Katharina Best is associate director of the Personnel, Training, and Health (PT&H) program within RAND Arroyo Center, and a senior operations researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research interests focus on applications of operations research and mathematical modeling, including work on risk management, military force management, manpower and workforce issues, acquisition, and financial modeling. Best's work at RAND covers force management, force planning, readiness, and personnel issues across the Army and Department of Defense. She is also interested in higher education finance, financial decisionmaking, educational technology and data, and privacy.
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. 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.