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.”
Ely Sandler is a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. Ely’s background is in economics and finance; he served as a senior consultant to the World Bank, and previously worked at Morgan Stanley for nearly a decade across investment banking, capital markets, and senior management. Ely has extensive experience in Track II diplomacy, using cooperation on issues such as climate change to build links in the Middle East. He has worked in Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Mali and Sudan, and has led private sector infrastructure projects in solar, agriculture and water technology. Ely is also a founding Board Member of 50:50 Startups, the non-profit tech accelerator for Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs.
In 2022, policy proposals that Ely developed at Harvard’s Belfer Center were presented at COP27, with the intention to create a new approach to carbon markets and climate finance. These proposals are now being adopted by the World Bank and UAE COP28 Presidency, with the hope of catalyzing trillions of dollars of green investment, in part through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Ely’s work in this space has been featured in the Financial Times, the World Economic Forum, and by the London School of Economics.
Ely graduated with distinction from the University of Oxford with a first class degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics. He holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he received a distinction for his thesis.
In addition to his academic work, since before coming to Harvard Ely has engaged in consulting on topics like climate finance and decarbonization. In this capacity, independently of his Belfer Center research, Ely has on-going work with E.ON, the World Bank, HomeBiogas and EY, and is an advisor to two carbon removal startups, Blue Carbon and Bomvento.Last Updated: