Kayla M. Williams

Photo of Kayla Williams
Project Associate
Washington Office


M.A. in international relations, American University; B.A. in English Literature, Bowling Green University


Kayla Williams is a project associate at the RAND Corporation. Her research has included work on counterinsurgency, detention operations, building partner capacity, intelligence, veterans' health needs and education benefits, and economic assistance during stability operations. Williams served in the U.S. Army for 5 years as an Arabic Linguist, including a year in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Prior to coming to RAND, she worked for McNeil Technologies at the National Media Exploitation Center. Williams graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English literature from Bowling Green State University, and earned her M.A. in international affairs with a focus on the Middle East at American University. She is the author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the US Army, a book about her experiences as a soldier. Williams is a member of the Army Education Advisory Committee, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and a former member of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.


  • Surf therapy program for military veterans run by the Jimmy Miller Foundation

    Nonprofits and Bridging the Civil-Military Divide

    Troops, veterans, and military families can go to the National Resource Directory to find help if they need it, and citizens can turn there to find organizations serving those communities where they can donate their time or money. Each of us can play a role in bridging the civil-military divide, but only if we take action.

    Mar 31, 2014 | The Hill

  • Sgt. First Class Richard Martinez is given the Milton Award that recognizes achievements in military intelligence during a redeployment ceremony

    Dear Military Spouses: I'm Sorry

    Kayla Williams describes her difficult transition from soldier to spouse, sergeant to civilian, team leader to caregiver. Two books by military wives opened her eyes to the challenges and rewards of marrying into the military, and the unique kind of service military families experience.

    Feb 27, 2014 | The Huffington Post

  • Air Force veteran Cherokee was the lead organizer of an event in January in Reading, Pa. to help feed and clothe local veterans, many of whom are homeless

    Will America Forget Its Veterans?

    The needs of U.S. veterans will not end when the war does; they will just be beginning. Though over a lifetime veterans are more highly educated, employed, and paid than their civilian counterparts, the period of reintegration can be challenging.

    Feb 18, 2014 | Christian Science Monitor

  • Invisible Wounds of War

    According to a recent RAND Corporation study about these "Invisible Wounds of War," 18.5 percent of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans are suffering from PTSD or depression and need appropriate treatment, and 19.5 percent report experiencing a TBI during deployment, writes Kayla Williams.

    Jun 1, 2008 | Voices of Tomorrow