CLBR #249: CSIS’ James Lewis on Cybersecurity for the 45th President

CSIS’ James Lewis on
Cybersecurity  for the 45th President



Key Action Items

  • It must decide on a new international strategy to account for a very different and dangerous global security environment.
  • It must make a greater effort to reduce and control cyber crime.
  • It must accelerate efforts to secure critical infrastructures and services and improve “cyber hygiene” across economic sectors. As part of this, it must develop a new approach to securing government agencies and services and improve authentication of identity.
  • It must identify where federal involvement in resource issues such as research or workforce development is necessary, and where such efforts are best left to the private sector.
  •  Finally, it must consider how to organize the United States to defend cyberspace. Clarifying the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is crucial, and the new administration must either strengthen DHS or create a new cybersecurity agency

CSIS Cyber Policy Task Force

  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is currently serving his second term representing Rhode Island.
  • Rep. Michael T. McCaul is currently serving his sixth term representing Texas’s 10th District in the U.S House of Representatives and as the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
  • Karen S. Evans serves as the national director of U.S. Cyber Challenge, a nationwide talent search and skills development program focused on the cyber workforce, as well as an independent consultant, providing guidance in the areas of leadership, management, and the strategic use of information technology.
  • Sameer Bhalotra is cofounder and CEO at StackRox, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a Stanford CISAC affiliate.

James Lewis

James Lewis is a senior vice president at CSIS, where he writes on technology, security, and innovation. Before joining CSIS, he worked at the Departments of State and Commerce as a Foreign Service officer and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. His government experience includes work on a range of politico-military and Asian security issues, as a negotiator on conventional arms transfers and advanced military technology, and in developing policies for satellites, encryption, and the Internet. Lewis led the U.S. delegation to the Wassenaar Arrangement Experts Group on advanced civil and military technologies and was the rapporteur for the 2010, 2013, and 2015 UN Group of Government Experts on Information Security. He was also assigned to U.S. Southern Command for Operation Just Cause and to U.S. Central Command for Operation Desert Shield. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Lewis is an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity. His writings include “Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency,” which was noted by President Barack Obama in his first speech on cybersecurity. Lewis is the U.S. lead for a long-running Track II Dialogue on cybersecurity with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, and he has also authored numerous publications on the relationship between technology, innovation, and national power. Another series of reports examined the role of space in national security. His current research examines international security and governance in cyberspace, the relationship between innovation and technology, the future of warfare, and the effect of the Internet on politics. He has served as a member of the Commerce Department’s Spectrum Management Advisory Committee and the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy, and as a member and chair of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing. Lewis is frequently quoted in the press and has testified numerous times before Congress.


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CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center’s 220 full-time staff and large network of affiliated scholars conduct research to analyze and develop policy initiatives that work to address changing dynamics of international security across the globe

Since 1962, CSIS has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world. After 50 years, CSIS has become one of the world’s preeminent international policy institutions focused on defense and security; regional stability; and transnational challenges ranging from energy and climate to global development and economic integration.

In late 2015, Thomas J. Pritzker was named Chairman of the CSIS Board of Trustees. Mr. Pritzker succeeded former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA), who chaired the CSIS Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2015. John J. Hamre became the Center’s president and chief executive officer in April 2000. CSIS was founded by David M. Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke.


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