Spies, Disinformation and Election-Meddling: Past and Present

November 5, 2019  |  12:15PM - 1:45PM
SRH 3.122 - LBJ School of Public Affairs

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the Clements Center for National Security, and the Intelligence Studies Project will host Calder Walton, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy at Harvard University, for a talk on “Spies, Disinformation and Election-Meddling: Past and Present.”


Calder Walton is an Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where he is also Assistant Director of the Applied History Project and a Fellow of the Intelligence Project.  Mr. Walton’s research is broadly concerned with intelligence history, grand strategy, and international relations. His research has a particular focus on policy-relevant historical lessons for governments and intelligence communities today.

Mr. Walton is currently undertaking two major research projects: he is general editor of the multi-volume Cambridge History of Espionage and Intelligence to be published by Cambridge University Press. Over three volumes, with 90 chapters by leading scholars, this project will be a landmark study of intelligence, exploring its use and abuse in statecraft and warfare from the ancient world to the present day. In addition, Mr. Walton is writing a book about British and U.S. intelligence during the Cold War. This book informs current intelligence and national security issues by understanding their past. His research builds on his first (award-winning) book, Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War, and the Twilight of Empire (Harper-Press 2013). While pursuing a Ph.D. in History at Trinity College, Cambridge (UK), and then a Junior Research Fellowship also at Cambridge University, he was a lead researcher on Professor Christopher Andrew’s unprecedented official history of the British Security Service (MI5), Defend the Realm (2009). This research position gave him, for six years, privileged access to the archives of MI5, the world’s longest-running security intelligence agency.

As well as his research on intelligence history, Mr. Walton is also an English-qualified Barrister (attorney), and, among other matters, has worked on high-profile litigation and international arbitration cases involving government and national security issues and also regulatory investigations.