Carnegie Mellon University

Molly Dunigan

Molly Dunigan

Lecturer, Institute for Politics and Strategy

  • Wean 8125


Molly Dunigan is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an instructor in the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests center on international security, with a focus on private military and security contractors, civil–military relations, irregular warfare, counterinsurgency, security force assistance, maritime security, and arms control. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a US Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship, a US State Department Foreign Language Areas Studies Fellowship, and an International Studies Association Catalytic Research Grant.

Prominent among Dunigan's published work are Victory for Hire: Private Security Companies' Impact on Military Effectiveness (Stanford University Press, 2011), The Markets for Force: Privatization of Security Across World Regions (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming in 2015), and the RAND reports Hired Guns: Views About Armed Contractors in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Cotton et al., 2010) and Out of the Shadows: The Health and Well-Being of Private Contractors Working in Conflict Environments (Dunigan et al., 2013).

An internationally recognized expert on private security contracting, Dunigan's work on this topic has been cited in USA Today, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes Magazine. Dunigan's publications have been favorably reviewed in Military Review, The Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, The Journal of Military History, Survival, Parameters, and The Boston Globe, and her op-eds have appeared in The Hill, U.S. News & World Report, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Dunigan received her PhD in government from Cornell University in 2008.


Burns, Rachel, Molly Dunigan, Carrie Farmer, Alison Hawks, and Claude Messan Setodji, Out of the Shadows: The Health and Well Being of Private Contractors Working in Conflict Environments. RAND Corporation (RR-420) 2013.

Camm, Frank, Molly Dunigan, Nancy Young Moore, Samantha Cherney, Clifford Grammich, Judith Mele, Evan Peet, and Anita Szafran. A Review of Alternative Methods to Inventory Contracted Services in the Department of Defense. RAND Corporation (RR 1704OSD) 2017.

Chalk, Peter, Molly Dunigan, Dick Hoffmann, Brian Nichiporuk, and Paul DeLuca. Characterizing and Exploring the Implications of Maritime Irregular Warfare. RAND Corporation (MG-1127) 2012.

Cherney, Samantha, Molly Dunigan, Michael Schwille, Katherine Hastings, Brian Nichiporuk, and Peter Schirmer. Human Capital Needs for the Department of Defense Operational Contract Support Planning and Integration Workforce. RAND Corporation (RR 1847OSD/JS) 2017.

Cohen, Raphael, Molly Dunigan, Christopher Schnaubelt, Gian Gentile, Jaime Hastings, Joshua Klimas, Jefferson Marquis, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Bonnie Triezenberg, and Michelle Ziegler. Sustaining the Army's Reserve Components as an Operational Force. RAND Corporation (RR 1495A) 2017.

Dunigan, Molly. The Markets for Force: Privatization of Security Across World Regions. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Dunigan, Molly, Susan Sohler Everingham, Todd Nichols, Michael Schwille, Susanne Sondergaard. Expeditionary Civilians: Creating a Viable Practice of Department of Defense Civilian Deployment. RAND Corporation (RR 975OSD), 2016.

Paul, Christopher, Colin P. Clarke, Beth Grill, and Molly Dunigan"Moving Beyond Population-Centric vs. Enemy-Centric Counterinsurgency." Small Wars & Insurgencies 27, no.6 (2016): 1019-1042. DOI:10.1080/09592318.2016.1233643