Larry Lewis, Ph.D.
Vice President and Director


Larry Lewis is the Vice President and 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.


June 18, 2019

Larry Lewis says, "In the US and the UK we have very formal processes [for airstrikes], this coalition is not using them ... And when you mess up, bad things happen."

The Guardian: "'The Saudis Couldn't Do It Without Us': The UK's True Role in Yemen's Deadly War"

June 4, 2019

Larry Lewis says, "We may think it's expedient to take the gloves off but if you look at history . . . if you take a heavy-handed approach, you actually can hurt yourself in the long term." [15:57]

Slate's The Gist: "Saving Civilians, and the Mission"

April 1, 2019

Larry Lewis says, "When I was there the US and the UK certainly weren't on the operations floor, not regularly, only by invitation and that was kind of by exception."

Channel 4 London: "Britain's Hidden War: Channel 4 Dispatches"

March 12, 2019

Larry Lewis writes, "With both the Defense Department and Congress actively working on the issue of civilian casualties, a moment of reflection can help the government to better meet a key intent of the EO: to systematize learning and improve U.S. efforts to protect civilians."

Just Security: "Reflecting on the Civilian Casualty Executive Order: What Was Lost and What Can Now Be Gained"

March 6, 2019

Larry Lewis says, "The consequences of that are seen in Mosul and Raqqa, where the risk to civilians grew and grew, and there were no adjustments made."

Washington Post: "Trump Administration Alters Obama-Era Bill on Civilian Casualties in U.S. Airstrikes"

February 12, 2019

Larry Lewis says, “It's coming out with a very strong stance saying there are virtuous uses of AI”

Axios: “The Pentagon's Alluring AI Pitch to Silicon Valley”

  • Salem Radio Seattle Interview, May 22