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Julia McQuaid

Vice President and Director (acting), Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs Division

Julia McQuaid is the director of CNA’s Strategy and Policy Analysis Program and acting vice president for the Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs Division. She has more than 20 years of experience supporting the U.S. government on a range of national security challenges. This work has included research and analysis of adversary threats, defense and Navy strategy, maritime security, climate security, and natural resource competition, especially illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. She has extensive experience related to U.S. partners and allies in key regions of the world, across a range of defense and security issues.

In recent research, McQuaid has examined the complex links between climate change and conflict and instability in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. She works closely with Pentagon offices and combatant commands as they integrate climate change into strategic and operational planning processes. Her analytical leadership has also been critical to wargames aimed at understanding and identifying solutions to global challenges such as strategic competition in the context of climate change and resource competition. She is a consultant on the DOD’s Defense Science Board and supported its 2023 Summer Study on Climate Change and Global Security.

McQuaid has a Master of Arts in Arab studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in French and government from Franklin & Marshall College.