Matthew Kroenig

Dr. Matthew Kroenig is the deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the director of the Center’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative. In these roles, he leads the Center’s global strategy unit and supports the director in managing a bipartisan team of over 40 resident staff and an extensive network of nonresident experts. His own research focuses on US national security policy, great power competition with China and Russia, and strategic deterrence and weapons nonproliferation.

Dr. Kroenig has served in several positions in the U.S. Department of Defense and the intelligence community in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, including in the Strategy, Middle East, and Nuclear and Missile Defense offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the CIA’s Strategic Assessments Group. From 2017-2021, he was a Special Government Employee (SGE) and Senior Policy Adviser to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capability/Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy. In this role, he provided advice on matters relating to the formulation, drafting, coordination, and implementation of nuclear deterrence policy and strategy in support of the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review. He was a major contributor to formulating tailored deterrence strategies for China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. In 2011, he developed strategic options for addressing Iran’s nuclear program. In 2005, he was the principal author of the first-ever, US-government-wide strategy for deterring terrorist networks. For this work, he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. He is a featured character in the New York Times bestselling book, CounterstrikeThe Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign against Al Qaeda, by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker. He was a national security adviser on the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney (2012) and Marco Rubio (2016). He has testified before Congress and regularly consults with the White House, State Department, Pentagon, Congress, the intelligence community, and allied governments.

Dr. Kroenig is also a tenured professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University. A 2019 study in Perspectives on Politics ranked him one of the top 25 most cited political scientists of his generation.

He is the author or editor of seven books, including The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy versus Autocracy from the Ancient World to the US and China (Oxford University Press, 2020), which was Amazon’s #1 New Release in International Relations. The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy: Why Strategic Superiority Matters (Oxford University Press, 2018) was selected by the US Air Force for its professional reading list and was translated into Chinese and Korean. Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons (Cornell University Press, 2010) was awarded the International Studies Association Best Book Award, Honorable Mention. 

Dr. Kroenig co-authors the bi-monthly “Its Debatable” column at Foreign Policy.  His articles and commentary have appeared in many other publications, including: American Political Science Review, Annual Review of Political Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Organization, International Security, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Strategic Studies, Politico, Security Studies, Strategic Studies Quarterly, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, among others. He provides regular commentary for major broadcast media outlets, including on PBS Newshour, Fareed Zakaria GPS, CBS, BBC, CNN, Fox News, NPR All Things Considered, and C-SPAN. 

Previously, he was the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Security at Harvard University, and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Hertog Foundation, and the Stanton Foundation. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds an MA and PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkroenig.