Burgess Laird is a Senior International Defense Researcher with the RAND Corporation and an adjunct instructor in the M.A. in Global Security Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Having served in senior research and management positions in both the private and public sectors for over three decades, His particular areas of research focus and expertise include deterrence, defense strategy, threat analysis and force planning, emerging technologies and crisis stability and conflict escalation, and arms control and non-proliferation.
Mr. Laird has served in senior research and management positions with a number of distinguished and world-renown research institutions and governmental organizations including RAND, the Institute for Defense Analyses, Hicks & Associates, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Select recent publications which he has authored or co-authored include “The Risks of Autonomous Weapons Systems for Crisis Stability and Conflict Escalation in Future US-Russia Confrontations” in Deterrence in the Age of Thinking Machines; War Control: Chinese Writing on the Control of Escalation in Crisis and Conflict (RAND, 2020); The U.S. Department of Defense’s Planning Process: Components and Challenges (RAND, 2019); and “Grounds for Cautious Optimism on an Iran Nuclear Deal;” in Strategic Choices for a Turbulent World: In Pursuit of Security and Opportunity (RAND, 2017).
Mr. Laird was honored to serve in 2008 through 2009 as a senior analyst and advisor to the U.S. Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, also known as the Perry-Schlesinger Commission. In 2011-12, he was a fellow in MIT’s Seminar XXI Program on Foreign Politics, International Relations & the National Interest. He is a member of the Royal United Services Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.