About Me

Matthew Cancian

Senior Researcher

I’m a Marine veteran and MIT PhD who studies military operations at the Naval War College as a contractor for Saalex Solutions. I received my PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2022, where I concentrated in Security Studies and Comparative Politics. My thesis was about the motivations of combatants and the effects of training, based on a survey of 2,301 Kurdish fighters (Peshmerga) during their war against the Islamic State. I am interested in adding new, data-driven perspectives to all questions pertaining to security studies.

Before MIT I earned a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School and a BA in History from the University of Virginia. Between those educational experiences I served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Sangin, Afghanistan as a Forward Observer in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Matthew Cancian’s CV

Cancian CV – June 2022