Michael D. Rich

Photo of Michael Rich
President and Chief Executive Officer, RAND Corporation
Santa Monica Office


J.D., University of California, Los Angeles

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 media@rand.org.

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Michael D. Rich is president and chief executive officer of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. Throughout his nearly 40 years with the organization, Rich has helped RAND become a leading source of expertise, analysis, and evidence-based ideas in an increasingly complex and polarized policymaking environment.

Rich began his career at RAND as a summer intern in 1975, joining the organization full-time the following year as a researcher focused on U.S. national security issues. He has served in a variety of senior leadership positions at RAND and was instrumental in the creation of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center that provides research and analysis to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the Intelligence Community. He also helped lead RAND's diversification and expansion into international markets—including the establishment of RAND Europe and the RAND Qatar Policy Institute and RAND's increasing contributions to the Asia-Pacific region.

Since becoming president and CEO in 2011, Rich has focused on extending the impact of RAND's work—challenging the organization to extend its legacy of innovation and helping decisionmakers stay ahead of the curve on the issues that matter most. A champion of RAND's commitment to broadly disseminate findings and help improve the quality of policy discourse, Rich has promoted new and improved ways of sharing RAND's insights and making the organization's work widely accessible. Throughout his career, Rich has also been an enthusiastic supporter of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's largest Ph.D. program in policy analysis, where he has taught and advised graduate students and chaired numerous committees.

Rich serves on the governing boards and advisory committees of many policy and service organizations, including the Council for Aid to Education, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, WISE & Healthy Aging, the Everychild Foundation, Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, the Dean's Advisory Council of the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the UCLA Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the California Bar.

Rich received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Selected Publications

Khaled Abou El Fadl et al., Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan, RAND Corporation (CF-186), 2003

Michael Rich, RAND and Middle East Policy Analysis, RAND Corporation (CP-473), 2003

Michael Rich, "RAND: How Think Tanks Interact with the Military," U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, 7(3), 2002

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Miami Herald; The Palestinian Chronicle; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Santa Monica Daily Press

Commentary: Washington Times


  • An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in February 2014 after U.S. authorities issued a warning to airlines to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes

    What Research Says About Profiling

    When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk, not on personal characteristics.

    Dec 18, 2014 | The RAND Blog

  • Man looking into a future virtual world

    The Telescope and the Microscope: Public Policy Wisdom from Victor Hugo

    The best policy analysis reveals both the hidden details of an issue and its broader context.

    Aug 12, 2014 | RAND Review

  • A convoy of hearses bearing the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 leaves Eindhoven airport in the Netherlands, July 24, 2014

    A Missile's Deadly Message

    Putin's stubbornness on Ukraine has attracted international scorn, threatened Russia's already shaky economy, and focused NATO on countering potential Russian aggression. It's also sparked anti-Russian and pro-NATO sentiments in Central and Eastern Europe. The tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 only intensifies these sentiments.

    Jul 25, 2014 | U.S. News & World Report

  • Man in wheelchair with caregiver, sitting by a lake

    Parallel Caregiver Crises, Military and Civilian

    Among American caregivers, there are two expanding populations: those caring for military servicemembers struggling with physical or emotional wounds of war and those looking after people with dementia. Both face incalculable financial stresses and threats to their own health as a result of their caregiving roles.

    Jul 9, 2014 | The Hill

  • Paramedic and doctor discussing a patient

    How to Avert a Doctor Shortage

    Within the next decade, the United States may face a shortage of 130,000 physicians due to a growing, aging population and the anticipated demands of those newly insured under the ACA. This shortage can be alleviated by early creative interventions.

    Apr 2, 2014 | RAND Review and The Health Care Blog

  • sailor homecoming

    Military Caregivers Are Hidden Heroes

    Right now there are 5.5 million wives, husbands, siblings, parents, children and friends devoted to the care of those injured fighting America's wars. Theirs is an all-consuming, emotionally draining task, one that has been driven for too long by loyalty and love, but little support.

    Apr 2, 2014 | USA Today

  • preschool activity

    To Eliminate the 'Readiness Gap,' Preschool Is Just the Beginning

    Preschool for four-year-olds should be as common as kindergarten is for five-year-olds. Ultimately, the goal should be the elimination of the readiness gap through expanded access to preschool, written materials in the home, and technology that could improve delivery of such materials.

    Nov 26, 2013 | RAND Review

  • The U.S. Capitol in Washington

    The Value of Perspective, in Dollars and Cents

    RAND's president and CEO discusses how rigorous and objective analysis can inform government organizations responsible for U.S. national security as they address today's budget realities.

    Jul 15, 2013 | RAND Review

  • Knowledge City - Artist's Rendering

    RAND Extends Global Reach of Innovation

    Stimulating innovation is important to the economic growth of all countries, regardless of their stages of development, writes Michael D. Rich. RAND is helping each country drive innovation in different ways.

    Feb 5, 2013 | RAND Review

  • The White House in Washington D.C.

    Farsighted Leadership in a Shortsighted World: Looking Beyond the 2012 U.S. Election

    As the U.S. presidential election draws close, there is increasing demand for simple answers to complex questions, immediate solutions to entrenched challenges, and ten-second sound bites to sum it all up. For nearly 65 years, RAND has focused on big, long-term, core public policy issues and has cultivated the farsighted perspectives required to address them.

    Sep 21, 2012 | RAND Review

  • An aerial view of the flooded roads and fields in Louisiana are shown after Hurricane Lili

    A Flood of Innovation: Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan

    RAND President and CEO Michael Rich writes about how RAND computer models and empirical analyses are helping protect and restore the Louisiana coast.

    May 11, 2012 | RAND Review

  • Passionate, Pragmatic, Prudent: A New RAND President and RAND at Its Best

    Michael D. Rich, the new president and chief executive officer of the RAND Corporation, shares his thoughts about his new role and the future of RAND.

    Jan 13, 2012 | RAND Review

  • Vision for a Successful Palestine

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Vision for a Successful Palestine in the Washington Times.

    Dec 14, 2005 | Washington Times