Sean Kanuck

Sean Kanuck

Director of Future Conflict and Cyber Security


  • Information technology, telecommunications, and internet governance
  • Global strategy and conflict in cyberspace and outer space
  • Public international law (specialising in the law of armed conflict)

Languages: English

Summary: Sean Kanuck is Director of Future Conflict and Cyber Security at the IISS, where he leads the programme that assesses advanced technologies and forecasts the evolution of strategic risk. He contributes to IISS publications, convenes para-diplomatic events, and provides consultancy.


  • 2011–2016: United States first National Intelligence Officer for Cyber Issues, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • 2009–2010: Member of the United States delegation to the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on international information security
  • 2007–2009: Intelligence Fellow, National Security Council, White House
  • 2000–2007: Analyst, Information Operations Center, Central Intelligence Agency

Selected Publications:

  • 'Digital Acts of War: Evolving the Cybersecurity Conversation', Statement for the Record, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, United States House of Representatives, 13 July 2016
  • 'Sovereign Discourse on Cyber Conflict Under International Law', Texas Law Review, June 2010
  • 'Pragmatic Law for International Security' in Security: A Multidisciplinary Normative Approach, edited by Cecilia Bailliet, 2009
  • 'Information Warfare: New Challenges for Public International Law', Harvard International Law Journal, Winter 1996

About the Future Conflict and Cyber Security Programme:

The IISS Future Conflict and Cyber Security programme analyses the use of ICT, satellites, and other emergent technologies (such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing) for their role in military and intelligence operations. The programme's study of next-generation conflict encompasses capabilities, intentions, doctrines, rules of engagement, arms control, and deterrence as they pertain to both state and non-state actors.

Joined IISS: July 2017


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