I am a PhD candidate in Political Science specializing in international relations and research methods at George Washington University. I am also an Adjunct Researcher at RAND and was invited to be both a National Cybersecurity Fellow and a Future of War Fellow in the International Security Program at New America. My research interests are international security, cybersecurity, networks and norms, strategic studies; international relations theory, and data visualization.
My ongoing research projects:
1. Dissertation - "Norms & Networks: How States Deny and Disrupt Global National Security Norms"
Norms & Networks explores how states resist and disrupt global national security norms. Specifically, I examine the mechanisms and conditions under which states are able to “inoculate” themselves against global norms and strategically disrupt preexisting norms. By synthesizing existing political science literature, network analysis, and elite interviews I construct a theory that explains how states resist the rise of new global norms and strategically disrupt already existing norms. I then test this theory by closely examining norm resistance and disruption in the context of strategic bombing, nuclear proliferation, and cybersecurity.
2. Journal Article - “Hollow Weapons: Reassessing the Role of Defense in Cyberspace”
Abstract: Although the field of security studies and policymakers routinely refer to cyberspace as an “offense dominated environment,” scholars have yet to clarify the underlying logic of this claim or relevant scope conditions. In many cases, the idea that offense has the advantage in cyberspace is taken as axiomatic, generalizable to every instance of potential conflict. If the offense has such a large and unbounded advantage it is therefore puzzlingly as to why the magnitude and frequency of cyber incidents during interstate military disputes is actually fairly low. Synthesizing relevant literature from cybersecurity, strategic studies, international security, and new case studies paints a different picture. The design and deployment process for cyber weapons is significantly more complex and resource intensive than is commonly acknowledged. Orchestrating timely and sophisticated cyber attacks against high-value targets requires a high degree of skill, time, and intelligence infrastructure. This complexity becomes even more pronounced when cybersecurity is properly understood as part of a larger combined arms approach towards conflict initiation between strategic actors.
3. Journal Article - “Fighting by OSMOSIS: Offensive Social Media Operations and Information Security”
Abstract: What is the value of social media for Army units? How can the Army counter an adversary’s social media operations? This article synthesizes relevant literature and case studies to develop the concept of “offensive social media operations (OSMO).” I then outline a conceptual framework for OSMO as well as provide useful examples.
4. Definitions Database Project - “Global Cyber Definitions Database”
The Global Cyber Definitions project is designed to bridge the cybersecurity community's definitional knowledge gap by providing a public and easily accessible online repository. The database houses definitions from international organizations, standard setting bodies, states, and various other sources. Recently, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) voted to use the database to store official and proposed member state definitions.
5. Incidents Database Project - "Cyber Database: State v. State (CDSS)” (Forthcoming, Fall 2015)
The Cyber Database: State v. State (CDSS) is a data collection, memo writing, and data visualization project that records publicly known “cyber incidents” using open-source resources. The enterprise aims to index every publicly known state-to-state cyber incident, code key variables, and provide additional context, including technical and political details in brief memos. The project uses algorithmic scraping and human coding to catalogue all publicly known cyber incidents to the present. The project will be officially launching in Fall 2015.