Zhanna L. Malekos Smith

Fellow Security and Technology

Zhanna L. Malekos Smith, JD, is a non-resident fellow at UNIDIR and a visiting fellow with Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Additionally, she is a senior associate with the Aerospace Security Project and Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a fellow with the Army Cyber Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Previously, Zhanna was an assistant professor in the Systems Engineering Department at West Point and a professor of cyber warfare studies with the U.S. Air War College. Her expertise spans cybersecurity, aerospace security, emerging technologies, and international security. She has appeared on CNN, NBC, and her commentary has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Politico, Nature, Physics Today, and elsewhere.

A former captain and attorney in the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Zhanna received her commission from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a cross-registered student and participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. She holds a BA in Russian and international relations from Wellesley College, an MA and associateship of King’s College from King’s College London, Department of War Studies, and a JD from the University of California, Davis. Zhanna has held fellowships with the Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs, the Belfer Center’s Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, Duke University Law School, and Stanford University’s U.S.-Russia Forum. She is a volunteer consultant for Hostage US, a nonprofit that supports the families of Americans taken hostage abroad and hostages when they return home.