Melissa Griffith


Melissa K. Griffith was a Cybersecurity Pre-doctoral Fellow at CISAC for the year 2019-2020. Melissa is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and an affiliated researcher at the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC). Her researches lie at the intersection of security and technology, with a focus on national defense. Griffith's dissertation examines how pre-existing models for kinetic national defense (air, land, and sea) effects the subsequent organization and efficacy of national cyber-defense efforts. By focusing specifically on how a subset of relatively small yet successful states, the Mice that Roar, have pursued national cyber-defense, her research challenges two prevailing assumptions in security studies and cyber conflict scholarship: (1) that larger states with more resources will be better positioned to provide national defense for their populations and (2) that national cyber-defense, as a central task of states, represents a significant departure from the core requirements of national defense in the domains of air, land, and sea (i.e. that it represents a new type of defense problem for states to address). Her research is based on extensive fieldwork in Estonia, Finland, Israel, Singapore, and the U.S. She was a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University's Institute for International Science & Technology Policy (IISTP) in October 2018; a Visiting Research Fellow at the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy (ETLA) in Helsinki, Finland from 2017-2018; and a Visiting Researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium in Fall 2017. Griffith’s published work has appeared in the 'American Institute for Contemporary German Studies', 'Business and Politics', the ‘Centre for European Policy Studies', the 'Council on Foreign Relations'(1)(2),the 'Cyber Conflict Studies Association', and the 'Journal of Cyber Policy'. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Agnes Scott College (2011) and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2014).