Thomas M. Sanderson

Senior Fellow and Director, Transnational Threats Project

Thomas Sanderson directs the CSIS Transnational Threats Project, where he investigates terrorism, transnational crime, global trends, and intelligence issues. He has conducted field research in more than 60 countries and has authored or coauthored 15 reports, as well as opinion pieces, debates, and articles in The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, West Point Counterterrorism Center Sentinel, and Harvard Asia-Pacific Review. He engages a variety of sources including journalists, terrorists, traffickers, foreign intelligence officials, business leaders, nongovernmental organizations, clergy, and academia.

Sanderson leads a multiphase study of emerging trends in terrorism covering South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa through 2015. He has also codirected an al Qaeda futures study and numerous studies on Central Asia. From 2004 to 2009, he directed studies on violent extremism in Europe and Southeast Asia. He serves as a course instructor and consultant for the U.S. government and the private sector on terrorism, geopolitics, and global threats. He provides expert commentary for the media and courts of law. From 1998 to 2002, he worked for Science Applications International Corporation, conducting research on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s office of counterterrorism. In 2005, Sanderson completed a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, and in 2001, he held a fellowship at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He holds a B.A. from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Contact Information
Email: tsanders [at]
Tel: (202) 775-3279