The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Dr. Leon Clarke is the Director of Decarbonization Pathways at the Bezos Earth Fund. Leon joined the Earth Fund from the University of Maryland (UMD), where he served as the Research Director for the Center for Global Sustainability and Acting Director. He held a joint appointment with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Before UMD, Dr. Clarke worked for 16 years at the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI), a collaboration between PNNL and UMD. He led the Integrated Human Earth System Science Group at JGCRI for 10 years.
Dr. Clarke has served as an author and coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Climate Assessment, and the National Research Council. Dr. Clarke holds a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.