Dr Fiona Cunningham

Non-Resident Fellow, Foreign Policy and Defence Program

Dr Fiona Cunningham

Dr Fiona Cunningham

    Dr Fiona Cunningham is a Non-Resident Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Non-Resident Scholar in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Research Affiliate of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    Fiona's research examines the relationship between technology and military strategy, with a focus on China. She has conducted extensive fieldwork on Chinese nuclear, space, and cybersecurity policy, including as a joint PhD research fellow at the Renmin University of China in Beijing in 2015-2016. Her research on nuclear strategy, cyber security, and maritime escalation dynamics has been published in outlets such as International Security, Security Studies, The Washington Quarterly, and quoted in the New York Times and the Economist.

    Fiona received her PhD in 2018 from the Department of Political Science at MIT, where she was a member of the Security Studies Program. She has also held research fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and the Cyber Security Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Previously, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University.

    Fiona holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations from the University of New South Wales, both with first-class honours. Before moving to the United States to commence her doctoral studies at MIT, she was a Research Associate in the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

    Areas of expertise

    • US-Asia relations
    • US foreign policy, defence and strategy