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Oct 7 2009   3:03PM GMT

Melissa Hathaway joins Harvard’s Kennedy School as senior advisor

Robert Westervelt Robert Westervelt Profile: Robert Westervelt

Melissa Hathaway will help the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs contribute to a joint Department of Defense project.

Former acting director for cyberspace Melissa Hathaway, who advised the White House on cybersecurity issues and policies for two administrations before resigning in August, was named senior advisor to shape cybersecurity research at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Hathaway, who led a 60-day review of the country’s cybersecurity policies and structures for the Obama administration, will work with researchers at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She started Oct. 1.

Harvard is looking to add Hathaway’s contributions to Project Minerva, a joint research project focusing on cybersecurity and international affairs. It is being conducted by officials at the Department of Defense, and researchers at Harvard and MIT. Funding comes from both the DOD and the National Science Foundation. From what is known about the DOD project, research has so far focused on China as a global threat and fundamentalist Islamic issues tied to terrorism. Harvard said “the project explores a wide range of the issues within cybersecurity from the contexts of international relations theory and practice.”

The project is not without controversy as some researchers have objected to allocating funds toward getting independent university researchers focused on military objectives.

Harvard said Hathaway will identify policy gaps in international relations with regards to cybersecurity. Hathaway plans to publish at least two papers and contribute to classes at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School.

From the Harvard press release:

“There are at least 20 international venues that are determining the future of the information communications infrastructure,” Hathaway said. “Our nation needs to determine what it collectively needs and wants – and find ways to foster public and private shared goals.”

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