Ben Flatgard in conversation: Hacking the 2016 US election



23 November 2017


The University of Sydney Business School Lecture Theatre 1, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW 2000


Public forum


Free, registration required

The Russian campaign to hack the 2016 presidential election was designed to undermine confidence in American democracy. While potential collusion and the role of social media are the focus of current investigations, the tactical operation was much broader. It was comprised of cyber-attacks on politicians, government agencies, and the voting systems themselves. The full picture is only starting to be revealed. But the primary objectives have undoubtedly been achieved – domestic mistrust and political instability, as well as diminished American leadership capacity abroad.

Alliance 21 Fellow Ben Flatgard, former Director of Cybersecurity Policy on the National Security Council under President Obama was in conversation with Simon Jackman, CEO of the United States Studies Centre and discussed why Russian hacking proved so successful and how the United States, Australia, and other democracies might address the challenge of foreign interference in the future.


  • Ben Flatgard
    Ben Flatgard
    Alliance 21 Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Ben Flatgard is the 2017 Alliance 21 Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He is founder and principal of Cycise, LLC, a security consultancy and technology company. He served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2017, most recently as Director for Cybersecurity Policy on the National Security Council.

  • Professor Simon Jackman
    Professor Simon Jackman

    Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.

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