Dr. Cynthia Cook
Senior Fellow and Director, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Cynthia Cook is director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and a senior fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Her research interests include defense acquisition policy and organization, the defense-industrial base, new technology development, and weapon systems production and sustainment. Dr. Cook is a member of the editorial board for the Defense Acquisition Research Journal and is an adjunct professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. From 1997 to 2021, Dr. Cook worked as a senior management scientist at RAND, where she oversaw, led, and worked on a wide range of studies for components across the U.S. Department of Defense, along with the Australian Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defense. Previously, Dr. Cook was a research specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working on the Lean Aerospace Initiative. Before her graduate studies, Dr. Cook worked in New York as an investment banker, specializing in high-yield finance. She holds a PhD in sociology from Harvard University and a BS in management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.