Agnes Gereben Schaefer

Agnes Gereben Schaefer
Senior Political Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in political science, Syracuse University; M.A. in political science, Florida International University; B.A. in international relations/environmental studies, Florida International University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Agnes Gereben Schaefer is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She has a background in international relations, comparative politics, defense strategy, homeland security, and environmental policy. At RAND, her work has focused on issues related to national security strategy, doctrine, and personnel; homeland defense/homeland security; emerging threats; security sector reform; and emergency preparedness. Schaefer's research has included improving reintegration support for reserve component families; an examination of DoD's role in supporting U.S. border security missions; an assessment of the security situation in Mexico and its impact on the United States; the applicability of COIN methods and findings to contemporary Mexican security issues; the development of a defense sector assessment rating tool; assessments of the military and public health responses to Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; and various projects related to emergency preparedness. Prior to joining RAND, Schaefer was a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Previous Positions

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Associate in Politics and Public Policy, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Recent Projects

  • Improving Reintegration Support for Guard and Reserve Families
  • Improving the Army's Disaster Response: Lessons from the Earthquake in Haiti
  • Examining the Department of Defense's Role in Supporting United States Border Security Missions
  • Developing a Comprehensive Defense Sector Assessment Rating Tool
  • Security in Mexico: Implications for U.S. Policy

Selected Publications

Christopher Paul, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Colin P. Clarke, The Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations: An Assessment of Mexican Security Based on Existing RAND Research on Urban Unrest, Insurgency, and Defense-Sector Reform, RAND (MG-1125), 2011

Agnes Gereben Schaefer et al, Developing a Defense Sector Assessment Rating Tool., RAND Corporation (RP-964), 2010

Beth Asch et al, Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study, RAND (MG-1056), 2010

Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Benjamin Bahney, and K. Jack Riley, Security in Mexico: Implications for U.S. Policy Options, RAND Corporation (MG-876), 2009

Agnes Gereben Schaefer "The History of Domestic Intelligence in the United States: Lessons for Assessing the Creation of a New Counterterrorism Intelligence Agency," in Brian A. Jackson et al., The Challenge of Domestic Intelligence in a Free Society, RAND Corporation (MG-804), 2009

David Dausey et al., "Measuring Performance of Telephone-Based Disease Reporting Systems in Local Health Departments," American Journal of Public Health, 98(9):1-6, 2008

Melinda Moore et al., "Strategies to Improve Global Influenza Surveillance: A Decision Tool for Policymakers," BMC Public Health, 8:186, 2008

Lynn E. Davis et al., Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Army Planning and Operations, RAND (MG-603), 2007




  • Mexico border

    If U.S.-Mexico Get Security Right, Other Good Policy Will Follow

    Obama and Peña Nieto emphasized economic cooperation at their summit not because security issues have gone away, but because the new rules of the game in this nascent relationship between the two leaders are evolving, writes Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    May 29, 2013 Houston Chronicle

  • Follow the Money

    If the U.S. does not improve its ability to track federal spending and develop reliable measures of effectiveness, precious federal disaster aid will continue to be at risk of being squandered, writes Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    Jul 14, 2011 The Montgomery Advertiser

  • 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

  • Assessing Mexico's Narco-Violence

    Drug-related violence in Mexico has more than doubled over the past 18 months, with a sharp increase in crimes that can only be understood as atrocities. The executions, assassinations, and decapitations may all seem wanton and senseless. But this violence actually has a purpose, write Benjamin Bahney and Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    May 14, 2009 The San Diego Union-Tribune