Jalal Awan

Photo of Jalal Awan
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.S. in green technologies, University of Southern California; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore


Jalal Awan is a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy analyst at RAND. Prior to joining RAND, he worked as an electrical projects and maintenance engineer at an industrial power plant and as a technical consultant at an energy consulting firm in Pakistan. 

Awan takes a keen interest in international affairs and politics and is a regular freelance writer in various online and journal publications. His research interests revolve around autonomous transport, climate change, infrastructure resilience, future of work and the smart grid. He has experience working on lifecycle analysis of photovoltaic-based off-grid electrical systems and feasibility of 'platooning' autonomous vehicle fleets to tackle traffic congestion in Los Angeles.

Awan is an IEEE-accredited electrical engineer and an ASQ certified Six Sigma Green Belt. As part of the UN Secretary General's Sustainability for All team, he conducted background research and actively participated in the negotiations that led to post-2015 sustainable development agenda adoption. At RAND, he is currently involved in projects like developing performance measures for public health emergency handling, estimating benefits of autonomous vehicles, evaluation of transboundary environmental impacts on India-Pakistan relations and cybersecurity of unmanned aerial vehicles. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering & Technology, Pakistan. As a Fulbright Exchange scholar, he completed his M.S. in green technologies from the University of Southern California in December 2015. Awan also holds the U.S. Green Building Council certification in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED).

Recent Projects

  • Impacts of Climate Change on Youth, Peace and Security in the the Middle East and Africa
  • Social and Environmental Impact Assessment of Coal-based Indigenous Power Generation in Pakistan

Honors & Awards

  • Fulbright Exchange Scholar 2014-2015, U.S. Department of State
  • Vice President, Fulbright Association, LA Chapter, Fulbright Association


Urdu; Hindi


  • Department of Water and Power employees assess the damage from a broken 30-inch water main on Sunset Boulevard, next to the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, July 30, 2014, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Lessening Leakages: How Water Systems Can Learn From Smart Electric Grids

    As drought and population growth place increasing pressure on water supply, the need to save and efficiently manage Southern California's water resources becomes increasingly critical. A single information and communication technology platform could go a long way toward moving water utilities from reactive to proactive maintenance practices.

    Mar 22, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, speaks to members of media after voting in the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018

    New Pakistan, Old Challenges

    While the United States has been voicing concerns about the destabilizing potential of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan needs the economic stability that initiative could bring. As long as Pakistan remains a poor country, its democracy will be at risk.

    Oct 17, 2018 The National Interest