Zhanna L. Malekos Smith

Former Visiting Fellow, U.S. Global Engagement Initiative (USGE)

Zhanna L. Malekos Smith, JD, was a visiting fellow with Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. She is a non-resident fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research. Additionally, she is a senior associate with the Aerospace Security Project and Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a fellow with the Army Cyber Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Previously, Malekos Smith was an assistant professor in the Systems Engineering Department at West Point and a professor of cyber warfare studies with the U.S. Air War College. Her expertise spans cybersecurity, aerospace security, emerging technologies, and international security. Malekos Smith has appeared on CNN, NBC, and her commentary has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Politico, Nature, Physics Today, and elsewhere.

A former captain and attorney in the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, she received her commission from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a cross-registered student and participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.She holds a BA in Russian and international relations from Wellesley College, an MA and associateship of King’s College from King’s College London, Department of War Studies, and a JD from the University of California, Davis.

Malekos Smith has held fellowships with the Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs, the Belfer Center’s Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, Duke University Law School, and Stanford University’s U.S.-Russia Forum. She is a volunteer consultant for Hostage US, a nonprofit that supports the families of Americans taken hostage abroad and hostages when they return home.

Featured Work

JUL 9, 2024 Article

The Rise of Preemptive Bans on Human Microchip Implants

As the impact and influence of chip implants increases in the U.S., it's time to raise ethical and legal questions about this technology.

JUN 4, 2024 Article

Space-Based Data Risks to Refugee Populations

Space-based data is quite useful for observing environmental conditions, but Zhanna Malekos Smith writes that it also raises privacy concerns for vulnerable populations.

Full moon over Blanca Peak, Colorado, a sacred mountain for the Navajo. Credit: NPS/Patrick Myers.

MAY 1, 2024 Article

Ethical Dilemmas of Space Memorial Services

Space and lunar memorial services are growing in popularity, writes Visiting Fellow Zhanna Malekos Smith. What are the ethical considerations of this practice?

MAR 27, 2024 Article

The Specter of EMP Weapons in Space

Visiting Fellow Zhanna Malekos Smith details the danger of electromagnetic pulse weapons. How can nations protect themselves from this catastrophic threat?

Uruguay signs the Artemis Accords, February 15, 2024, Washington, DC. CREDIT: NASA HQ Photo.

MAR 6, 2024 Article

Empowering the Artemis Accords Coalition for Peace and Stability

As missions ramp up, Zhanna Malekos Smith writes that the U.S. should lead an effort with the Artemis Accords for space sustainability and security.

FEB 2, 2024 Article

It Takes a Village to Protect Children in the Metaverse

With the metaverse expanding rapidly, states and international institutions need to act to protect minors from abuse, writes Visiting Fellow Zhanna Malekos Smith.

JAN 5, 2024 Article

Imagining Success in a Post-Quantum Future

Quantum technology could usher in a "new era of computation," writes Zhanna Malekos Smith. How can states, international institutions, and industries prepare?

Launch of OSIRIS-REx, September 2016, Florida. CREDIT: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

NOV 29, 2023 Article

A Human-Centric Epic for NATO Space Domain Awareness

In this report on NATO's annual space policy summit, Visiting Fellow Zhanna Malekos Smith analyzes the challenges the institution faces in the final frontier.

Lady Justice statue in Dublin Castle, Ireland. Credit: Picpick

NOV 3, 2023 Article

Ethics as a “Science of Happiness” in Cyber International Relations

In this Platonic dialogue looking at the U.S. ethical and strategic goals in cyberspace, Visiting Fellow Zhanna Malekos Smith presents differing viewpoints and "systems ...

Moon. CREDIT: Greg Hewgill.

OCT 3, 2023 Article

Howling at the Moon? China’s Wolf Warrior Transition in Space

As Xi Jinping's China tries to soften its "wolf warrior" style of diplomacy, how is this reflected in its space policy?