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.”
Maura James was the Student and Outreach Coordinator at the Middle East Initiative, where she engaged with HKS students from and interested in the Middle East while building relationships across the University to enhance the student experience. Previously she was a Program Manager at Swanee Hunt Alternatives, a Cambridge philanthropy focused on developing social influencers in the US and abroad to provoke change for good. Prior to moving to Massachusetts, Maura worked for the Democratic Progress Institute in London where she conducted policy research on Iraq, Turkey, and Syria while managing conflict resolution mediation sessions in the region and Europe. She feels fortunate to have had many opportunities to spend time in the Middle East, and Maura is excited to again build bridges with regional partners. She holds an MA in International Conflict Studies from King’s College, London, and a BA in International Politics from the Catholic University of America.