75 years of service to our nation


Vera Zakem
Research Scientist
Director, Strategy and Partnerships for the Center for Strategic Studies


Vera Zakem specializes in developing innovative solutions, analytics, and partnerships in assessing root causes of conflict and instability for vulnerable populations, European stability, media and Russia's information operations, and civil-military operations. She incorporates development, diplomacy, and civil-military operations in assessing today's security environment. She currently leads CNA's work in assessing internal vulnerabilities to vulnerable populations, Europe and Russia, joint civil affairs, and media and influence.

Zakem has conducted field-work in the Balkans, Baltics, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Earlier in her career, she has collaborated with special operations forces, multinational organizations, and other U.S. Government agencies in analyzing and assessing human security. She taught adversary, futures analytics and red teaming at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Throughout her career, Zakem has worked with diverse sectors in promoting the role of women in security and development.

Zakem has an M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University, a B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of San Francisco and has also spent a year at Tel Aviv University in Israel. She speaks Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew. She is a Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations and a Member of Pacific Council on International Policy.


February 16, 2018

Vera Zakem says, "We have to look beyond these 13 individuals and we really have to be looking at the very expansive and comprehensive effort Russians have engaged in the interference of the United States election."

BBC: "Russians Indicted for Meddling in U.S. Election"

February 13, 2018

In a new report, CNA analysts have undertaken an effort to map the Russian media environment and examine Russian decision-making as it relates to the media through a series of scenarios that range from crisis to steady state. Read more.

February 1, 2018

Vera Zakem says, "Dezinformatsiya, as Russians call it, is meant to instill fear and confuse audiences, blurring the lines between truth, falsehood, and reality."

The Wilson Quarterly: "Putin's Postmodern War With the West"

October 10, 2017

Vera Zakem says "Where there are frictions in society, where there are internal divisions in society, Russia has tried to play up these divisions."

Defense News: "Russia Remains the Greatest Near-Term Threat to the US, Intel Official Says"

August 7, 2017

RealClearLife quotes CNA analysts Vera Zakem and David Knoll, Ph.D. in “How Tech Companies Are Fighting the Digital War Against ISIS”

July 5, 2017

CNA analyst Vera Zakem spoke at the “The Riga StratCom Dialogue: Perception Matters” on a panel on "The Future of Fake: Technologies, Limitations and Dilemmas" at the National Library of Latvia on July 5

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