Professor Paul Cornish

Director, Policy@Exeter at University of Exeter

Professor Paul Cornish is Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of Exeter as well as Director of Policy@Exeter. He is Chair of the Academic Advisory Board for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He is Head of Global Risks at Henderson Risks Limited.

He was educated at the University of St Andrews (MA Hons, Modern History) and the London School of Economics (MSc Econ, International Relations). He then trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and spent six years in the British Army in the 1980s, serving as an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment. After completing his PhD – an assessment of British strategic thought in the early years of the Cold War – at the University of Cambridge, Professor Cornish spent two years as an arms control analyst in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Professor Cornish has held a range of academic and research appointments in the course of his career. He was Lecturer in Defence Studies at the UK Defence Academy (King’s College London) and then Lecturer in International Security at the University of Cambridge from 1998-2002. He has also been Professor of International Security at the University of Bath. Professor Cornish has spent some ten years of his career in research posts at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House): first as Senior Research Fellow in the early 1990s and latterly as Carrington Professor of International Security and Head of the International Security Programme from 2005-2011. Professor Cornish also spent several years as Director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London.

He was the Research Group Director for Defence, Security and Infrastructure at RAND Europe from 2015-16. From 2013-18, he was Associate Director, Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, University of Oxford.

He has been an independent analyst and author, and Visiting Professor at LSE IDEAS. During 2017, he was Professorial Fellow, National Security College, Australian National University.

He has been a member of the UK Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Advisory Panel, has contributed to a number of Parliamentary inquiries and is a frequent commentator in national and international media.