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 a senior policy researcher and director of RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment at the RAND Corporation. She is also on the faculty of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her background is in public health, child and adolescent development, and community-based participatory research and evaluation. She currently leads or co-leads studies on community well-being; deployment and military families; community resilience and long-term disaster recovery; and child health and development. Throughout her career, Chandra has engaged government and nongovernmental partners to consider cross-sector solutions for improving child and community well-being and to build systems and evaluation capacity. This work has taken many forms including engaging with the the Department of Health and Human Services 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 build the science base around child systems; and collaborating with city governments and foundations to measure well-being, sustainability, and health transformation. She has also partnered with community organizations to conduct broad-scale health 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 health and social services. These projects have occurred in partnership with local health systems, foundations, and other community organizations.

Chandra earned a Dr.P.H. in population and family health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Community resilience and national health security
  • Impact of deployment on military families
  • Development of community wellbeing
  • Strategic planning for early childhood investments
  • Development of a global cancer stigma index

Recent Media Appearances

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


  • 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