PULSE: In the News

Carnegie Mellon Names Kiron Skinner University Adviser on National Security Policy

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has named Kiron Skinner as its adviser on national security policy. In this role, Skinner, a renowned expert in international relations, U.S. foreign policy and political strategy, will build on the growing and diverse network that Carnegie Mellon has with the national security community in Washington, D.C. — both inside and outside of government. She is the first person to hold this position at CMU.

“Kiron Skinner is well-respected and well-connected within the national security community, and she consistently attracts top-level officials to CMU for talks and technical briefings in areas in which Carnegie Mellon excels, such as robotics, cyber security, public policy and information technology,” said CMU President Jared L. Cohon. “Kiron is also a leader in shaping new educational programs to prepare emerging military and national security leaders for the evolving technical and policy challenges they will face. I expect the entire university to benefit from having her in this new role.”

Skinner, who joined the CMU faculty in 1999, is an associate professor of social and decision sciences within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She also is founding director of the university’s Center for International Relations and Politics (CIRP), which uses analytical social science and interdisciplinary research to better understand, explain, anticipate and solve public policy problems.

In her new role, Skinner said she hopes “to create more opportunities for national thought leaders to become aware of the cutting-edge research at CMU as well as have a better understanding when and how basic science is policy relevant.”

She added, “I also want to assist faculty and university administrators in positioning Carnegie Mellon as one of the most important research universities in the interesting landscape of scholars’ contributions to national readiness.”

Among those that Skinner has invited to interact with the CMU community are leading scholars and international thought leaders in various areas of international politics, culture, markets and technology.

Skinner currently serves on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She recently was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to the Governor’s Advisory Committee on African American Affairs. From 2001-2007, she was a member of the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board as an adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Additionally, she is the coauthor, along with political scientists Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Condoleezza Rice, of “The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin,” which is now used in political science courses at leading research universities.

Carnegie Mellon is home to some of the world’s leading researchers, and largest academic research centers in robotics, cyber security, software engineering, machine learning, human computer interaction, mobile and cloud computing, social and decision sciences and public policy. Collaboration across and at the intersection of these disciplines enables Carnegie Mellon faculty to provide valuable work that directly impacts the United State’s national security.