Gary Cecchine

Photo of Gary Cecchine
Director, RAND Gulf States Policy Institute; Senior Policy Researcher
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in biology and public policy, Georgia Institute of Technology; B.S. in marine science and biology, University of Tampa

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Gary Cecchine is director of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. He leads and conducts technical and policy research in a range of areas, including energy and environmental policy, coastal protection, emergency preparedness and response, homeland security, and science policy. As director of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, he also develops and coordinates policy research in environment, health, education, economics, public safety, and regional and strategic planning. Cecchine earned his Ph.D. in biology and public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology and was a U.S. Army officer in the Medical Service Corps.

Previous Positions

Management Systems Consultant and Auditor, Det Norske Veritas (USA); Officer, Regular Army, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Army

Recent Projects

  • Emergency response to terrorist attacks and natural disasters
  • Ecosystem management and health
  • Research funding management
  • Civil-military relations


  • Members of the Cajun Navy transport loggers to clear power lines after Tropical Storm Florence caused massive flooding in Whiteville, North Carolina, September 17, 2018, photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

    What's Missing From Community Disaster Response? The Whole Community

    Across the United States, significant gaps exist in disaster response needs and capabilities. Community volunteers have stepped up to fill those gaps where possible. They may need more support and resources.

    Nov 9, 2020 The National Interest

  • Aerial photograph of the devastation caused in the greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina, August 30, 2005, photo by Vincent Laforet/Pool/Reuters

    Planning for the Upcoming Hurricane Season in Light of COVID-19

    What if Hurricane Katrina had hit during a pandemic? Emergency planners can prepare for this scenario by evaluating current response system capacity, evacuation and sheltering procedures, food and supply issues, and more.

    May 4, 2020 Vox

  • Aerial photos of New Jersey coastline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

    In Wake of Hurricane Sandy, Look to Louisiana for Lessons

    Just as public agencies across the country conducted terrorism risk assessments in the wake of 9/11, a comprehensive infrastructure assessment may be in order to understand natural hazard risks and the potential exacerbating effects of climate change, write Gary Cecchine, David Groves, and Jordan Fischbach.

    Nov 1, 2012 The RAND Blog

  • USACE New Orleans District Mississippi River Tie-In

    Has the Gulf Coast Learned Katrina's Lessons in Time for Isaac?

    Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, it's clear that New Orleans and other cities along the Gulf Coast are applying what they learned then in preparation for Hurricane Isaac, write Gary Cecchine and Jordan R. Fischbach.

    Aug 29, 2012 U.S. News & World Report