Paul K. Davis

Senior Principal Researcher, RAND; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in chemical physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; B.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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Paul K. Davis is a senior principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has research interests that include strategic planning and methods for improving it, decisionmaking theory, counterterrorism, advanced methods of analysis and modeling (notably exploratory analysis and multiresolution modeling), and heterogeneous information fusion. He has authored or coauthored widely read books on defense planning, capabilities-based planning, portfolio analysis, and deterrence and influence theory, as well as an integrative review on social science for counterterrorism. Before joining RAND, Davis was a senior executive in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). He has served on numerous national panels for DoD, the National Academy, and the Intelligence Community; he is also a regular reviewer of several professional journals. Davis received his Ph.D. in theoretical chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Previous Positions

Senior Executive, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Recent Projects

  • Looming discontinuities in defense planning
  • Social science for counterterrorism, irregular warfare, and stability operations
  • Planning under uncertainty
  • Portfolio analysis methods and tools for strategic planning
  • Public support for insurgency and terrorism

Selected Publications

Paul K. Davis et al., Using Behavioral Indicators to Help Detect Potential Violent Acts, RAND Corporation (RP-215), 2013

Paul K. Davis and Brian Michael Jenkins, Dilemmas of Intervention: Social Science for Stabilization and Reconstruction, RAND Corporation (MG-1119-OSD), 2011

Paul K. Davis and Peter Wilson, "The Looming Crisis in Defense Planning," Joint Forces Quarterly, 63, 2011

Paul K. Davis and Paul Dreyer, Social Science for Counterterrorism: Putting the Pieces Together, RAND Corporation (MG-849), 2009

Paul K. Davis, et al., Portfolio-Analysis Methods for Assessing Capability Options, RAND Corporation (MG-662), 2008

Paul K. Davis et al., Implications of Modern Decision Science for Military Decision-Support Systems, RAND Corporation (MG-360), 2005

Paul K. Davis, Analytic Architecture for Capabilities-Based Planning Mission-System Analysis and Transformation, RAND Corporation (MR-1513), 2002

Paul K. Davis and Brian Michael Jenkins, Deterrence and Influence in Counterterrorism, RAND Corporation (MR-1619), 2002