Jonathan P. Wong

jonathan wong, w0538
Assistant Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in security studies, Georgetown University; B.A in poltical science, University of California San Diego


Jonathan Wong is a an assistant policy researcher at RAND. His research at RAND focuses primarily on the organizational, budgetary, and policy relationships and trade-offs between major components of the Department of Defense. Additionally, Wong has contributed to RAND's research on intelligence policy, security force assistance, gender integration in the military, and military manpower issues.

Prior to RAND, Wong served in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman and as an infantry officer. Wong served in Iraq and in the Western Pacific.

Wong has a B.A. in political science from the University of California San Diego, an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Recent Projects

  • Structuring Open Source Intelligence in the U.S. Army
  • Key Considerations in Assessing the Impact of Integrating Women into Marine Corps Infantry Units
  • Assessment of AC/RC Mix for Logistics Force Structure
  • Value of Chinese Military Expenditures in Dollars and Renminbi
  • The Role of Ultralight Tactical Mobility in Army Operations

Selected Publications

Matthew E. Boyer, Michael Shurkin, Jonathan P. Wong, Ryan Schwankhart, Adam Albrich, Matthew W. Lewis, Christopher G. Pernin, Assessing Conventional Army Demands and Requirements for Ultra-Light Tactical Mobility, RAND (RR-718-A), 2015

Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Jennie W. Wenger, Jennifer Kavanagh, Jonathan P. Wong, Gillian Oak, Thomas E. Trail, Todd Nichols, Implications of Integrating Women into the Marine Corps Infantry, RAND (RR-1103-USMC), 2015

Jonathan Wong, "Poltics and Professionalism: A Cautionary Note," Marine Corps Gazette, 94(12):69-70, 2010

Honors & Awards

  • Hogaboom Leadership Writing Award, Marine Corps Association


  • Soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, January 24, 2016

    The Pentagon's New Chief Innovation Officer Should Tread Lightly

    The innovation efforts taking place in the Department of Defense are exciting and have much potential. But installing a chief innovation officer with centralized authority who may become just another bureaucratic player among many could spoil those efforts.

    Nov 3, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara visits Fort Bragg, North Carolina in October 1961

    In Defense of Defense Analysis

    Rather than characterize Robert McNamara's legacy as one of inefficiency, his economic, quantitative analysis of military problems should be portrayed as an innovative, if flawed, first adoption of more sophisticated methods for defense analysis.

    Sep 2, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • U.S. troops train Afghan soldiers to operate equipment in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, January 2014

    Don't Learn the Wrong Lessons from Rapid Acquisition

    Rapid acquisition practices that worked during recent wars may not easily translate to peacetime endeavors. Enthusiasm for rapid acquisition must be tempered by an understanding of the circumstances that made it work and the downsides that were accepted in wartime.

    Jun 23, 2016 Defense One

  • Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade training with NATO allies in Poland

    Rethinking U.S. Force Planning

    While the renewed interest in crisis response forces by the military services is welcome in these times of uncertainty, forces that are permanently assigned to a geographic combatant command and based in a region continue to offer distinct benefits. RAND research has shown that an overseas presence enhances contingency responsiveness in most cases.

    May 16, 2014 The RAND Blog