Non-Resident Fellow, Foreign Policy and Defence Program
Dr Fiona Cunningham is a Non-Resident Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre. She is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology and conflict, with a focus on China. Her current research project explains how and why states use space, cyber and conventional missile weapons as substitutes for threats to use nuclear weapons to coerce each other.
Fiona's research on China’s nuclear strategy has been published twice in the quarterly journal, International Security. Fiona was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in 2018-9, a Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Cyber Security Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University in 2017-8, and a Joint PhD Research Fellow at the Renmin University of China, Beijing, in 2015-6.
She received her PhD in September 2018 from the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a member of the Security Studies Program. Fiona 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 honours.
She was a research associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney from 2009 until 2012, where she focused on nuclear issues.