RAND Women to Watch

Lauren Buitta, founder of Girl Security, and RAND's Jenny Oberholtzer, Stacie Pettyjohn, Becca Wasser, and Ellie Bartels host a wargame for girls, July 2019, photo by Dori Gordon Walker/RAND Corporation

Jenny Oberholtzer, Stacie Pettyjohn, Becca Wasser, and Ellie Bartels hosted a wargame for girls, July 2019

Photo by Dori Gordon Walker/RAND Corporation

Women have been at the core of RAND's success since its earliest days. The diversity of talent and experience among women at RAND—in both research and leadership—is reflected in the quality and impact of our work. From providing evidence that informs the debate over health care reform, to quantifying the benefits of prisoner education, or providing insights into counterterrorism strategies, women at RAND are tackling our most complex policy questions.

Shanthi Nataraj speaking at the CMEPP Advisory Board Meeting, May 16-17, 2019, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Shanthi Nataraj spoke at a Center for Middle East Public Policy Advisory Board Meeting, May 2019

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

This Month's Woman to Watch

Becca Wasser

Becca Wasser

Senior Policy Analyst

Becca Wasser is a senior policy analyst at RAND, where her primary research areas include wargaming, international security, and U.S. defense and foreign policy in the Middle East. Her frequent media appearances include the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Politico, AFP, Foreign Policy, The Telegraph, and CNBC. Wasser and other RAND researchers recently developed and hosted a wargame to help young women learn firsthand about national security. She would like to build a pipeline so that a woman leading a wargame is no longer a novelty.


Our Work Addresses Key Policy Questions About Gender

Gender Equity in the Workplace

Despite gains in recent decades, women continue to receive lower pay, experience lower workforce participation, and may miss career advancement opportunities due to motherhood. RAND's research has examined the challenges and discrimination women face in many settings, as well as the impact of parenting and family life on career outcomes.

More on Gender Equity in the Workplace »

Women's Health

Women have unique health needs, and face inequity in both quality and outcomes of health care. RAND's work has highlighted gender gaps in health care access and quality, measured the health needs of specific female populations, evaluated programs aimed at improving outcomes, and demonstrated how policy impacts women's options.

  • Women and their families sit on a bench

    Research Brief

    Evaluating Global Family Planning Programs

    In 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched two programs to help track progress toward a global goal to increase modern contraceptive use by 2020. Evaluating these programs, researchers found opportunities for improvement in four areas.

More on Women's Health »

Female Populations

Women and girls face barriers to fully participating in society, including gender-based and intimate-partner violence, sexual assault, unmet health needs, and discrimination. RAND research has examined the needs of women refugees and migrants, gender disparities in health care, the effects of homelessness on women, and the impact of stress on girls.

  • Um Akram, a Syrian refugee, creates soap under Jasmine, a project which hires and trains Syrian refugee women to create handicrafts, in Amman, Jordan, July 11, 2016


    As Refugees, Syrian Women Find Liberation in Working

    Syrian refugee women in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan want opportunities to work. But there are multiple barriers and challenges that limit them. Improving the chances of safe and dignified work opportunities for Syrian women in these countries could yield broad positive social benefits for both the refugee and host communities.

More on Female Populations »

Notable Women in RAND's History

Rose Gottemoeller

Gottemoeller is NATO's Deputy Secretary General, the first woman ever appointed to that post. She was a researcher at RAND from 1977 to 1993. Learn more »

Melinda Moore

Moore's research focused on global health issues, mainly infectious diseases, health security, and public health preparedness. Her extraordinary career included 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and 14 years at RAND. Learn more »

Nancy Nimitz

Nimitz joined RAND in 1952 and specialized in economic studies of Soviet agriculture. Her work involved research on Soviet national income and product.

Roberta Wohlstetter

Wohlsetter first published at RAND in 1948. She was a military historian best known for her book Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, considered by many to be the definitive analysis of the intelligence failures that led to the attack. Learn more »

Nicole Lurie

Lurie is a physician, professor, and public health official who served as the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response during the Obama administration. While at RAND from 2002 to 2009, she was the Paul O'Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy. Learn more »

Tora Bikson

Bikson, a nationally known advocate for ethics in social science research, worked at RAND from 1974 to 2013. She was among the first experts to address the United States' rules for human subjects protection in research in the social and behavioral sciences. Learn more »

Leona Woods Marshall Libby

Libby was an American physicist who helped build the first nuclear reactor. She worked at RAND from the mid-1960s to 1976. Learn more »

Margaret Mead

Mead was an American cultural anthropologist. She studied Russian culture and attitudes toward authority while at RAND from 1948 to 1950. Learn more »