Stuart E. Johnson

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Senior Policy Researcher
Washington Office


Postdoctoral study, Department of Physics, University of Leiden, Netherlands; Ph.D. in physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; B.A., Amherst College

Media Resources

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Stuart E. Johnson is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he directs studies that focus on national security strategy and the forces and resources needed to implement the strategy.

From 2002 to 2007, Johnson served as director of research in the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at National Defense University (NDU), where he directed a program analyzing the future U.S. national security environment and how to translate that into choices for defense policy and planning. From 1997 to 2002, Johnson directed the International Security and Defense Policy Center within the RAND National Defense Research Institute. He managed a program that performed in-depth research on critical issues in defense, international security, and critical infrastructure protection. He also managed a program of analytic support to Central European Ministries of Defense to prepare them for NATO membership.

Prior to joining RAND, he was director of research at NDU's Institute for National Strategic Studies. He planned and executed a program of study in support of senior decisionmakers in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Joint Staff. He has also served as Director of Systems Analysis at NATO Headquarters, directing a multinational staff of analysts to develop requirements for the forces of NATO nations, and as principal European/NATO analyst in OSD, Program Analysis and Evaluation.

Johnson was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in 2006. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Previous Positions

Chair, Force Transformation Studies, National Defense University; Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND National Defense Research Institute; Senior Scientist, Naval War College; Director of Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University

Recent Projects

  • NATO and the Challenges of Austerity
  • Accommodating Reductions in the Defense Budget: A Strategy-Based Approach
  • Scalable capabilities for military operations and populations
  • Imported oil and U.S. national security
  • How Much Will Be Enough?: Assessing Changing Defense Strategies' Implications for Army Resource Requirements

Selected Publications

Stuart E. Johnson and Arthur K. Cebrowski, "Alternative Fleet Architecture Design," Defense & Technology Papers, 2005

Hans Binnendijk and Stuart E. Johnson, eds., Transforming for Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations, National Defense University Press, 2004

Stuart E. Johnson, "A New PPBS Process to Advance Transformation," Defense Horizons, (32), 2003

Stuart E. Johnson, Martin C. Libicki, New Challenges, New Tools for Defense Decisionmaking, RAND Corporation (MR-1576), 2003

John E. Peters et al., F. Stephen Larrabee, European Contributions to Operation Allied Force: Implications for Transatlantic Cooperation, RAND Corporation (MR-1391), 2001

Richard Sokolsky, Stuart E. Johnson, and Gregory F. Treverton, Persian Gulf Security: Improving Allied Military Contributions, RAND Corporation (MR-1245), 2001

Honors & Awards

  • Election to the Royal Swedish Academy, The members of the Royal Swedish Academy



Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: U.S. News & World Report


  • U.S. Army soldier and security force team member maintains security on the street during a key leader engagement in the Lash-e Juwayn district of Farah province, Afghanistan.

    Big Defense Cuts Are Coming, Regardless of the Fiscal Cliff

    The prudent approach is to decide on a strategic direction that provides a framework for prioritizing which forces and equipment the United States should preserve and determining which can be trimmed or eliminated with limited risk to security, write Stuart Johnson and Irv Blickstein.

    Dec 28, 2012 U.S. News & World Report