Michael Connell, Ph.D.
Principal Research Scientist


Michael Connell is an expert in Persian-Gulf security-related issues, the armed forces of Iran, U.S.-GCC security cooperation, and adversary cyber policy and strategy. He has served as CNA's Field Analyst to Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

Prior to joining CNA, Connell was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.

Connell has a Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and a B.A. in Near East Studies from Brandeis University. He speaks Persian and French.


September 1, 2018

Michael Connell says, “Russian hackers appear to be broadening their target set, but I think tying it to the midterm elections is pure speculation at this point.”

The Associated Press: “As Elections Approach, What Is the Risk of Russian Meddling?”

May 9, 2018

Michael Connell says that moving U.S. military resources away from the Middle East is, "going to be tougher if Iran is misbehaving," as a result of the U.S. withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

The Washington Post: "Mattis, Who Supported Staying in Iran Deal, Holds out Hope for Curtailing Tehran"

April 26, 2018

Michael Connell says, "When we did Stuxnet, it was designed to achieve a very specific purpose. We designed it to be non-lethal and restricted, to affect only the centrifuges associated with Iran's nuclear program. Its effects were designed to be tactical in nature."

Real Clear Politics: "Cyber Adversaries: It's Not Just Russia"

July 30, 2017

Buzzfeed News quotes CNA analyst Michael Connell, Ph.D. in “Inside Iran’s Mission to Dominate the Middle East”

June 7, 2017

The Loopcast interviews CNA analyst Michael Connell, Ph.D. in “Iran’s Military and Armed Forces with Michael Connell”

May 8, 2017

CNA’s Center for Strategic Studies releases Russia’s Approach to Cyber Warfare by CNA analysts Michael Connell, Ph.D. and Sarah Vogler