Dr. Polyakova will lead CEPA at a critical moment for the future of transatlantic relations and the international order. She brings over a decade of leadership experience and deep expertise on European politics, Russian foreign policy, and digital technologies.
She comes to CEPA from the Brookings Institution, where she was the Founding Director for Global Democracy and Emerging Technology and Fellow in the Foreign Policy program. Previously, she served as Director of Research for Europe and Eurasia at the Atlantic Council, where she developed and led the institute’s work on disinformation and Russia.
“We are excited to have Alina as CEPA’s new leader,” said Larry Hirsch, Chairman of the CEPA Board of Directors. “Her success in designing, building, and growing two innovative initiatives from scratch shows that she is a strong leader. Her skills will help CEPA deepen our policy impact and grow the institute at a critical moment in the history of transatlantic relations.”
“I am thrilled to lead CEPA, an organization committed to transatlanticism, into the next decade at a pivotal moment for the future of Europe,” said Dr. Polyakova. “At a time of increasing geopolitical competition, our guiding mission to better understand the future of Europe in the world is more urgent now than ever. I look forward to working with CEPA’s talented and diverse team to find solutions to the common challenges facing democracies.”
“CEPA has been a pioneer in analyzing U.S. alliances in Central and Eastern Europe and explaining why they hold global rather than merely regional importance for the United States,” said CEPA Vice Chairman A. Wess Mitchell. “Alina’s understanding of emerging trends in technology and geopolitics make her an ideal leader for ensuring that CEPA continues this tradition in ways that are adapted to the new strategic environment confronting the United States and its allies.”
“CEPA has a world-class team of experts. I am immensely proud of the impact we’ve made,” said Peter B. Doran, outgoing CEPA President. “Alina’s leadership will greatly advance CEPA’s mission and strengthen the ties that bind the United States and Central Europe together.”
Dr. Polyakova is a recognized expert on transatlantic issues. She has written extensively on Russian political warfare, European security, digital authoritarianism, and the implications of emerging technologies to democracies. Her recent work at the intersection of digital technology and statecraft is particularly important at a time of great power competition. She is also the author of the book, The Dark Side of European Integration, and a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and The Atlantic, and commentator in major media outlets.
Dr. Polyakova has held numerous prestigious fellowships, including at the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Fulbright Foundation, among others.
She has been a professor of European Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the University of Bern. Dr. Polyakova holds a Ph.D. and MA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Economics and Sociology from Emory University. She is fluent in Russian and German.