I am an Assistant Professor at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University where I teach and perform research on a range of international security topics that consider the intersection of information technology and conflict. Specifically, my research program spans three topical areas – (1) the socio-cognitive context of cyber operations; (2) coordinated social subversion and the conduct of Internet-enabled political warfare; and (3) the impact of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies on both of the above. . I received my PhD in Political Science from George Mason University's Schar School of Policy & Government and run the Digital Issues Discussion Group with Nadiya Kostyuk.
My dissertation research focused on how countercultural non-state actors use information and communications technologies (ICT) in the digital age. Specifically, I focused on a type of actor that has received surprisingly little attention by scholars - subversive non-state actors - and asked why some subversive groups choose to “keep one foot in the shadows” and make use of ICT for illicit purposes even after a clear transition in emphasis to strategies of digital activism.
I am also involved in a range of research projects investigating different elements of global cyber conflict, including domestic political outcomes of conflictual interactions online, the nature of power in the information age and the determinants of non-state actor information operations. I am currently partnered with several research partners at universities across the United States, including on a project that aims to use automated web scraping techniques to produce a large-scale database of cyber incidents and context.
In addition to my doctorate, I have previously been granted an MA in Political Science from George Mason University and a BA in International Relations and Economics from the College of William & Mary. I have worked for several national security think tanks, including Cato Institute and Center for a New American Security, and am currently both an adjunct faculty member at American University's School of International Service and a WSD-Handa non-resident fellow with Pacific Forum CSIS.
My research on cyberspace, information technology and international security has been published or is forthcoming in International Studies Quarterly, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, International Studies Review, Politics and Governance, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Orbis, Comparative Strategy and Strategic Studies Quarterly, and my commentary has appeared in The National Interest, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Foreign Policy and Diplomat. I am also co-author of a Routledge volume on international security and cyberspace – entitled Understanding Cyber Warfare: Politics, Policy and Strategy – with Brian Mazanec and co-editor of an upcoming volume on information warfare in the age of cyber conflict and a forthcoming monograph on military innovation and artificial intelligence. I teach coursework on cyber security policy, law and conflict, as well as on international politics, strategic planning and American national security processes.