Melissa K. Griffith

Melissa K. Griffith's picture

Job Candidates

International Relations
Comparative Politics

Graduate Students

Personal Statement: 

Melissa K. Griffith is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley working at the intersection between technology and national security. She specializes in cybersecurity, security studies, international relations, and foreign policy.

Griffith's dissertation investigates how relatively small countries, with limited resources, have become significant providers of national cyber-defense for their populations. Her work sheds important light on the components and dynamics of cyber power and cyber conflict, as well as the vital role that public-private cooperation and both security and economic policy play in cyber-defense. Concurrent research projects examine (1) the security implications of 5G; (2) collective defense and resilience in cyberspace; and (3) power and smaller states in international politics.

Griffith has published in the Journal of Cyber Policy and Business and Politics. She completed a review of current international security research on cyber conflict and security for the Cyber Conflict State of the Field (SOTF) paper series and published policy analysis for the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS). Griffith’s op-eds have appeared on the Council for Foreign Relations’ Net Politics and Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program blogs (1)(2) and the AICGS blog. In addition to political science specific conferences, she has presented her work for the World Affairs Council, the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy (ETLA), the Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA), the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC), and Sift Science Resources.

Griffith is currently a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC and an Affiliated Researcher for the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC) in Berkeley, CA. Previously, she was a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University's Institute for International Science & Technology Policy (IISTP) in October 2018; a Visiting Research Fellow at the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy (ETLA) in Helsinki, Finland from 2017-2018;  and a Visiting Researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium in Fall 2017. 

Griffith holds a B.A. in International Relations from Agnes Scott College (2011) and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2014). She was an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan with the Fulbright Program from 2012-2013. 

Dissertation Committee Chair: 
Vinod Aggarwal
Area Specialization: 
Primary Subfield: 
International Relations
Secondary Subfield: 
Comparative Politics
Western Europe
Academic Advisors: 
Vinod Aggarwal
Ron Hassner
Michaela Mattes
Steven Weber