Dr Max Smeets

Associate Fellow; Senior Researcher, Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich, and Director of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative


Dr Max Smeets is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich and Director of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative. He is the author of 'No Shortcuts: Why States Struggle to Develop a Military Cyber- Force’ (Oxford University Press & Hurst, 2022) and co-editor of ‘Deter, Disrupt or Deceive? Assessing Cyber Conflict as an Intelligence Contest’ (Georgetown University Press, 2023), with Robert Chesney, and published widely on cyber statecraft, strategy and risk.

Dr Smeets is an affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). He also lectures on cyber warfare and defence as part of the Senior Officer course at the NATO Defence College in Rome.

He was previously a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Stanford University CISAC and a College Lecturer at Keble College, University of Oxford. Dr Smeets has also held research and fellowship positions at New America, Columbia University SIPA, Sciences Po CERI, and NATO CCD COE. Before his academic career, he worked in finance in London and Amsterdam.

Dr Smeets received a BA in Economics, Politics and Statistics summa cum laude from University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University and an MPhil (Brasenose College) and DPhil (St. John’s College) in International Relations from the University of Oxford.