Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome to the Institute for Strategic Analysis

Carnegie Mellon University’s status as a top-ranked university is attributable in part to a faculty engaged in, and committed to, interdisciplinary research with real-world implications. CMU scholars are known for esoteric scholarship, but even those involved in theoretical research also work alongside colleagues who focus primarily on applied studies.

Founded in the fall of 2013, the Institute for Strategic Analysis (ISA) serves as an intellectual resource for CMU faculty and for government officials who seek to apply basic research to matters of national security. Areas of concentration include terrorism, cyber challenges, war avoidance, intelligence, and the intersection of energy and security.  

In facilitating introductions between government leaders and CMU faculty, ISA helps sharpen the understanding of military and intelligence priorities, especially those involving cybersecurity. ISA is uniquely situated to inform the national conversation on cybersecurity precisely because its faculty members are deeply engaged in cybersecurity research. Furthermore, through CyLab, CMU has a well-established research center in cybersecurity. ISA routinely partners with CyLab in hosting government officials and other national thought leaders who are working on cyber challenges. 

Organizing scientific short courses and year-long seminars in cybersecurity and other military challenges for government officials is one of ISA’s primary activities. In these courses, government officials are introduced to cutting-edge scientific research that may help them better defend the nation against a range of internal and external threats. 

ISA has been recognized for its work in furthering the national discourse on civil liberties, privacy versus security, cybersecurity, and intelligence gathering. It receives funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

This site is a window into ISA’s work at CMU and in the broader intelligence and defense communities. Faculty members as well as statesmen, policy makers, journalists, interested citizens, and scholars throughout the world are encouraged to review the information available at this site and join us in thinking through ongoing problems and discussing new threats, new theories, and new technologies.


Kiron Skinner
Taube Professor of International Relations and Politics
Institute for Politics and Strategy

The Institute for Politics and Strategy (IPS) is pleased to announce the release of our Annual Report. The Annual Report demonstrates the development of IPS on campus over the past academic year. Looking back, we are reminded of how far the Institute has come. We are excited to continue our work on campus, cultivating the type of interdisciplinary relationships, research, and academic programming for which Carnegie Mellon is known.


Volume 5, Issue 1 of the CIRP Journal, with a focus on the 2020 elections, was published in Fall 2020.