos and images, and how as a society we need transparency and accountability within the culture of invention. The event was held at American University on January 17, 2020.

Learn more about Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology will Break the Truth.

Samuel Woolley presenting The Reality Game

2019

Power to the People promo image - image of Prof. Cronin, cover of book, and date of past event

CSINT hosted Center Director and award winning author, Prof. Audrey Kurth Cronin for the launch of her book Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists (2019). Never have so many possessed the means to be so lethal. The diffusion of modern technology (robotics, cyber weapons, 3-D printing, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence) to ordinary people has given them access to weapons of mass violence previously monopolized by the state. As Audrey Kurth Cronin explains in Power to the People, what we are seeing now is an exacerbation of an age-old trend - accessible innovations in destructive force have long driven new patterns of political violence. The event was co-sponsored with SIS Research and held at American University on November 13, 2019.

Professor Audrey Kurth Cronin is one of the world’s leading experts on security and how conflicts end. She is a Distinguished Professor and founding Director of the Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology at American University. Her career incorporates experience in both academic and policy positions, in the US and abroad. Prior to her current post she was faculty member and director of War and Statecraft at the US National War College. Before that she was Specialist in Terrorism at the Congressional Research Service, advising Members of Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. She also held a number of positions in the US executive branch, including in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, and was Director of Studies for Oxford University’s Changing Character of War program. She has been Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Terrorism of the World Economic Forum and a speaker at the WEF’s annual meetings in Davos.

Learn more about Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow's Terrorists.

Audrey Kurth Cronin presenting Power to the People

Banner for past CSINT Event - LikeWar Book Talk with Emerson Brooking

CSINT hosted author Emerson Brooking for a dicsussion on his book LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media (2018). From internet trolls to fake news, Brooking's fascinating analysis examines how the internet and social media are changing war and politics. The event was held at American University on October 16, 2019.

Emerson Brooking is an Atlantic Council resident fellow and the co-author of the best-selling book LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media. Brooking's research intersests include emerging trends in conflict, the internet, the flow and diffusion of information, the history of communications mediums, and the evolution and governance of modern social media platforms.

Learn more about Likewar: The Weaponization of Social Media.

LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media by [P. W. Singer, Emerson T. Brooking]

Emerson Brooking presenting Likewar

Banner for past CSINT Event - The Digital Structural Transformation Across Countries

CSINT and the Global Economy and Development Faculty Research Cluster cohosted Christos A. Makridis to discuss his research on (Digital) Structural Transformation Across Countries.  The event was hosted at American University on September 16, 2019.

Christos Makridis serves as on the White House Council of Economic Advisers managing the cybersecurity, technology, and space activities, as a Non-resident Fellow at the Cyber Security Project in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as a Digital Fellow at the Initiative at the Digital Economy in the MIT Sloan School of Management, and as a Visiting Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Christos’ research focuses on labor economics, the digital economy, and personal finance and well-being. He earned a Bachelor’s in Economics and Minor in Mathematics at Arizona State University, as well a dual Masters and PhDs in Economics and Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University.

Abstract: This paper studies the emergence of digital skills across countries and their role in the process of structural transformation. Using data on tasks across occupations, we create the first dataset on the digital workforce across nearly 20 developing countries and the United States between 1990 and 2015. First, we document the rise in the digital workforce with suggestive evidence that it grew faster in countries with lower labor market regulation and greater competition. Second, we show that increases in the digital workforce are associated with increases in per capita income and educational attainment. Third, we find that the digital workforce plays an important role in moderating the transition of an economy to higher value services, which we show is integral in the process of structural change.

Christos A. Makridis presenting a power point slide

Image of Paul Scharre, Army of None Book, and Audrey Kurth Cronin

CSINT hosted award winning author Paul Scharre for a dicsussion on his book Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War (2018). The event was held at American University on February 19, 2019.

Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He previously worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) focused on establishing policies on unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies and establishing policies on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs and directed energy technologies. Mr. Scharre is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne, Ranger, and Sniper Schools and Honor Graduate of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Indoctrination Program and served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan prior to joining OSD, Mr. Scharre. He holds an M.A. in Political Economy and Public Policy and a B.S. in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Learn more about Army of None - Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War.