Fiona Cunningham


Fiona Cunningham is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University and a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2020-21. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation in 2018-2019.

Fiona’s research interests lie at the intersection of technology and conflict, with an empirical focus on China. Fiona’s current book project explains how and why states coerce their adversaries with threats to use space, cyber and conventional missile weapons as substitutes for nuclear threats in limited wars. Her research on Chinese nuclear strategy has been published in International Security and supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, China Confucius Studies Program and the MIT Center for International Studies. Fiona was a Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Cyber Security Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in 2017-2018. She conducted fieldwork in China as a joint Ph.D. research fellow at the Renmin University of China in Beijing in 2015-2016. Fiona received her Ph.D. in 2018 from the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a member of the Security Studies Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, both with first-class honors.