Nancy K. Hayden is a Principle Systems Analyst at Sandia National Laboratories, where she is a member of the Strategic Foresight and Policy Analysis Group. At Sandia, she leads strategic foresight and policy analysis on how emerging technologies - such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomy, and Space - will impact human security and global stability. Dr. Hayden is an expert on the science of complex systems, and its applications to the nexus of international security, science and technology, and governance. She has led multi-disciplinary teams for the US government to address security issues that include nuclear energy safety and waste management, nuclear nonproliferation, counter-WMD, counter-terrorism, and cyber warfare. Dr. Hayden has also consulted with Governments of Canada, UK, and Sweden, and has contributed to the successful completion of bilateral efforts to secure dangerous nuclear materials in Russia and in China. She is one of a few people in the US to have visited the Chinese nuclear weapons research facilities in Mianyang, China.
Dr. Hayden earned a PhD in International Security and Economics at the Maryland School of Public Policy, where she remains a Research Fellow with the Center for International and Strategic Studies at the University of Maryland. Driven by a belief in, and commitment to, advancing the power of women to change the world, her academic research interests involve innovations in international interventions and local governance to transform conflict-ridden societies. She has conducted field research in the US, Europe, and Africa, interviewing hundreds of government officials, military personnel, civil society and non-governmental organizations, and humanitarian relief organizations. She is now pioneering applications of this research to the new field of peace engineering.
Dr. Hayden is a native of Dallas, Texas where she attended Ursuline High School. She is now a permanent resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is active in the local community. She enjoys fly-fishing, hiking and skiing, gourmet dining, the flourishing arts scene, visits from family, and occasional exchanges with Nobel Laureates at the Santa Fe Institute. She holds a BS in Math from the University of Texas at Austin, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and is a graduate of the executive program on nonviolent conflict at the Fletcher School of International Affairs at Tufts University. In addition to her community activities, Dr. Hayden is a member of Women in International Security and serves on the governing board of the Systems Dynamics Society.