Fiona Cunningham is a nonresident scholar in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow in 2020-21. She is also an assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology and conflict, with an emphasis on China. Her current research project examines China’s decisions to use space, cyber, and conventional missile weapons to coerce its adversaries instead of nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War era.
Fiona was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in 2018-2019 and 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’s research has been published in International Security, Security Studies, the Washington Quarterly and others, and was supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, China Confucius Studies Program, and the MIT Center for International Studies. She was previously assistant professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University.
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.