Shawn Cochran

Senior Political Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. in political science, University of Chicago; M.P.P. in international security policy, Harvard University; M.A. in airpower art and science, Air University; B.S. in history, United States Air Force Academy


Shawn Cochran is a senior political scientist and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He specializes in national security strategy, joint warfighting, security cooperation, civil-military relations, and military institutions. Cochran came to RAND in 2020 from the US Air Force, where he served as Commandant and Dean of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. A career Combat Rescue helicopter pilot, he led military contingency and humanitarian operations around the globe and also worked as a political-military advisor to United States Special Operations Command. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a Master of Public Policy in International Security and Political Economy from Harvard University. His work has been published in Strategic Studies Quarterly, Armed Forces & Society, and Security Studies.


  • Russia

    Will Putin's War in Ukraine Continue Without Him?

    Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there has been ongoing deliberation about how long Putin will remain in power. But the West should not assume a change of leadership would result in an end to the war, at least in the short term, as Putin's war could very well continue without Putin.

    Oct 10, 2022

    War on the Rocks