Thomas M. Sanderson

  • Thomas Sanderson is codirector and senior fellow in the CSIS Transnational Threats Project, where he works on terrorism, transnational crime, global trends, Central Asia, and intelligence issues. With fieldwork across nearly 60 countries, Sanderson engages all manner of sources including extremists, insurgents, foreign intelligence officials, nongovernmental organizations, clergy, and academics. He has authored or coauthored 13 major CSIS reports, as well as opinion pieces and articles in the New York Times, Economist, Washington Post, West Point CTC Sentinel, and Harvard Asia-Pacific Review.

    Sanderson recently codirected an al Qaeda futures study, a Central Asia Islamic revival study, and currently codirects an investigation of emerging trends in militancy across South Asia. From 2004 to 2009, he led the CSIS open source counterterrorism project, designing and moderating two major studies on threats in Europe and Southeast Asia. He also codirected a project on the geopolitical implications of the U.S. Northern Distribution Network (military supply lines to Afghanistan) and another on Central Asian terrorists operating between the Ferghana Valley and South Waziristan. Sanderson serves as a course instructor and consultant for the U.S. government and the private sector on terrorism, China, and global threats. He provides expert commentary for the media and courts of law. With Science Applications International Corporation (1998–2002), he researched terrorism for the Defense Intelligence Agency, and in the winter of 2005, he completed a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2001, he held a fellowship at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Sanderson received a B.A. from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and an M.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.