Mary Chesnut
Research Analyst


Mary Chesnut is an expert with CNA's Strategy, Plans, Policies, and Programs Division, where she is a member of the Russia Studies Program.

Her research topics include Russian military analysis and foreign policy, as well as nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy. Prior to joining CNA, Ms. Chesnut was the program manager of the Nuclear Security Working Group, a non-partisan organization founded by Dr. Janne Nolan at the George Washington University that provides Congress with unbiased guidance on issues ranging from nuclear deterrence to nonproliferation. Ms. Chesnut was a member of the 2019 Center for Strategic and International Studies Project on Nuclear Issues Nuclear Scholars' Initiative.

Ms. Chesnut holds a master's degree in National Security Studies from The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. She holds a bachelor's degree in Russian Studies from Rhodes College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She speaks Russian.


September 18, 2020

Mary Chesnut writes, "Due to a societal perception of women that permeates the highest levels of Ministry of Defense, the role of women in the Russian Armed Forces remains limited and gendered."

CSIS: "Women in the Russian Military"