D. Sean Barnett

Photo of D. Barnett
Senior Engineer
Washington Office

Education

B.S. in nuclear engineering, Purdue University; Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center

Overview

Sean Barnett is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation. He is a defense analyst, nuclear engineer, and attorney, with 30 years of experience leading research and solving problems in the fields of national security, energy, and law. At RAND, most of his work has supported the Army and has involved military operational assessments, modernization and force structure requirements, and force management issues. Specific projects have concerned potential conflicts with Russia in Eastern Europe, potential conflicts with North Korea and North Korean nuclear weapon developments, artillery and aviation requirements, theater-level combat modeling, and the Army personnel screening system. Barnett has been involved with wargaming for many years and he leads and supports RAND’s wargame development efforts across multiple theaters and potential conflicts. Before coming to RAND, he was a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. There, he led research for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security focused on strategic planning and risk management, military force structure and basing, strategic materials, defense against nuclear attack, and infrastructure protection. Before working at IDA, he practiced administrative law at the firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. He focused on nuclear energy regulation and facility licensing matters before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the federal courts. Barnett has over 70 professional publications, including several in peer-reviewed journals. He enjoys traveling, military history, and wargaming, and he's written short books of wargaming scenarios centered on the World War II battles of Villers-Bocage and Operation Epsom.

Previous Positions

Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses; Attorney, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Recent Projects

  • ARMY 2.0: GENERATIONAL CLASSIFICATION FOR FUTURE CAPABILITIES
  • EXAMINING THE ARMY’S ROLE IN A FIGHT IN EUROPE
  • META-WARGAME ON THE CHALLENGES POSED BY A NUCLEAR ARMED, MILITANT NORTH KOREA
  • ARMY FIRES FOR ARMY 2025
  • CAMPAIGN MODELING AND MODELING UPDATES

Publications