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Peter  Singer

Peter Singer

Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Founder of NeoLuddite & Bestselling Author

Biography

Peter Warren Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, founder of NeoLuddite, a technology advisory firm, the author of multiple award-winning books, and a contributing editor at Popular Science. Read More >

He has been named by the Smithsonian Institution-National Portrait Gallery as one of the 100 “leading innovators in the nation,” by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the ten most influential voices in the world on cyber security, and by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, of the people whose ideas most influenced the world that year.

Dr. Singer is considered one of the world’s leading experts on changes in 21st-century warfare. He has consulted for the US Military, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI, as well as advised a range of entertainment programs, including for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal, HBO, Discovery, History Channel, and the video game series Call of Duty, the best-selling entertainment project in history. He served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign’s defense policy task force and was named by the President to the US Military’s Transformation Advisory Group. He has provided commentary on security issues for nearly every major TV and radio outlet, including ABC, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. In addition to his work on conflict issues, Singer is a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy. In the entertainment sector, he has received awards/support from the Tribeca Film Institute, Sloan Filmmakers Fund, Film Independent, and FAST Track at the L.A. Film Festival.

His first book Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry pioneered the study of the new industry of private companies providing military services for hire, an issue that soon became important with the use and abuse of these companies in Iraq. It was named best book of the year by the American Political Science Association, among the top five international affairs books of the year by the Gelber Prize, and a “top ten summer read” by Businessweek. Singer advised the Defense Department, CIA, and the European Union on the issue and helped bring to light the role of private contractors in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the Halliburton controversies in Iraq.

Children at War was the first to comprehensively explore the tragic rise of child soldier groups and was recognized by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book of the Year Award. Singer served as a consultant on the issue to the Marine Corps, and the recommendations in his book resulted in changes in the UN peacekeeping training program. An accompanying History Channel documentary, “Child Warriors,” won a CINE Golden Eagle Award for excellence in the production of film and television.

Wired for War examined the implications of robotics and other new technologies for war, politics, ethics, and law in the 21st century. Described as “awesome” by Jon Stewart of the Daily ShowWired for War made the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list in its first week of release. It was named a non-fiction Book of the Year by The Financial Times and featured at venues as diverse as all three US military academies, The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, TED, and the royal court of the UAE. The book was made an official reading of the US Air Force, US Navy, US Army, and Royal Australian Navy.

Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know explores the key questions we all face in the cyber age (how it all works, why it all matters, and what we can do?). It was described by the Chairman of Google as “an essential read” and by the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO as “the most approachable and readable book ever written on the cyber world.” The book has been added to the US Navy and US Army professional reading lists and featured at venues like the Microsoft CEO Summit and South by Southwest festival.

Singer’s debut novel is Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War.  It melds nonfiction style research on emerging trends and technology with a fictional exploration of what war at sea, on land, in the air, space, and cyberspace will be like in the future. It has already received early praise from a unique group that ranges from US Navy Admirals to the writer of HBO Game of Thrones and the producer of Hunger Games.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Singer was the founding Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution. He was the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings’ 98-year history. Prior to that, he was the founding Director of the Project on US Policy Towards the Islamic World, where he was the organizer of the US-Islamic World Forum, a global leaders conference. He has also worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. Singer received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard and a BA from the Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Imagining the Future: Ghost Fleet and Its Real World Lessons

Singer is a bestselling author and consultant for groups that range from the US military to Hollywood, whose book Ghost Fleet broke new ground in creating the genre of what has been called "useful fiction." Read More >

It blended the style of a techno-thriller with nonfiction style research, leading to a learning experience that is both "a wild book, a real page-turner" (The Economist) and "a modern-day successor to tomes such as The Hunt For Red October from the late Tom Clancy" (USA Today), but also packed with lessons of the future of technology, geopolitics, and security.  Described by the Wall Street Journal as "one of Washington’s pre-eminent futurists," Singer has been invited to brief the approach and lessons of the book to groups that range from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to Congress and CEO summits. Read Less ^

Cybersecurity & CyberWar: What Everyone Needs to Know

There is no issue more important and yet less understood today than Cybersecurity.  Our entire way of life, from communication to commerce to conflict, fundamentally depends on the Internet. Read More >

The cybersecurity issues that result literally challenge everyone: politicians who wrestle with issues from cybercrime to online freedom; military generals protecting the nation from new forms of attack, while planning cyberwars, business executives defending firms from once unimaginable threats, lawyers and ethicists building new framework for right and wrong.  Most of all, cybersecurity challenges us as individuals, parents, and citizens.  The author of a book described by the chairman of Google as "an essential read" and by the head of NATO as "the most approachable and readable book ever written on the cyber world," Singer takes the audience through the key issues and questions that we all need to better understand: What is happening? What does it mean? And, most importantly, what can we do? Read Less ^

NextWar: The Future of Technology and Geopolitics

Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Cyberwar, 3D printing, bio-enhancements, and a new geopolitical competition; the 21st century is being shaped by a range of exciting, and scary, new trends and technologies.  Read More >

A bestselling author described by the Wall Street Journal as "one of Washington’s pre-eminent futurists," and a consultant for groups that range from the CIA and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to Hollywood and the Call of Duty video game series, Singer uses an exciting speaking style to explore for an audience the key trends emerging today that will shape the world of technology and security tomorrow. Read Less ^