Anita Chandra

Photo of Anita Chandra
Director, RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment; Senior Policy Researcher; Affiliated Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


Dr.P.H. in population and family health sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; M.P.H. in maternal and child health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health; B.A. in child development, Tufts University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Anita Chandra is director of RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment. Prior to her position as JIE director, she served as director of RAND's Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department. She also continues to lead studies on civic well-being and urban planning; community resilience and long-term disaster recovery; effects of military deployment; health in all policies; and child health and development. Throughout her career, Chandra has engaged government and nongovernmental partners to consider cross-sector solutions for improving community well-being and to build more robust systems and evaluation capacity. This work has taken many forms including engaging with federal and local government agencies on building systems for emergency preparedness and resilience both in the U.S. and globally; partnering with private sector organizations to develop the science base around child systems; and collaborating with city governments and foundations to reform data systems and measure sustainability, well-being, and civic transformation. Chandra has also partnered with community organizations to conduct broad-scale health and environmental needs assessments, to examine the integration of health and human service systems, and to determine how to address the needs of historically vulnerable populations in human service systems. These projects have occurred in partnership with businesses, foundations, and other community organizations. Chandra earned a Dr.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Community resilience and disaster response
  • Integration of data systems for urban wellbeing
  • Impact of deployment on military families
  • Development of a culture of health
  • Strategic planning for early childhood investments

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Associated Press, NBC, PBS, Time Magazine, Washington Post

Commentary: Montgomery Advertiser; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health blog; Santa Monica Daily Press


  • Local residents take pictures as U.S. President Barack Obama visit an area reconstructed after Hurricane Katrina during a presidential visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, August 27, 2015

    What Hurricane Katrina Taught Us About Community Resilience

    Hurricane Katrina left a path of destruction, death, and suffering in its wake. Its recovery, halting and incomplete as it has been, has taught us valuable lessons about resiliency.

    Sep 8, 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health blog

  • The entrance to the Santa Monica Pier at sunset

    Wellbeing Project to Weave Science Into Government Decisions

    Wellbeing is about individuals having the skills and opportunity to live a meaningful life. There are countless things that cities do that either contribute or detract from that sense of meaning. Santa Monica's Wellbeing Project is working to fundamentally change how the government thinks about its citizens.

    Apr 29, 2015 Santa Monica Daily Press

  • A 40-foot-high inflatable rubber duck, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is towed up the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 2013

    Here's to Our Health

    Atop the new mayor's agenda should be improving the health and well-being of Pittsburgh residents. With an unassailable electoral mandate in hand, Mr. Peduto is positioned to take bold steps. And the best way to do that is by applying scientific and medical evidence to shape an integrated, citywide, health-policy framework.

    Nov 25, 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • Oklahoma tornado cleanup

    Translating Policy Into Action to Build Community Resilience

    The philosophy and motivation surrounding community resilience has strongly resonated with community leaders but there remains a divide between how experts articulate resilience policy and how that policy translates to on-the-ground implementation. Building Community Resilience: An Online Training addresses that tension.

    Sep 4, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • houses destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

    Planning for Superstorms, Wildfires, and Deep Uncertainty

    The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.

    Apr 18, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Volunteers assist with the clean up efforts in Sea Bright, NJ, after Hurricane Sandy

    'New Normal' Requires New Ways to Support Social and 'Human' Recovery

    Recent global disasters vividly illustrate that recovery entails more than simply restoring physical infrastructure such as roads and buildings; it is also a long process of restoring the social infrastructure—the daily routines and networks that support the physical and mental health and well-being of the population, write Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta.

    Nov 26, 2012

  • 115903349

    Why Aren't Americans Listening to Disaster Preparedness Messages?

    Given the recent spate of highly publicized disasters, why don't more Americans pay attention to the advice of public health officials? The messages they are getting are largely based on unverified assumptions, not hard evidence. Equally concerning, these assumptions may inadvertently hinder preparedness.

    Jun 29, 2012

  • A Month After the Earthquake: Opportunities Slipping Away

    Previous efforts by the international community to stabilize Haiti have met with little or only short-term success. This time, following the earthquake, the U.S. response could actually leverage the response and recovery opportunities into a broader international plan, write Agnes Gereben Schaefer and Anita Chandra.

    Feb 24, 2010 and

  • Human Side of Katrina Recovery Still Needs Work

    Four years after Hurricane Katrina, many people in the Gulf Coast region are still "just surviving," write Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta.

    Oct 17, 2009 Montgomery Advertiser