Faculty Profile

Katya Drozdova

Katya Drozdova

Professor of Political Science

Email: drozdova@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2157
Office: McKenna Hall 220

Education: BA, Stanford University, 1996; MA, Stanford University, 1998; MPhil, New York University, 2006; PhD, New York University, 2008. At SPU since 2010.

Dr. Ekaterina “Katya” Drozdova is a professor of political science in the School of Business, Government, and Economics at Seattle Pacific University.  Prof. Drozdova has conducted research; extensively lectured at various public, policy, and educational venues; and taught courses on subjects ranging from Cybersecurity and Cyberpower, International Relations, Counterterrorism, and Global Security Strategy to Information Systems, Research Methods, and International Political Economy. Katya is the author of Quantifying the Qualitative: Information Theory for Comparative Case Analysis (SAGE, 2017) and has successfully utilized qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method techniques in her research program.

An expert on cyberpower, international relations, cybersecurity, foreign policy, counterterrorism, and U.S. national and global security, Dr. Drozdova has authored numerous articles and book-chapters including, among others, journal articles on “Reducing Uncertainty” published in International Studies Quarterly, on "Leaving Afghanistan" published in the Journal of Cold War Studies, and on “Early-Warning Detection of Terrorist Attacks” published in Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory. She also authored the chapter on “Civil Liberties and Security in Cyberspace” in The Transnational Dimension of Cyber Crime and Terrorism (Hoover Press). Professor Drozdova has earned a PhD and MPhil in Information Systems from New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business, Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences. Her MA in International Policy studies and BA in International Relations are from Stanford University. 

Professor Drozdova’s current research and publications broadly focus on problems of cyber power, geopolitical strategy, global security and reciprocity in international relations, particularly emphasizing American-Russian relations and issues of counterterrorism. Katya has built a long track record in the studies of conflict, with an emphasis on asymmetric low-tech threats in the high-tech age as well as on organizations’ use of their human and technological networks to survive in hostile or otherwise challenging conditions. Her research interests are in understanding how systemic risks and technology choices affect security strategies in diverse contexts: from dealing with the issues of deconfliction among the great powers – to exploring new frontiers in space & cyberspace – to countering terrorist or insurgent networks while securing cyber, energy, and other critical infrastructures.

Katya has been actively involved with leading policy, diplomatic, military, law enforcement, and business professionals in identifying mission-critical challenges and formulating effective global responses across multiple areas. Her recent work and publications have introduced a new methodology capable of providing deeper insights into complex socio-political processes even in situations of sparse or incomplete information access – common in a broad range of real-life settings: from the ‘fog of war’ of international crises and counter-terrorism operations to strategic business planning in highly dynamic competitive markets. These and many traditional tools are then successfully utilized by Katya in policy-relevant applications that have dealt with issues of U.S. national and international security—specifically addressing the problems of hybrid and asymmetric threats as well as with optimization of human and technological networks for improved success rate in complex political, military, and business environments.

Prof. Drozdova has been a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace as well as a principal investigator for “Mining Afghan Lessons from Soviet Era” (MALSE) research program, funded by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) Human Social Cultural and Behavioral (HSCB) Sciences program through the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department and the Naval Postgraduate School. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Washington, an affiliate with the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) at Stanford and Princeton Universities, a fellow at NYU’s Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution as well as Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). At CISAC, Katya has also been a member of the Consortium for Research on Information Security and Policy (CRISP) funded by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), which has brought together leading scholars as well as industry and government practitioners, including former directors of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Before coming to SPU, Katya has had extensive experience in the private sector, which spanned the range from working for such well-established S&P 500 market leader as Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) to being the first hired employee of a start-up, specializing in defense and technology applications.

Small image of Dr Katya Drozdova with Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-ThanDr. Drozdova’s recent international diplomacy engagements include the official hosting of the Prime Minister of the State of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, an SPU alumnus, during his campus visit to Seattle Pacific University in 2016.

Small image of Dr Katya Drozdova with US NSA Director Cyber Command Commander General Keith AlexanderAs part of her community outreach, Dr. Drozdova has led a public lecture event and conversation on “Hackers, Spies, and Freedom” with General Keith Alexander, world-renowned expert in cybersecurity, former longest-serving director of the NSA, first commander of U.S. Cyber Command, and the university’s featured speaker in 2015.

Small image of Dr Katya Drozdova with Madeleine AlbrightKatya’s earlier interview with the former U.S. Secretary of State and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright can be found in Response, Summer 2014


The Routledge Handbook of Religious Literacy, Pluralism, and Global Engagement.

Taylor and Francis, 2022

Chapter 26 titled “Geo-Religious Literacy, Orthodoxy, and Plurality in Russia: Prospects for Covenantal Pluralism” in The Routledge Handbook of Religious Literacy, Pluralism, and Global Engagement.  

Quantifying the Qualitative: Information Theory for Comparative Case Analysis

Sage Publications, 2017

Information Warfare and Organizational Decision-Making

Artech House Publishers, 2007

Chapter 8 titled “Crystal Ball: Quantitatively Estimating Impacts of Probes and Interventions on an Enemy Organization” in Information Warfare and Organizational Decision-Making.

The Transnational Dimension of Cyber Crime and Terrorism

Hoover Press, 2001

Chapter 5 titled “Civil Liberties and Security in Cyberspace” in The Transnational Dimension of Cyber Crime and Terrorism.

Other Selected Publications

Drozdova, Katya (2021) Strategic Faith in Russia: Cultural DNA and Managed Pluralism. The Review of Faith & International Affairs 19(2): 88-101, Summer. 

Drozdova, Katya, and Joseph H. Felter. (2019) Leaving Afghanistan: Enduring Lessons from the Soviet Politburo Journal of Cold War Studies MIT Press 21(4): 31-70, Fall 2019.

Drozdova, Katya. (2017) A Different “Special Relationship”: United States and Russia. Hoover Digest No. 1: 108-119. 

Drozdova, Katya, and Kurt Taylor Gaubatz. (2014) Reducing Uncertainty: Information Analysis for Comparative Case Studies. International Studies Quarterly 58(3): 633-645.

Drozdova, Katya, and Michael Samoilov. (2010) Predictive Analysis of Concealed Social Network Activities Based on Communication Technology Choices: Early-Warning Detection of Attack Signals from Terrorist Organizations. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 16(1): 61-88.

Drozdova, Katya. (2009) Intelligence Design. Hoover Digest No. 3. 

Drozdova, Katya. (2013) War in Afghanistan. In Encyclopedia of Military Science, edited by G. (Guenter) Kurt Piehler. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Vol. 4: 1598-1609.

Drozdova, Katya. (2010) Solving the Afghanistan Puzzle: A new research project follows the paper trail of Soviet involvement in Afghanistan—and suggests a great deal about our own involvement there today. Hoover Digest No. 4.

Drozdova, Katya, and Michael Samoilov. (2002) Security and Liberty: How to protect the nation against terrorism without sacrificing our liberty. Hoover Digest No. 1.

Drozdova, Katya. (2013) Methods for Mining MALSE Archives with U.S. National Security Applications. International Studies Association Annual Meeting Paper.

Drozdova, Katya. (2012) Divide and COIN: Evaluating Strategies toward Stability in Afghanistan and the Region. American Political Science Association Annual Meeting Paper.

Drozdova, Katya, and Joseph H. Felter. (2011) Assessing Relevant Lessons from the Soviet Experience in Afghanistan. American Political Science Association Annual Meeting Paper.

Drozdova, Katya. (2008) Emergent Leadership in Network Organizations. Proceedings of the 13th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium.

Drozdova, Katya. (2007) Dark Memories: A brief history of Soviet torturers and assassins, some of whom had second thoughts. Hoover Digest No. 3.

Drozdova, Ekaterina, and Barry M. Leiner. (1999) Critical Infrastructure: The Path Ahead. Proceedings of XIWT Symposium on Cross-Industry Activities for Information Infrastructure Robustness. Corporation for National Research Initiatives and Stanford University, CA: Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).

Drozdova, Katya, and Seymour Goodman. (1999) On Liberty in Cyberspace: Impact of the Internet on Human Rights. Stanford Journal of International Relations 1(2).

Drozdova, Katya, and Kevin Harrington. (1998) Analysis of the Workshop on ‘A Comparative Analysis of Approaches to the Protection of Fissile Materials’. In Proceedings of the Workshop at Stanford University July 28-30, 1997 edited by James E. Goodby, Ronald F. Lehman II, William C. Potter. Livermore, CA: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.