Wood-Donnelly is originally from Idaho, USA, and now lives in London. According the Henry Jackson Society, "Many of her interests were motivated by a humanitarian visit to Albania during the build up of the Kosovo War in 1998 and include human rights, intervention and state-building."
She holds a BA from Colorado State University in Liberal Arts, emphasising communication and public affairs and an MA in International Relations at Brunel University, where her dissertation explored the writings of Charles A. Beard. She is currently researching a doctorate on the claims of the Arctic states for territory and resources inside the Arctic Circle, with a focus on security issues and state sovereignty.
- Beginning with the early historical foundations of state interest in the Arctic, progressing through the use of the region throughout the Cold War and moving on to contemporary international public law, the research explores the impact of international law as it relates to the Arctic ‘scramble’, the strategies and domestic policies of the involved states and the role of corporations in the Arctic.