Michael J. McNerney

Michael J. McNerney
Senior International/Defense Researcher; International Portfolio Lead; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


M.A. in international relations, University of Maryland; B.A. in government and German, University of Notre Dame

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Michael McNerney (he/him) is a senior international/defense researcher at the RAND Corporation, international portfolio lead for the RAND National Security Research Division, and an affiliate facultymember at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research focuses on national security strategy development and planning, civil-military coordination, international security sector reform, decisionmaking in conflict, and international relations. 

Until April 2011, McNerney was principal director for plans in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He and his staff supported the Secretary of Defense in providing strategic guidance on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and interagency plans, force management, and overseas basing. He was a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for 17 years and a member of the Senior Executive Service.

Earlier assignments included policy support for security cooperation programs worldwide, U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, international environmental issues, nuclear arms control, and defense budgeting. He spent the 2004–05 academic year on the faculty of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

McNerney has presented on various national security issues to several U.S. cabinet secretaries, White House staff, members of Congress, four-star military commanders, over a dozen foreign cabinet ministers, NATO’s North Atlantic Council, and hundreds of government officials in over 35 countries.

Prior to working in OSD, McNerney worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his M.A. in international relations from the University of Maryland and B.A. in government and German from the University of Notre Dame.



Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Government Matters