Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Rob Knake is the Whitney Shepardson senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. His work focuses
on Internet governance, public-private partnerships, and cyber conflict.
Knake served from 2011 to 2015 as director for cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council. In
this role, he was responsible for the development of presidential policy on cybersecurity, and built and
managed federal processes for cyber incident response and vulnerability management. Federal Computer
Week dubbed him the “White House’s Cyber Wizard” for his work on Executive Order 13636, Improving
Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, which directed the creation of the National Institute of Standards &
Technology Cybersecurity Framework. He worked to establish presidential policy that created the Cyber
Threat Intelligence Integration Center and Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations.
A frequent writer and speaker on cybersecurity, he has been quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street
Journal, and the Washington Post and appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio. He
has testified before Congress on the problem of attribution in cyberspace and written and lectured
extensively on cybersecurity policy.
Knake is an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He holds a
master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and undergraduate degrees in
history and government from Connecticut College and is a term member of the Council on Foreign