Simon Handler is a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative under the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab). His research focuses on the Middle East, cyber conflict, counterterrorism, and how technologies enable irregular warfare. He is also the editor-in-chief of the 5×5, an Atlantic Council series on trends and themes in cyber policy. Previously, he was assistant director of the Initiative, a role in which he managed a wide range of projects at the nexus of geopolitics and cyberspace. He led the Initiative’s work on mission resilience, defense aerospace, and cloud security and policy.

Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Handler served as a special assistant in the United States Senate, where he worked on foreign policy issues. During his time on the Hill, he was a congressional fellow with the Wilson Center’s Congressional Cybersecurity Lab and Congressional Artificial Intelligence Lab, and a part of the East-West Center’s Congressional Staff Program on Asia.

He has provided expert commentary for television and published numerous articles, including in War on the Rocks, Lawfare, The Hill, The Jerusalem Post, Austin American-Statesman, The National Interest, Nextgov, the New Atlanticist, MENASource, and the Modern War Institute at West Point.

Handler holds an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he was the associate editor for defense of the Georgetown Security Studies Review. He received his BA in both International Relations & Global Studies and Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures from the University of Texas at Austin.

Handler was recognized as one of the “40 Under 40” professionals shaping the present and future of Middle East affairs by the Middle East Policy Council. He is originally from Stamford, Connecticut. He speaks Arabic and some Hebrew, and is also a Certified Bourbon Steward.