Laurel E. Miller

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Senior Political Scientist
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J.D., The University of Chicago Law School; A.B. in international affairs, Princeton 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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Laurel E. Miller is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, focusing on national security and foreign policy issues. She has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and law school. She was a senior expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she focused on constitutional issues and rule of law development in countries emerging from conflict, and on international justice issues. During previous government service, she was involved in conflict resolution and post-conflict stabilization, including as senior advisor to the U.S. special envoy for the Balkans, senior advisor to the assistant secretary of state for European affairs, and deputy to the ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues. Miller was directly involved in peace negotiations in Macedonia, Kosovo, and Bosnia. She also served as director for western hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council. Miller was an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations; practiced law with the firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and Brussels; and clerked for a federal judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier, she was a graduate fellow in India and worked as a reporter in Japan. Miller received her A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review.

Recent Projects

  • Democratization in the Arab world
  • State-building and earthquake recovery in Haiti
  • Nation-building comparative analysis and lessons learned
  • Justice reform, police development, and counternarcotics in Afghanistan
  • Security in Kosovo

Selected Publications

James F. Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, and Tewodaj Mengistu, How Local Circumstances Affect Nation-Building Outcomes, RAND (MG-RR-167-CC) (forthcoming)

Laurel E. Miller, Jeffrey Martini, F. Stephen Larrabee, Angel Rabasa, Stephanie Pezard, Julie E. Taylor, Tewodaj Mengistu, Democratization in the Arab World: Prospects and Lessons from Around the Globe, RAND (MG-1192-RC), 2012

Larry Hanauer and Laurel E. Miller, Resolving Kirkuk: Lessons Learned from Settlements of Earlier Ethno-Territorial Conflicts, RAND (MG-1198-USFI), 2012

Angel Rabasa, John Gordon IV, Peter Chalk, Christopher S. Chivvis, Audra K. Grant, K. Scott McMahon, Laurel E. Miller, Marco Overhaus, Stephanie Pezard, From Insurgency to Stability: Volume I: Key Capabilities and Practices, RAND (MG-1111/1-OSD), 2011

Keith Crane, James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Charles P. Ries, Christopher S. Chivvis, Marla C. Haims, Marco Overhaus, Heather Lee Schwartz, Elizabeth Wilke, Building a More Resilient Haitian State, RAND Corporation (MG-1039), 2010

Laurel E. Miller, ed., Framing the State in Times of Transition: Case Studies in Constitution Making, USIP Press, 2010

Terrence Kelly, Larry Crandall, and Laurel Miller, "Fixing Foreign Assistance for Counterinsurgency," in Christopher M. Schnaubelt, ed.,, Counterinsurgency: The Challenge for NATO Strategy and Operations, NATO Defense College Forum Paper, 2009


  • On Dec. 4, 2012, Egyptians marched to the federal palace to reject the constitution referendum

    Egypt's Constitutional Referendum Was an Opportunity Lost

    The Egyptian process left no room for broad deliberation of the constitutional issues, or even for educating citizens about the text of the document on which they were asked to vote, writes Laurel Miller.

    Dec 21, 2012 U.S. News & World Report

  • Anti-Mursi protesters chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo November 27, 2012

    Don't Give Up on Egypt's Political Transition Just Yet

    Many transitions around the world in recent decades have been just as chaotic, yet 180-degree returns to autocracy have been exceedingly rare, writes Laurel Miller.

    Nov 28, 2012 U.S. News & World Report

  • In Brief: Laurel E. Miller and Jeffrey Martini on Democratization in the Arab World

    In this two-minute video blog, RAND's Laurel Miller and Jeffery Martini discuss the challenges ahead for democracy after the Arab Spring as the countries in the Arab world rebuild, work to find a balance between civilian and military authorities, and include Islamist voices in the democratic process.

    Nov 13, 2012

  • Rebels traveling in the back of a pickup truck in a town in northern Syria

    Don't Blame Unrest on Arab Spring

    The roots of the unrest are not in the desire to cast off authoritarian regimes that took expression in Arab Spring protests. The roots came before the uprisings, and progress will take longer than we wish, writes Laurel Miller.

    Oct 22, 2012 USA Today

  • Celebrating that Mohamed Morsi has won the presidential elections - or/and that Shafik has lost

    How Does Arab Spring Compare to Third Wave Transitions?

    The changes underway in the Arab world may lead to various possible destinations that differ both from their points of departure and from liberal democracy, write Laurel Miller and Jeffrey Martini.

    Aug 17, 2012 Democracy Digest

  • A To-Do List for Shoring Up Haiti

    It is not enough to raise stronger buildings. What Haiti truly needs is a more resilient and effective government, write James Dobbins and Laurel Miller.

    Aug 23, 2010 Los Angeles Times