Katharina Ley Best

Katharina Ley Best
Associate Director, Personnel, Training, and Health Program, RAND Arroyo Center; Senior Operations Researcher


Ph.D. in industrial and operations engineering, University of Michigan; M.S. in industrial and operations engineering, University of Michigan; B.S. in systems engineering, University of Virginia

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Katharina Best (she/her) is a senior operations researcher and associate program director of Arroyo's Personnel, Training, and Health Program. Her research interests focus on applications of operations research and mathematical modeling for strategic decision support, and she is especially interested in understanding and building more quantitative connections between strategic and operational decisionmaking. Her past work includes applications in risk management, military force planning and management, manpower and workforce issues, acquisition, and climate change. Prior to coming to RAND, Best studied the dynamics of the college education market in the United States as well as the effect of loans and credit on decisions made by students, parents, lenders, and institutions of higher education. She worked as a corporate risk consultant at Oliver Wyman Financial Services, where she sought to apply risk management practices from the finance industry in other types of corporate management environments. Best received her Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan and her B.S. in systems engineering from the University of Virginia.