Timothy P. McDonnell
Research Scientist


Timothy P. McDonnell is a research analyst in CNA's Strategy and Policy Analysis program. His expertise is in nuclear weapons policy, including nuclear strategy, deterrence and extended deterrence, arms control, and the relationship between nuclear posture and foreign policy. In addition to his focus on nuclear policy, McDonnell also studies modern conventional warfare.

ining CNA, McDonnell was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as well as a nuclear strategy and policy analyst with ANSER. He has also been a pre-doctoral fellow at the George Washington University's Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, a research associate for MIT Seminar XXI (a professional education program for military officers and national security professionals), and a RAND summer associate, where his research supported US Army maneuver short-range air defense (M-SHORAD) programs.

McDonnell earned his PhD in political science at MIT, where he was a member of the Security Studies Program. He also holds an MA from the George Washington University and a BA from Wheaton College.


August 24, 2020

Timothy McDonnell writes, "With his detailed account of the relationship between intelligence inputs and U.S. nuclear policy choices at the dawn of the nuclear age, Houghton has surfaced an enduring issue of fundamental importance."

Texas National Security Review: "This Could Be the Start of Something Big"

June 25, 2020

Timothy McDonnell writes, "The US approach to France illustrates that the United States has neither rigidly opposed nor selectively allowed proliferation to allies."

The Nonproliferation Review: "Figuring It Out the Hard Way: America, France, and the Challenges of Allied Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons, 1958–63"