Francesca Spidalieri, fellow for cyber leadership, leads the cybersecurity leadership development project at the Pell Center. Her research focuses on cybersecurity education and awareness. Spidalieri also contributes to research activities on cybersecurity at the U.S. Naval War College's Center for Cyber Conflict Studies under the mentorship of Chris Demchak.
Before joining the Pell Center, Spidalieri worked as a research analyst for Femin Ijtihad, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the study of Islamic jurisprudence and law in pursuit of gender equality, and as an interpreter assistant in Paris, France.
Spidalieri earned her M.A. in international affairs, with a concentration in international security studies and public international law, from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Her graduate thesis, "NATO-EU Relations: A Strategic Partnership in the Making," analyzed the implications of a stronger European security and defense policy on the NATO-EU relationship. Spidalieri also holds a B.A. in political science and international relations from the University of Milan, where she served as the faculty adviser for the university's delegations to the Model United Nations in New York and China.
A native of Catania, Italy, Spidalieri lives in Newport with her husband, Lt. Samuel Train. Fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish, she is also an Italian tutor in the U.S. for Italian companies.