Emily Harding Joins CSIS as Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of International Security Program

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2021: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Emily Harding, former deputy staff director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), will join the International Security Program as senior fellow and deputy director. She will advance CSIS’s research agenda on intelligence, disinformation, emerging technologies, and hybrid warfare.

“Emily is both a dedicated public servant and impressive intellect,” said CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre. “Her insights will strengthen CSIS’s scholarship as we explore the gray zone threats facing the United States.”

Harding has spent nearly 20 years working on critical national security issues in the U.S. government. While working for SSCI, she led the Committee’s multiyear investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, which reshaped how the United States defends itself against foreign adversaries seeking to manipulate elections. During her tenure on the Committee, she also served as the subject matter expert on election security, counterintelligence and associated cybersecurity issues, and the Middle East. She oversaw the activities of 18 intelligence agencies and led SSCI staff in drafting legislation, conducting oversight of the intelligence community, and developing their expertise in intelligence community matters. 

“Emily is an outstanding analyst and a leading expert on intelligence and national security issues,” said Seth G. Jones, CSIS vice president and director of the International Security Program. “She also has an outstanding track record of objective work on some of the United States’ most difficult foreign policy issues, from Russia and Iran to the Islamic State.”

Harding began her career as an analyst at the CIA, where she later became a manager of analysts and analytic programs. She led the Iraq Group during the Islamic State’s attempted takeover of Iraq and Syria and headed a multidisciplinary group of analysts working crises worldwide, drawing from many perspectives to provide rich analysis to policymakers. During a tour at the National Security Council, she served as executive assistant to the deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy, and then as director for Iran, where she led interagency efforts to create innovative policies drawing on all elements of national power. After leaving the White House, she served on a team running the first Office of the Director of National Intelligence-led presidential transition, where she was responsible for liaising with both campaigns and briefing the incoming administration on a wide range of intelligence topics.

Harding holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. While at the University of Virginia, she interned at CSIS.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.