March 30, 2021

CNAS Names Stacie Pettyjohn Director of the Defense Program

Washington, March 30, 2021—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that Stacie Pettyjohn has been named Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program. Prior to joining CNAS, Dr. Pettyjohn spent over ten years at the RAND Corporation as a Political Scientist.

“Stacie’s expertise on defense strategy, force planning, and wargaming make her uniquely suited to lead the Center's Defense Program,” said CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine. “With Stacie at the helm, the team is poised to tackle the most critical, complicated, and controversial issues facing the Department of Defense while continuing its record of significant policy impact.”

At the RAND Corporation, Dr. Pettyjohn served most recently as the Director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program in Project Air Force, as previously as the co-director of the Center for Gaming. She has designed and led strategic and operational games that have assessed new operational concepts such as multi-domain operations (MDO); tested the impacts of new technology, such as human-machine collaboration and combat teaming; explored unclear phenomena such as gray zone tactics and information warfare; and examined nuclear escalation and warfighting. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and a TAPIR fellow at the RAND Corporation.

Dr. Pettyjohn has authored or co-authored reports on a wide range of issues, including readiness and responsiveness, the role of airpower in defeating the Islamic State, competition with Russia, possible war fighting scenarios with North Korea, and command and control of multi-national NATO amphibious forces. Additionally, she has crafted a large body of work on the United States' overseas posture, which explores the operational requirements, its vulnerability to attack, and the political access challenges that the United States faces.

Pettyjohn's work has also been published in academic journals such as Security Studies and International Negotiation, and her commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, Defense News, The National Interest, Asia Times, and The Daily Star. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in history and political science from the Ohio State University.

For more information or to request an interview with Dr. Pettyjohn, contact Cole Stevens at or call 202-695-8166.