86 Events

Seminar - Open to the Public

Book Launch—Spies. The Epic Intelligence War between East and West by Calder Walton

Mon., June 5, 2023 | 4:00pm - 5:15pm


Putin’s war in Ukraine, Russian election meddling, deep-cover Russian “illegal” spies in the West, disinformation, overhead spy balloons, and assassinations—subjects that all make regular news headlines. When they do so, however, those headlines frequently lack their proper, long-term, context.

To bring historical perspective to these national security issues at the frontline of contemporary geopolitics, join the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project for the launch of Calder Walton’s book, SPIES. The Epic Intelligence War between East and West, being published on June 6.

Described by Fiona Hill as “essential reading” and a “masterclass in twentieth century and contemporary history,” and by Christopher Andrew as a “masterpiece,” SPIES explores the clandestine struggle that has been raging between Russia and Western powers for a hundred years and counting. Its conclusions, however, go further than Russia in the past: they relate to the current unfolding intelligence conflict between China and the West. Chinese intelligence has taken up the mantle of the KGB— but taken espionage to new levels.

Calder Walton will present the principal findings of his book, followed by a  Question & Answer session with incoming Intelligence Project Director incoming Project Director Mark Pascale and Intelligence Project Fellows including Beth SannerNorman T. RouleRolf Mowatt-LarssenKristin Wood, and Jeff Fields.

This virtual event will take place on June 5 at 4:00PM EST. Calder Walton’s remarks will be on the record, but the Q&A will be under Chatham House rules. It will be open to the public, but registration is required. RSVP at the link below:


Conference - Open to the Public

Marking the CIA’s 75th Anniversary: Reflections on the Past, Visions of the Future

Fri., Sep. 16, 2022 | 8:00am - 5:00pm

The Charles Hotel

*In-person registration closed*

This year, the Central Intelligence Agency celebrates its 75th birthday. From the early days of the cold war and through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, fall of the Soviet Union, 9/11 and the War on Terror, and the surging threats of the 21st century, the CIA has been at the center of US foreign policy and national security decision making. Stunning operational and analytic success has been interwoven with consequential failures and scandal.

On Friday, September 16, please join an illustrious group of intelligence authors, scholars, and retired high-ranking practitioners to discuss the past 75 years of the agency, including both well-known and little-known aspects of the agency's evolution and its current activities to further the nation's national security. The conference program and speaker bios are below.

This full-day conference, hosted by the Belfer Center's Intelligence Project, will take place at the Charles Hotel.

All participants are welcome to attend via Zoom. In-person registration is now closed. Registration is open to the public and is required. Please register via https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ncjpkgdrTpi10jxWSUadRg.

Seminar - Open to the Public

America’s Retreat From Afghanistan: What’s Next?

Wed., Sep. 8, 2021 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm


With departure of the last U.S. C-17 from Kabul on August 30th, 2021, the United States closed out the longest war in its history with a conclusion that was frustrating for all, and bitter for many. After winning battle after battle in the field, the United States lost the political struggle, no longer willing to bear the costs of fighting for goals that once seemed attainable, but were always out of reach.

Questions on what our Afghanistan withdrawal means are being asked and examined around the world. Will the Taliban in 2021 govern differently that 1996? Will new terrorist threats arise in South Asia? Will global al Qaida and ISIS be reinvigorated? Will America’s withdrawal prove to be a strategic pivot which will strengthen America’s ability to face more central challenges, or will it reflect America’s Suez moment? 

To consider these questions and others, please join the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project in a special Zoom Webinar which will feature Intelligence Project Fellows and staff offering their views and perspective based on decades of dealing with intelligence operations and analysis in Afghanistan.

 Please register via Zoom Webinar link below.

Cattle graze in a pasture against a backdrop of wind turbines which are part of the 155-turbine Smoky Hill Wind Farm near Vesper, Kansas.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Conference - Open to the Public

Climate Change, Intelligence, and Global Security

Fri., Apr. 23, 2021 | 12:00pm - 5:30pm


Climate Change, Intelligence, and Global Security is a half-day conference co-sponsored by the Intelligence Project and the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs along with the Center for Climate and Security. 

Headlined by John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, the conference will directly follow the April 22/23 Earth Day Leaders Climate Summit, and will emphasize the critical need for international cooperation and global leadership to collectively address the security threats posed by the climate crisis. We will convene senior climate experts, current and former intelligence officers, and leaders in the private sector and academia to facilitate productive dialogue and innovative solutions for combating the climate crisis. The four panels will examine climate change from a security perspective, discuss the role of the intelligence community in monitoring and mitigating the threats posed by climate change, explore new ways of thinking about international intelligence cooperation, and examine the role and contributions of the private sector.

This conference is virtual, open to the public, and free to attend.  Advanced registration is required. Please register individually for each session. 


Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

The New Way of the World: Thinking About What Comes Next

Wed., May 20, 2020 | 11:15am - 12:30pm

The Intelligence Project will host a webinar with Belfer Center Senior Fellows Rolf Mowatt-Larssen and David Ignatius, on Wednesday May 20th from 11:15am-12:30pm. 

This session will be off-the-record. Priority registration will be given to Harvard students, staff, faculty, fellows, and affiliates. Please register below for access to the zoom link.

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Rethinking Intelligence in a World of Human and Natural Weapons of Mass Destruction

Wed., Nov. 13, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

The Intelligence Project will host a seminar with Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Former Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the Department of Energy, from 12:00pm-1:30pm in the Belfer Center Library. Intelligence Project Director Paul Kolbe will moderate.  

Lunch will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP below.

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Intelligence Challenges in the 2020's

Wed., Sep. 18, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

The Intelligence Project will host the Fall Semester kick-off seminar from 12:00-1:30pm in the Allison Dining Room. Lunch will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Panelists will include:

The Honorable Mike Rogers, Former Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Former Department of Energy Director of Intelligence & Counterintelligence; Former CIA Division Chief; Former CIA Chief of Station

BG (Ret) Kevin Ryan, Former Defense Attache to Russia; Founder, US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism; Founder, Elbe Group

Kristin Wood, Former Deputy Director, Innovation & Technology Group, Open Source Center, CIA

Bernard Hudson, Former Chief of Counterterrorism for the CIA 

Norman Roule, Former National Intelligence Manager for Iran

Moderated by the new Intelligence Project Director:

Paul Kolbe, Former CIA Division Chief; Former CIA Chief of Station

Conference - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

The Ethics & Morality of Intelligence

Tue., May 7, 2019 | 8:00am - 6:00pm

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. The Ethics of Intelligence is a full day conference hosted by the Intelligence Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. 

The conference will consist of four panels, a working lunch, and a reception. The morning sessions will focus on the purpose, role, and constraints of intelligence as a lever of statecraft while the afternoon sessions with address the moral and ethical questions raised by the means of intelligence. 

The conference is open to all and free to attend. However, advanced registration is required.

Location: The Wadsworth Room, Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge MA