National security challenges. Cyber threats. Resource Scarcity. Data Privacy.

These are wicked problems — security challenges that are global in scale, borderless by nature, interdependent and often have no clear solutions. These threats are driven by complex, interwoven sets of factors. They require a novel, more holistic approach centered on interdisciplinary research that spans the public, private and academic sectors. GSI is ASU’s answer to those challenges. An initiative of ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development, we develop practical mission-relevant approaches and effective decision-oriented tools for policymakers and implementers, drawing upon our faculty’s expertise and connections with the defense, security and diplomacy communities. The goal is nothing short of enhanced national security and global impact.

Exceptional people. Impactful ideas. Trusted expertise.


Nadya T. Bliss

Executive Director of the Global Security Initiative

Nadya T. Bliss is a computer scientist with expertise in national security research and engineering, cybersecurity, graph algorithms, and disinformation. As the Executive Director of GSI, she leads ASU efforts to advance research, education, and other programming at the intersection of technology and national security. Prior to joining ASU, Bliss spent a decade at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. She is a Professor of Practice in ASU’s School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence.

Actively involved in national service, she is the chair of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Science and Technology Study Group and the chair of the Computing Community Consortium. She also serves on multiple National Academies engagements, including: the Cyber Resilience Forum; Climate Security Roundtable; Ad-Hoc Committee Examining Defense-Related STEM Activities at Minority Institutions; and a Standing Committee on Transformative Science and Technology for the Department of Defense.  In July 2024, she was appointed as a member of the National Academies’ Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) and as chair of its Panel on Assessment of Network, Cyber, and Computational Sciences.

Nathan Evans

Senior Director

Nathan Evans oversees GSI’s daily operations and supports and advises the executive director. Prior to joining GSI in 2017, Nathan worked primarily in the international development and non-profit sectors. He was most recently the executive director of a non-profit organization. Prior to that, he served as a democracy and governance advisor in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Middle East Bureau, and as office director for the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI) West Bank and Gaza programs. He has lived and worked in West Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. He holds a Master’s Degree in international relations from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire.

Center leadership

Accelerating Operational Efficiency

Cybersecurity and Trusted Foundations

Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming

Narrative, Disinformation and Strategic Influence

Functional contacts

Large-scale interdisciplinary work in the field of national and global security is challenging but worth the effort. These are the projects that can advance disciplinary state-of-the-art research with the potential to create new fields, make progress on grand challenges while also leading to nearer term impact, and elevate entire teams and instill leadership.

Nadya Bliss Executive Director of the Global Security Initiative