Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center
Alena Popova is a Russian opposition politician and a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center. In 2021, she ran for election to the State Duma. In October 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice designated her as a “foreign agent.” In her work at the Wilson Center, Alena focuses on research and policymaking to counter digital authoritarian regimes around the world that extensively use big data and AI for surveillance, control, and manipulation of citizens, as well as for strengthening their military to conduct conventional, cognitive, and cyber wars. Alena is also a women’s rights activist. She is one of the co-authors of the first anti-domestic violence laws in Russia and is currently coordinating efforts to pass this bill. More than 950,000 people have signed her petition for the adoption of this law. Alena has prepared several other bills aimed at protecting women’s rights in Russia, including an anti-harassment law. Before joining the Wilson Center, Alena was a fellow at The Davis Center at Harvard University. She holds a law degree from Kutafin Moscow State Law University and a journalism degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University.