Jay Balagna

Photo of Jay Balagna
Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.P.H. in prevention science and practice, Emory University; B.A. in Spanish, University of Nevada, Reno


Jay Balagna (he/him) is a Ph.D. student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. His research interests include emergency response systems, disaster response and recovery, earthquake preparedness, the influence of climate change on wildfires, housing policy in the wildland-urban interface, and the social determinants of health. 

Prior to joining Pardee RAND, Balagna was a wildland firefighter in Nevada and Montana, an emergency medical technician in Los Angeles, and a political journalist working in the United States and Chile. He has an M.P.H. from Emory University and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Nevada, Reno. Balagna is a student in Pardee RAND's Community-Partnered Policy and Action stream.




  • A firefighter works on the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Yorba Linda, California, October 26, 2020, photo by Ringo Chiu/Reuters

    Another Record-Breaking Fire Season Shows the Need for a Comprehensive Strategy

    Year after year, fires across western U.S. states scorch forests, rangeland, and neighborhoods, wreaking havoc on rural economies and pushing smoke into cities. Policymakers should consider a coordinated and comprehensive effort that brings together the best minds in government, communities, and academia.

    Nov 6, 2020 United Press International