Robert K. Knake

Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow

About the Expert

Expert Bio

Rob Knake is the Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). 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.

Before joining government, Knake was an international affairs fellow at CFR where he completed the manuscript for Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It and authored the Council Special Report Internet Governance in an Age of Cyber Insecurity. He has testified before Congress on cybersecurity information sharing and on the problem of attribution in cyberspace and written and lectured extensively on cybersecurity policy.

Knake holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and undergraduate degrees in history and government from Connecticut College. His latest book, The Fifth Domain: How to Protect Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threatswas published by Penguin in the summer of 2019. 


  •, senior advisor
  • FactSpread, board member
  • ActZero, senior advisor
  • Orkestrel LLC, principal
  • SecurityScorecard, advisor
  • Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, non-resident senior fellow