Anna Knack

Photo of Anna Knack
Cambridge Office


M.A. in conflict studies and human rights, University of Utrecht; B.A. in politics and social policy, University of York


Anna Isabela Knack is an analyst working in the area of defence, security and infrastructure. She is the deputy lead of RAND Europe's Technology, Disruption and Uncertainty research workstream. Her research focuses on futures foresight, defence innovation, cybersecurity and the impact of emerging technologies, and socio-economic trends on the future operating environment and society.

She specialises in designing and conducting research leveraging futures foresight methodologies and approaches to support policymakers and senior defence decisionmakers, as well as other sectors' strategic decisionmaking in the context of deep uncertainty.

Knack has managed a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects for clients including the European Defence Agency, European Commission (DG Migration and Home Affairs, DG Trade), European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, Europol, Eurofound, the UK Ministry of Defence (Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre; Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), UK Strategic Command, UK Army HQ, UK Home Office, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the French Ministry of Defence, the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, and the Estonian government.

Prior to joining RAND, she worked for a conflict mediation organisation in Myanmar that provides technical expertise in support of the peace process, providing analytical support and conducting field diplomacy missions in Myanmar and Thailand. She also conducted conflict risk analysis for International Crisis Group's Research Unit, monitoring developments in military acquisitions, sectarian tensions, peace processes, democratic transitions and violent extremism in East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. 

Recent Projects

  • Future technology horizon scanning
  • Supporting activities on cybersecurity strategies, indexes and frameworks
  • Understanding the forces influencing defence innovation
  • Exploring the implications of climate change for UK defence and security
  • UK defence supply chain development: pilot concepts to increase competitiveness and productivity


English; German; Tagalog; French


  • UK Royal Navy 3 Commando Brigade land in Norway as part of demanding winter exercises, photo by PO Phot Si Ethell/Royal Navy Open Government License

    Standing Together on NATO's North Flank: UK-Norwegian Defence Cooperation

    The UK and Norway share a long and close history, bound by shared experiences as seafaring nations whose political, cultural, and economic development have been shaped in part by their exploitation of the North Sea and North Atlantic. Much could remain to be gained from continuing to deepen and evolve their longstanding partnership to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.

    Dec 9, 2020 LUFTLED

  • A surgeon poses before a procedure supported by a tablet computer to access and visualize planning data, Hamburg, Germany, August 15, 2013

    How VR and AR Could Transform the Health Sector

    Immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality allow users to behave how they would in the real world, but in an artificial environment. Both technologies can help train medical professionals, deliver health services and improve the health outcomes of NHS users. But they also risk displacing workers in the health sector.

    Feb 20, 2018 Digital Health

  • Three scientists working in a lab looking at petri dishes

    Can Open Science Help to Make Research More Accessible?

    The leading principle of open science is that anyone, whether they are part of the research community or the public, should be able to access scientific knowledge. Free circulation of knowledge, the sharing of research results, and transparency of methodology are core tenets of the scientific method.

    Oct 13, 2017 Observatory for a Connected Society app