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The School of International and Public Affairs and the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, present,

The Future of War and Armed Conflict:  How technological change is altering the nature of conflict in the 21st century

The panel will examine how political and military strategy are changing as new weapons – from drones in the air to bots in our computer systems – challenge existing norms and erode state sovereignty.


Yasmin Green, Principal, Strategy & Operations, Google Ideas

Shane Harris, Author and Senior Correspondent, The Daily Beast

Alec Ross, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs, SIPA

Ari Wallach, Founder and CEO, Synthesis Corporation, and Adjunct Associate Professor, SIPA

Matthew Waxman, Liviu Librescu Professor of Law, Columbia Law School


Yasmin Green is the Head of Strategy and Operations for Google Ideas. She also oversees the team’s work on counter-radicalization and fragile states. At Google, Yasmin has assumed roles as Head of Sales Strategy and Operations for Southern Europe, Middle East, and Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa Operations Manager, and prior to joining Google, she consulted for Booz Allen Hamilton across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Yasmin has extensive experience leading and project managing in some of the world’s toughest environments. She has spent time in Iran, Syria and Nigeria, where she has worked cross-functionally in sectors ranging from oil and gas to the Internet. She recently led a multi-partner coalition to launch Against Violent Extremism, the world’s first online network of former violent extremists and survivors of terrorism. Yasmin is a Senior Advisor on Innovation to Oxford Analytica and Co-Chair of the European Commission’s’ Working Group on Online Radicalization. She holds a B.Sc. in Economics from University College London and a M.Sc. in Management from the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.


Shane Harris is an author and journalist who has written extensively about intelligence and national security. His new book @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex explores the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). Harris’ first book, The Watchers, tells the story of five men who played central roles in the creation of a vast national security apparatus and the rise of surveillance in America (Penguin Press, 2010). The Watchers won the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and The Economist named it one of the best books of 2010. Shane is the winner of the 2010 Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. He has four times been named a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, which honor the best journalists in America under the age of 35. Harris is currently a senior correspondent at The Daily Beast, where he covers national security, intelligence, and cyber security. He is also an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate,, National Journal, The Washington Post, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings. He has provided analysis and commentary for CNN, NPR, the BBC, The History Channel, National Geographic, several foreign media organizations and many local public radio stations. Prior to joining The Daily Beast, Harris was a senior writer at Foreign Policy magazine and, before that, at Washingtonian magazine, where he was part of the team that won the publication its 2011 award for Excellence in Writing from the City and Regional Magazine Association. In 2012, Washingtonian won the coveted General Excellence award for the print magazine and Web site, where Harris wrote a blog on national security called Dead Drop. From 2005 to 2010, Harris was a staff correspondent for National Journal, where he wrote about intelligence and homeland security. Before that post, he was the technology editor and a staff correspondent at Government Executive magazine. Harris also was the managing editor for Movieline magazine in Los Angeles. He began his journalism career in 1999, as the research coordinator and a writer for Governing magazine in Washington. Harris graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Politics in 1998. He is also a fiction writer. While living in Los Angeles, he helped found and served as the artistic director of a sketch comedy troupe. Harris is a Sundance Film Festival screenwriting finalist.


Alec Ross is one of America’s leading experts on innovation. He recently served for four year as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a role created for him by Secretary Clinton to maximize the potential of technology and innovation in service of America’s diplomatic goals and stewarding the Secretary of State 21st Century Statecraft agenda. In this role, Ross acted as the diplomatic lead on a range of issues including cybersecurity, Internet Freedom, disaster response and the use of network technologies in conflict zones. Highlights of Ross’ four years in government include Internet Freedom, established a global Internet Freedom agenda that has become the first distinctly 21st century human rights agenda, deploying $100M in funds for cutting-edge projects that keep the internet open and help protect citizens and activists in authoritarian environments; Civil Society 2.0, developed a program to build the capacity of civil society organizations that work on issues consistent with America’s foreign policy goals, training more than 1,130 civil society organizations from 81 countries to date; Social Media, conceived a system of public diplomacy through social media that now reaches 15 million people a day; Diversity and Innovation in the Foreign Service, led an effort to increase the diversity and level of problem-solving abilities in the foreign service through a review and reform of policies in recruitment and promotion; Managing Institutional Culture Change, managed a large-scale process for making the U.S. Department of State a more innovative institution. Previously, Ross served as the Convener for the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Policy Committee on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team. In 2000, he and three colleagues co-founded the nonprofit organization One Economy and grew it from modest origins in a basement into a global organization serving millions of low-income people, with programs on four continents. Some of his recent recognitions include Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine, U.S. Department of State Distinguished Honor Award, 2013 Oxford University Internet & Society Award, Huffington Post’s 10 Game Changers in Politics, and 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Award honoree. Ross has served as a guest lecturer at numerous institutions including the United Nations, Oxford University, Harvard Law School, Stanford Business School and a number of parliamentary bodies. His writing has appeared in publications including the Johns Hopkins SAIS Review of International Affairs and the NATO Review. Ross started his career as a sixth grade teacher through Teach for America in inner-city Baltimore, where he lives with his wife and their three young children.


Ari Wallach is the founder and CEO of Synthesis Corp., a New York City based strategic consultancy that lives at the intersection of innovation, technology and purpose driven culture.  Synthesis works with governments, NGOs, foundations, and corporations at the C-suite level to discover new ways to drive sustainable innovation, rethink business models and improve top-line metrics. Clients include organizations such as CNN, Ford Foundation, UNHCR, VW, Pew Research Center and the US State Department. Wallach is the co-founder of The Great Schlep (, whose eponymous video had over 25 million web views, 350 million global media impressions and started a national conversation about race, faith and democracy during the 2008 presidential campaign. Wallach is also the founder of INFORUM – one of the nation’s largest non-partisan public affairs forums for young people.  He is a frequent keynote speaker on the topics of 21st Century Strategies for 21st Century Change and complex systems innovation.  Wallach has a Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Berkeley in Peace and Conflict Studies and was a Coro Fellow in New York City.  Wallach currently sits on the boards of several non-profits as well as the Data and Democracy Initiative at UC Berkeley. He is also a former Commissioner for the City of Berkeley in California.


Matthew Waxman is an expert in national security law and international law, including issues related to executive power; international human rights and constitutional rights; military force and armed conflict; and terrorism.  He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and clerked for Associate Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and Judge Joel M. Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Before joining the Columbia faculty, Waxman served in senior positions at the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense and National Security Council. Waxman was a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of War Studies at Kings College, London, where he studied international relations and military history. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he also serves as Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law & Foreign Policy, and he is the Co-Chair of the Cybersecurity Center at the Columbia Data Science Institute. Waxman received both his J.D. and his B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science and International Studies, from Yale University.