Rob Knake is the Senior Research Scientist in Cybersecurity and Resilience at the Global Resilience Institute and the Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. His work focuses on Internet governance, public-private partnerships, and cyber conflict and his expertise includes developing presidential policy. He is currently engaged on a multi-year project to examine the creation of a Critical Infrastructure Network that would move control system operations off of the public Internet — CInet.
Knake served from 2011 to 2015 as Director for Cybersecurity Policy at the National Security Council. In this role, he was responsible for the development of presidential policy on cybersecurity, and built and managed federal processes for cyber incident response and vulnerability management.
A frequent writer and speaker on cybersecurity, he has been quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post and appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio. He has testified before Congress on the problem of attribution in cyberspace and written and lectured extensively on cybersecurity policy.
Knake holds a master’s in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and undergraduate degrees in history and government from Connecticut College.
Areas of Expertise (7)
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government: Master's Degree, Public Policy
Connecticut College: Undergraduate Degrees, History and Government
- Council on Foreign Relations : Term Member
- Cylance, federal advisory board member
- Orkestrel LLC, principal
- Versive, senior advisor
Media Appearances (5)
Rex Tillerson has been accused of violating a federal law involving child soldiers
"It’s taking an issue that’s preeminent and putting it inside a backwater within the State Department. Position to power matters both within the U.S. government and within the international community," Robert Knake, a senior fellow for cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, told Bloomberg...
China Tests the Limits of Its Us Hacking Truce
But playing down violations of the agreement could be shrewd pragmatism as much as a lack of a smoking gun, says Robert Knake, a director of cybersecurity policy in the Obama administration who served until early 2015, before the US-China agreement was made. "It’s not always a bright-line bureaucratic decision," Knake says. "Will you get the outcome you want by declaring someone in violation? Or do you get it by validating the agreement and then quietly pushing them?"...
Tillerson to Shut Cyber Office in State Department Reorganization
“It’s taking an issue that’s preeminent and putting it inside a backwater within the State Department,” said Robert Knake, a senior fellow for cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington who was director of cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council under Obama. “Position to power matters both within the U.S. government and within the international community.”...
President Trump Should Make the Power Grid Great Again
Council on Foreign Relations
Earlier this week, I published a paper making recommendations on how to protect the power grid from a cyberattack. Although my main argument is that government needs to create incentives for utility owners and operators to invest in cybersecurity, that investment should take place in part of a massive new investment to improve the grid’s resilience. It also needs to be redesigned to handle the shifting supply from renewable resources and be capable of moving electricity from where it is produced to where it is consumed...
U.S. Cyberwarfare: Its Powerful Tools, Its Unseen Tactics
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to cybersecurity expert Robert Knake on what tools the U.S. has to retaliate against Russia in cyberspace. Knake, former director of cybersecurity policy with the National Security Council, is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations...