Lauren M. Speranza is the associate director for the Transatlantic Security Initiative in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing a robust portfolio of NATO and European security and defense programming, policy research, and business development. Lauren’s research focuses on defense and deterrence in Europe, hybrid warfare, and NATO-European Union relations. She is co-author of the report Meeting the Russian Hybrid Challenge: A Comprehensive Strategic Framework, and her work has been featured in several publications and media outlets, including Newsweek, US News and World Report, and Real Clear Defense. Prior to joining the Council, Lauren worked with the start-up Horizon Intelligence as a political and security risk analyst. Previously, Lauren worked in the Executive and Protocol Offices of the US Consulate General in Milan, Italy. Other past work experiences include the International Affairs Council, the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum, and several local North Carolina State political campaigns. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Elon University in North Carolina with a BA in political science and international studies and a concentration in European studies. Lauren also received an MA in international conflict and security from the Brussels School of International Studies in Belgium, where she focused on European foreign and security policy, NATO-EU cooperation, and crisis management. She speaks Italian.