Elizabeth (Ellie) Bartels is a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. She has an M.S. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in political science with a minor in Near Eastern languages and civilization from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Pardee RAND, she was a senior associate at Caerus Associates, where she led the development and testing of an analytical framework for analyzing and planning urban operations for the U.S. Department of Defense. She previously worked as a research analyst at the National Defense University's gaming center, where she designed educational and analytical games for military schoolhouses, U.S. interagency initiatives, and partner-nation militaries. Her research interests include game design and analysis, irregular warfare, and Middle East politics.