Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Photo of Whitney L. Cissell

Major Whitney L. Cissell is a visiting scientist at the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serves as an Army FA52 Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Officer. Whitney previously served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer where she commanded the 18th Ordnance Company (EOD) and served three combat tours in Afghanistan.

Major Cissell holds four master's degrees, including an Master of Public Administration (MPA), an M.A in education, and an M.A in military art and science. She recently graduated from Naval Postgraduate School with an M.A in strategic studies with a focus on nuclear policy and counter-proliferation. Whitney also earned a graduate certificate in Intelligence and was awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award for her research on deterring Russian sub-conventional warfare. A few of her personal decorations include three Bronze Star Service Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Her most recent research at CGSR relates to Russian strategy and deterrence.

Whitney is married to Derek Cissell and together they have two children (twins Amelia and Lincoln). Major Cissell enjoys a myriad of activities, including continuing her collegiate soccer career through coaching and playing competitive soccer. She also strives to advance her proficiency in Escrima, a Filipino martial art focused on fighting with edged weapons, sticks and open hand.

Selected Projects

  • Why Can't We Be Friends: An Assessment of US-Russia Relations and Deterrence (Fort Belvoir, VA: United States Army Nuclear and Countering WMD Agency, 2020).
  • Deterrence in the Danger Zone: How the United States can Deter Russian Gray Zone Conflict (Monterey, CA: Calhoun: The NPS Institutional Archive, 2020).