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Michael Connell, Ph.D.

Michael Connell, Ph.D.

Principal Research Scientist

Michael Connell is a Middle East and Russia specialist, and his primary area of expertise is Iran’s armed forces. His research includes foreign military capabilities and intentions, strategic signaling, maritime security cooperation and engagement, space and counterspace operations, U.S. force posture alternatives, and cyber operations.

While at CNA, he has directed more than 50 research projects for government sponsors, including several projects related to Russia’s military and security services. Connell has also served as CNA’s field representative to the headquarters of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Bahrain. Prior to joining CNA, Connell served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.

Connell earned his doctorate in history and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University and his Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern studies from Brandeis University. He is proficient in Persian and French.

Areas of Expertise

Geographic areas of expertise: Middle East Russia