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Elsa Kania

External Contributor

Contact information

Contact information


Chinese Military expansion, Cyber, Emerging Technologies, Artificial Intelligence


Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Fellow with the Center for a New American Security’s Technology and National Security Program.

She focuses on Chinese defense innovation in emerging technologies in support of the Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Initiative at CNAS, where she also acts as a member of the research team for the new Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and National Security. Her research interests include Chinese military modernization, information warfare, and defense science and technology. Elsa is an independent analyst, consultant, and co-founder of the China Cyber and Intelligence Studies Institute (CCISI). She was also a 2018 Fulbright Specialist with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre. Elsa works in support of the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) through its Associates Program, and she is a consulting analyst with Pointe Bello and a policy advisor for the non-profit Technology for Global Security. Elsa has been named an official “Mad Scientist” by the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.

Elsa is a graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), where her thesis on the evolution of the PLA’s strategic thinking on information warfare was awarded the James Gordon Bennett Prize. Her prior professional experience includes time with the Department of Defense, the Long Term Strategy Group, FireEye, Inc., and the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. While at Harvard, she worked as a research assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Elsa was a Boren Scholar in Beijing, China, and she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese