75 years of service to our nation


Larry Lewis, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Autonomy and AI


Larry Lewis is the Director of the Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at CNA. His areas of expertise include lethal autonomy, reducing civilian casualties, identifying lessons from current operations, security assistance, and counterterrorism.

Lewis spent a decade analyzing real world operations as the project lead and primary author for many of DOD's Joint Lessons Learned studies. For example, he was the lead analyst and co-author (with Dr. Sarah Sewall) for the Joint Civilian Casualty Study (JCCS) in support of GEN Petraeus, GEN McChrystal, and ADM Olson (SOCOM); GEN Petraeus described the study as "the first comprehensive assessment of the problem of civilian protection." His other areas of expertise include counterinsurgency and high value targeting in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Colombia, and elsewhere. In addition, he authored the 2012 "Lessons from a Decade of War" report for CJCS. He also served as senior advisor to the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and was on the U.S. delegation to the CCW regarding Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS).

Lewis has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Rice University.


March 22, 2018

Larry Lewis writes, "Many groups recommend steps for the U.S. military to bolster its own capabilities to detect civilian casualties post-strike or to work more closely with independent groups to better consider external information to complement its assessments."

Just Security: "Civilian Casualties: We Need Better Estimates—Not Just Better Numbers"

February 21, 2018

Larry Lewis says, "What we are doing in our new center is looking at how to prepare for the future of war and make things a little less scary."

WSVA: "Dr. Larry Lewis-Artificial Intelligence and Warmaking"

October 19, 2017

Larry Lewis writes "Throughout history, the ability to adapt technological advances to warfighting has led to fundamental changes in the character of war and the tools used in its conduct."

CNA: Insights for the Third Offset: Addressing Challenges of Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence in Military Operations

July 12, 2017

CNA analyst Larry Lewis, Ph.D. testified during a Parliamentary panel on “Civilian Casualties and the US Drone Programme: Lessons for the UK” at the Palace of Westminster, London, on July 12

July 10, 2017

CNA releases the eighth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. CNA analysts David Knoll, Ph.D., Larry Lewis, Ph.D.,  and Zack Gold discuss the findings and implications of newly released CNA paper, Decade of War: Applying Past Lessons to the Counter-ISIS Campaign. Listen to this episode.

June 14, 2017

The New York Times quotes CNA analyst Larry Lewis, Ph.D. in “Saudi Arabia Tries to Ease Concerns Over Civilian Deaths in Yemen”