CNA (nonprofit)

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(Redirected from Center for Naval Analyses)
FocusResearch and analysis services
Key people
Dr. Katherine A.W. McGrady, President and CEO

CNA, formerly known as the CNA Corporation, is a federally-funded nonprofit research and analysis organization based in Arlington County, Virginia. CNA has around 625 employees.[1]

CNA operates:[2]

  • The Center for Naval Analyses. CNA's Center for Naval Analyses is the federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It also provides research and analysis services to other military and government agencies to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. national defense efforts. It has seven divisions: Advanced Technology & Systems Analysis, China Studies, Resource Analysis, the Marine Corps Program, the Operations Evaluation Group, the Center for Strategic Studies, and the Special Operations Program.[3] These divisions address issues of preparedness, operations evaluation, systems analysis, foreign affairs, strategic relationships, humanitarian operations, logistics, and manpower.
Through the Center’s Field Program, approximately 50 analysts are assigned to Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Commands around the world. Assignments range from carrier strike groups and Marine expeditionary forces to the U.S. Pacific Command. Field analysts are included in all functions of the command and provide real-time analytical support on operational problems of immediate concern to the military.[4]
Mark Geis, formerly vice president and director of CNA's Operations Evaluation Group and of CNA's Marine Corps Program, became the executive vice president of CNA's Center for Naval Analyses in 2015.[5]
Past presidents of the Center for Naval Analyses include Dr. Paul Speer, an oceanographer who is now with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Christine H. Fox, who, in 2014, served as acting deputy secretary of Defense before retiring from the Pentagon and joining the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.


CNA traces its origins to the Antisubmarine Warfare Operations Group (ASWORG), formed in 1942 to assist the U.S. Navy with scientific advice for finding and attacking U-boats that were sinking commercial ships off the Atlantic coast of North America.[7] Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics Professor Philip M. Morse founded ASWORG at the request of Capt. Wilder D. Baker, then commander of the Antisubmarine Warfare Unit of the Atlantic Fleet.[8] Morse is considered the father of operations research in the United States.[9] By the end of World War II, the organization had expanded to almost 80 scientists serving on eight military bases in the Atlantic and Pacific as well as at the Washington, D.C. headquarters. They advised U.S. forces on air, antiaircraft, submarine, amphibious, and antisubmarine operations.[10] Though the group served the military, it was designed to be civilian and independent in order to preserve the objectivity of its analysis, and was administered by Columbia University.[11]

In 1945, the Department of the Navy decided to support the continuation of the group under the name the Operations Evaluation Group (OEG), which exists to this day as a division within CNA.[12] OEG grew rapidly during the Korean War, during which one of its analysts, Irving Shaknov, was killed in combat.[13] In 1962, OEG was merged with smaller naval advisory groups to form the Center for Naval Analyses.[14] The first ongoing analysis support program for a non-defense agency began in 1991 for the Federal Aviation Administration.[15] All non-defense work at CNA was brought together under its Institute for Public Research in 1993, with the Center for Naval Analyses remaining as the other division of CNA.[14]


CNA Headquarters in Arlington, VA

Katherine A.W. McGrady, Ph.D. is President and Chief Executive Officer of CNA.[16] She was previously CNA's Chief Operating Officer.[17]

Board of trustees[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hiring PhDs: Interview with the Director of Human Resources at CNA Corporation",, archived from the original on June 15, 2018, retrieved September 4, 2015.
  2. ^ The Washington Post, Center for Naval Analyses, retrieved September 4, 2015.
  3. ^ CNA, Centers and Divisions, retrieved September 1, 2017.
  4. ^ CNA, Field Program, retrieved October 6, 2015.
  5. ^ CNA (July 13, 2015), CNA Names Mark Geis Executive Vice President of the Center for Naval Analyses.
  6. ^ CNA, Solution Centers, retrieved September 4, 2015.
  7. ^ Tidman, Keith (1984). The Operations Evaluation Group. Annapolis, Maryland: the United States Naval Institute. p. 36. ISBN 0-87021-273-7.
  8. ^ Morse, Philip (1977). In at the Beginnings. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. p. 174-175. ISBN 0-262-13124-2.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Edward (2011). "Chapter 2: Operations Research and Intelligence Analysis". In Fischhoff, Baruch; Chauvin, Cherie (eds.). Intelligence Analysis. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-309-17698-9. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Tidman, Keith (1984). The Operations Evaluation Group. Annapolis, Maryland: the United States Naval Institute. pp. 42–45. ISBN 0-87021-273-7.
  11. ^ Tidman, Keith (1984). The Operations Evaluation Group. Annapolis, Maryland: the United States Naval Institute. p. 36. ISBN 0-87021-273-7.
  12. ^ Tidman, Keith (1984). The Operations Evaluation Group. Annapolis, Maryland: the United States Naval Institute. p. 97. ISBN 0-87021-273-7.
  13. ^ Flynn, Sean (2013). "Flynn, John P., Jr.". In Bielakowski, Alexander (ed.). Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1598844283. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  14. ^ a b A History of the Department of Defense Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (Report). Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress. June 1995. p. 39.
  15. ^ Boroughs, Don (2017). The Story of CNA: Civilian Scientists in War and Peace (PDF). p. 53. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  16. ^ CNA, Katherine A.W. McGrady, Ph.D., retrieved September 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Charity Brown (September 7, 2009), "New at the Top: Katherine A.W. McGrady", The Washington Post.
  18. ^ "Washington area appointments and promotions for the week of Oct. 1". Washington Post. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  19. ^ "MAKING MOVES — SEAN STACKLEY JOINING CNA BOARD". Politico. December 20, 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  20. ^ CNA, CNA Board of Trustees, retrieved February 24, 2018.

External links[edit]