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.


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

June 28, 2017

CNA analyst Vera Zakem spoke on a panel on “Facing Russian Propaganda and Disinformation” at the American Security Project on June 28. Register here.

May 18, 2017

CNA analyst Vera Zakem will speak at the 2017 Leadership Summit for Women in National Security Careers “Resilience: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities” on Thursday, May 18 from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. in Arlington, VA. Click here to register.

May 10, 2017

CNA’s Center for Strategic Studies releases Shining a Light on the Western Balkans: Internal Vulnerabilities and Malign Influence from Russia, Terrorism, and Transnational Organized Crime by CNA analysts Vera Zakem, William Rosenau, Ph.D. and Danielle Johnson, Ph.D.