Dana S. LaFon

National Intelligence Fellow

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Expert Bio

Dana S. LaFon most recently served as chief and founder of the National Security Agency’s Office of Operational Psychology, which is responsible for scaling psychologically based insights for whole-of-government operations to counter some of the most egregious national security threats. She has deep expertise in remote psychological assessment, influence psychology, and malign influence campaigns. Dr. LaFon’s twenty-five years of experience in multiple fields (including intelligence, psychology, graduate instruction, and systems analysis), settings (including the U.S. government, academia, state and local agencies, and private industry), and foreign partnerships have enabled her to apply a broad perspective to a wide array of national security issues and foreign policy topics.

Dr. LaFon originated and leads the Cyberpsychology U.S. Intelligence and allied partners’ Community of Interest, which was established for sharing methods, exchanging ideas, and collaborating beyond borders. She has supported the National Security Council’s (NSC) Interagency Policy Committees and has provided numerous briefs to the White House, NSC, and senior military officials on influence campaigns, resilience, influence inoculation, and integrating operational psychology strategies to enhance policy and program development. Dr. LaFon has served as a senior member on the Department of Defense’s Defense Intelligence Support to the Operating Information Environment executive committee, and advised the U.S. senior government advisor on four Intelligence Advanced Research Program Agency research programs.

Dr. LaFon worked as a graduate and undergraduate professor for fifteen years, during which she developed and taught courses on the psychology of counterintelligence and counterterrorism, psychology and the legal system, and cyberpsychology. Dr. LaFon has also worked as clinical psychology practitioner and researcher at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, provided clinical services at the Maryland Division of Corrections, and consulted with Baltimore’s police hostage and crisis negotiation team.

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