Jalal Awan

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


M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.S. in green technologies, University of Southern California; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore


Jalal Awan (he/him) 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 with hands-on experience on industrial electrical and control systems.

His research interests broadly fall under technology policy and include autonomous transport, climate change mitigation, community science, advanced manufacturing, 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.

At RAND, he is currently involved in projects under the Social and Economic Well-being division including developing performance measures for public health emergency handling, estimating benefits of autonomous vehicles, evaluating transboundary environmental impacts on India-Pakistan relations, using gaming to understand the application of technology in food production, using deep learning to predict air quality, and examining cybersecurity for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Awan holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering & Technology, Pakistan and an MPhil in Policy Analysis. 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).

Previous Positions

Electrical Projects Engineer; Renewable Energy Consultant

Recent Projects

  • Social and Environmental Impact Assessment of Coal-based Indigenous Power Generation in Pakistan
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Youth, Peace and Security in the the Middle East and Africa
  • Using gaming to understand the role of technology for food security
  • Cybersecurity of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Honors & Awards

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


Urdu; Hindi; Punjabi; Arabic (low)


  • 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