Carnegie Mellon University

Molly Dunigan

Molly Dunigan

Lecturer, Institute for Politics and Strategy

  • Wean 8125


Molly Dunigan is a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, and a lecturer in Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Politics and Strategy. Her research interests focus on military privatization, outsourcing, operational contract support, strategic competition, civil–military relations, civilian deployment, counterinsurgency, and maritime security. 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, 2015), and a number of RAND reports on various personnel and strategy-related issues. An internationally recognized expert on private security contracting, Dunigan's work on this topic has been cited in USA TodayTime Magazine,Washington PostUS News & World ReportForbes, and National Public Radio.

Dunigan's publications have been favorably reviewed in Military ReviewThe Journal of Military and Strategic StudiesThe Journal of Military HistorySurvivalParameters, and The Boston Globe, and her op-eds have appeared in The National InterestUSA TodayThe HillUS News & World Report, and The Christian Science Monitor. Dunigan received her PhD in Government with a specialization in International Relations and Military Studies from Cornell University.


Batka, Caroline Molly Dunigan and  Rachel Burns, Private military contractors’ financial experiences and incentives, Defense & Security Analysis, 36:2, 161-179. 2020

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