Sina Beaghley

Photo of Sina Beaghley
Associate Director, Cyber and Intelligence Policy Center; National Security Research Division; Senior International/Defense Researcher
Santa Monica Office


M.A. in international affairs/international security, George Washington University; B.A. in political science/media communications, University of San Diego

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This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Sina Beaghley is associate director of the Cyber and Intelligence Policy Center and a senior international/defense policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on national security issues including counterterrorism, counterintelligence/insider threat, personnel vetting/security clearance reform, cyber strategy/policy, and surveillance/privacy tensions. Beaghley came to RAND after more than a decade of service in the U.S. government developing and implementing national security policies. Previously she served as director for Intelligence and Information Security on the National Security Council staff where she coordinated the review of intelligence capabilities and priorities in response to 2013-2014 unauthorized disclosures related to the National Security Agency, and advised the president and national security advisor on foreign relations and intelligence policy. Prior to that, Beaghley was the chief for Near East and Africa planning at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) where she directed the development of national-level counterterrorism plans. Beaghley served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she developed policy for special operations, counterterrorism, cyberspace operations, and defense activities in the Middle East. She also deployed as a planner with a Joint Task Force in Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Previously, she served at the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Science and Technology and the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Violent Crimes. She received her M.A in international affairs at the George Washington University and her B.A. in political science and media communications from the University of San Diego.


  • American whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen on a screen as he delivers a speech during the Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark, June 28 2016, photo by Scanpix Denmark/Mathias Loevgreen Bojesen/via Reuters

    A Snowden Pardon Could Have a Snowball Effect on Protecting National Security Secrets

    If President Trump were to pardon Edward Snowden, then he might encourage vigilante behavior that puts at risk the very sensitive information and operations—meaning American interests and lives—that the U.S. national security system is intended to protect.

    Sep 4, 2020 The National Interest

  • A cache of guns and ammunition uncovered by U.S. federal investigators in the home of U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson in Silver Spring, Maryland, February 20, 2019, photo by U.S. Attorney's Office Maryland/Reuters

    Overdue Overhaul: Security Clearance Reform in a Decade of Leakers, Spies, and Insider Threats

    With the legislative and executive branches seemingly on the same page regarding the need for changes to the security clearance and vetting system, long overdue reform appears to be within reach.

    Apr 15, 2019 RealClearDefense

  • Hacker on a laptop

    Have a Victim Response Plan for Data Breaches

    In a large data breach, there could be a real risk to victims' financial or personal security. Though responsible organizations should do everything in their power to ensure data is protected in the first place, they also should prepare a plan to ensure prompt victim response.

    Oct 2, 2018 The Wall Street Journal’s Cybersecurity Bulletin

  • Credit cards, a chain, an open padlock, and a computer keyboard are visible next to the Equifax logo

    Equifax and the Data-Breach Era

    The personal and financial data of almost 146 million U.S. consumers has been compromised by the Equifax breach, the latest in a long line of high-profile hacks. Do consumers worry enough about such breaches? And what options are available to Congress?

    Oct 18, 2017 The Hill

  • Binary code bursts from phones held by a crowd of people with an overlay of glowing electronic numbers

    What Is the Adversary Likely to Do with the Clearance Records for 20 Million Americans?

    The state actor that hacked the Office of Personnel Management could use the stolen information to further its domestic control against dissidents, enhance its foreign intelligence, and improve its position in the global military and economic order.

    Jan 20, 2017 Inside Sources

  • A person looking at top secret files with a magnifying glass

    Defining a New Paradigm for Government Secrecy

    Technology has afforded the U.S. national security apparatus incredible capabilities, along with equally monumental challenges and risks. The government has the option to choose whether to adjust by taking a proactive approach or to allow external forces to determine the future of its secrets.

    Oct 13, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • Demonstrators hold up their signs during the Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance march near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 26, 2013

    The USA Freedom Act: The Definition of a Compromise

    The USA Freedom Act does not 'balance' privacy and national security, nor is it clear that any legislation can credibly do so. There's no monolithic view of what such a balance should look like.

    May 29, 2015 The Hill