D3P is led by Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director of the Belfer Center and former Assistant Secretary of Defense. Prior to his July 2015 appointment as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Rosenbach served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security.
In 2017, Rosenbach recruited Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, and Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign manager, to join D3P as Fellows and co-founders.
“Americans across the political spectrum agree that political contests should be decided by the power of ideas, not the skill of foreign hackers,” Rosenbach said. “Cyber deterrence starts with strong cyber defense — and this project brings together key partners in politics, national security, and technology to generate innovative ideas to safeguard our key democratic institutions.”
“Over the last two years, nearly every election on both sides of the Atlantic has been affected by foreign cyber attacks, including Hillary Clinton’s in 2016,” said Mook. “Many foreign countries, and even terrorist organizations, exploit digital technology to advance their agendas and influence public narratives abroad. This project will find practical solutions to help both parties and civic institutions that are critical to our elections better secure themselves and become more resilient to attacks.”
“Cyber attacks on campaigns and elections are a threat to our democracy and affect people of all political stripes,” said Rhoades. “Foreign actors could target any political party at any time, and that means we all need to work together to address these vulnerabilities. This project will bring together not just different parties and ideologies, but subject matter experts from cyber security, national security, technology, and election administration to make a difference.”
D3P focuses on creating accessible and actionable tools to promote knowledge and support decisionmakers. Eric Rosenbach testified that “Disruptions to American elections are a whole-of-nation threat that requires a whole of government response. In the face of these threats, Congress needs to take the lead on securing our democracy. We will never be able to eliminate the cyber and information risks posed by our adversaries to elections, but we can manage this risk effectively by prioritizing actions to secure our elections now.”