Jason Thomas Barnosky

Photo of Jason Barnosky
Senior Political Scientist
Washington Office


PhD in political science, Brown University; BA in political science, New York University


Jason Thomas Barnosky is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an expert in homeland security and emergency management policy. Prior to joining RAND, Barnosky served as a consultant to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and headed the Washington, D.C. office of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). 

Barnosky worked in the legislative branch for approximately a decade, serving as a senior advisor to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a senior analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In the Senate, Barnosky led the committee's investigative efforts in a wide variety of areas—such as the law enforcement response in Ferguson, Missouri; the Boston Marathon bombing; Hurricane Sandy; the Gulf Coast oil spill; and FEMA’s response to catastophic disasters. Barnosky also drafted and negotiated legislation and advised the chairman on Presidential nominations. At GAO, Barnosky investigated programs addressing a range of issues—including military disability policy, financial regulatory policy, emergency management, information sharing, risk management, and critical infrastructure protection.

Barnosky was previously a senior fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) and a nonresident scholar in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Barnosky has published on homeland security policy and written for The American Prospect, The Hill, Polity, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Brown University and his bachelor’s degree from New York University.


  • Two cars after they were destroyed by a tornado in Washington, Illinois, November 19, 2013

    Creating the Right Incentives for State and Local Governments to Reduce Disaster Costs

    In the United States, federal, state, and local governments share responsibility for paying for losses from disasters. As the frequency and severity of disasters has increased, so have the losses. It's worth considering whether the current risk-sharing approach is appropriate.

    Oct 14, 2020 The Hill

  • A local resident works repairing a house roof a year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, near Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, September 18, 2018, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    What Can FEMA Learn from the Historic 2017 Hurricane and Wildfire Seasons?

    When a hurricane comes ashore or a wildfire ignites, most of a community's vulnerability to disaster is already set. Emergency managers including FEMA, states, and localities could do much more to identify statewide risks and build community resilience before an event makes headlines.

    Feb 3, 2020 Georgetown Journal of International Affairs