Amado Cordova

Photo of Amado Cordova
Senior Engineer
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in electrical engineering, Stanford University; M.S. in electrical engineering, Stanford University; Diplome d'ingenieur in electrical engineering, Ecole Superieure d'Electricite; B.S. in physics, Univ. Autonoma Metropolitana


Amado Cordova is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation, with research aimed at answering policy questions in homeland security and national defense. He has been principal investigator in various RAND research units - Project Air Force (PAF), Arroyo Center, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), and RAND Health Care - and has led projects on subjects such on acquisition, strategic planning, identification of innovative technologies and technology roadmaps.

As examples of recent work: He led the Communications and Information Technology (Comms/IT) team for the HSOAC Puerto Rico recovery project; his team collected data, interviewed stakeholders, prepared 33 courses of action worth 3.2 billion dollars, and wrote the recovery plan for the Comms/IT sector of the island. For PAF his team assessed what improvements in timeliness, reliability and maintainability can be achieved in the Minuteman ICBM by implementing new navigation and guidance technologies. For Arroyo he worked on investigating the impacts of adopting common architectures within the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. He was member of the modeling team of COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts) to analyze the impact of the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to RAND he was Chief Technology Officer of Copley Networks, California. Before that, at Litton Industries, he and his team designed and developed the world-most-robust fiber-optic gyroscopes for military and other applications. For his contributions he received Litton's C. Thornton Advanced Technology Award. He earned a Ph.D. in EE from Stanford University, a Diplome d'Ingenieur from SUPELEC (France) and a B.S. in Physics from UAM (Mexico). He is author or coauthor of 23 U.S. patents and of 48 publications (RAND reports and journal articles).

Recent Projects

  • HSOAC Puerto Rico Recovery Project: Communications and Information Technology
  • Navigation and Guidance Technologies for Strategic Systems
  • Understanding the Value of Commonality in Army Systems
  • Planning the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) ISR Force in the Post-OND/OEF-A World
  • Simulation of Participation in the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (AIE) and Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) Exchanges for the Fifty States and the District of Columbia

Selected Publications

Amado Cordova, Christine Eibner, Raffaele Vardavas, James Broyles and Federico Girosi, "Modeling Employer Self-Insurance Decisions after the Affordable Care Act," Health Services Research (HSR) Journal, 2013

Amado Cordova, Sarah Nowak, Christine Eibner, Kenneth Finegold and Federico Girosi, "The COMPARE Microsimulation Model and the U.S. Affordable Care Act," International Journal of Microsimulation (IJM), 2013

Christine Eibner, Carter C. Price, Raffaele Var davas, Amado Cordova and Federico Girosi, "Small Firms’ Actions in Two Areas, And Exchange Premium and Enrollment Impact," Health Affairs, 31(2), 2012

Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Amado Cordova, Jeffrey Wasserman and Federico Girosi, "Could We Have Covered More People At Less Cost? Technically, Yes; Politically, Probably Not," Health Affairs, 29(6), 2010

Amado Cordova, Markus Deserno, William M. Gelbart and Avinoam Ben-Shaul, "Osmotic Shock and the Strength of Viral Capsids," Biophysical Journal, 85, 2003

Brien Alkire, Abbie Tingstad, Dale Benedetti, Amado Cordova, Irina Danescu, William Fry, D. Scott George, Lawrence M. Hanser, Lance Menthe, Erik Nemeth, David Ochmanek, Julia Pollak, Jessie Riposo, Timothy Smith, Alexander Stephenson, Leveraging the Past to Prepare for the Future of Air Force Intelligence Analysis, RAND (RR-1330), 2016

Amado Cordova, Lindsay Millard, Lance Menthe, Carl Rhodes and Robert Guffey, Motion imagery processing and exploitation (MIPE), RAND (RR-154-AF), 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Silver Medal (2012), Health Unit
  • Bronze Medal (2010), Health Unit
  • Charles B. Thornton Advanced Technologies Achievement Award, Litton Industries Conglomerate for Technical Innovation


Spanish; French


  • A man with his children in a doctor's waiting room

    Modifying the ACA's Family Subsidy Rules to Help Ensure Affordability

    The ACA encourages workers to retain employer coverage by restricting their eligibility for marketplace subsidies. Modifying the policy could help 700,000 people gain coverage and lower spending for 1.6 million who are insured but face high health care costs under current ACA policy.

    Jan 12, 2016 The Commonwealth Fund Blog

  •  Doctor with young woman

    Will Small Firms Self-Insure After Jan. 1, 2014?

    Because of the ACA's regulations, some smaller employers with young and healthy workers are considering avoiding the purchase of health care coverage in the regulated market, opting instead to self-insure their employees.

    Jun 17, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • a health insurance claim form and a silver pen

    Helping Obama—and Other Americans—Weigh Which Health Insurance Exchange to Pick

    Multistate plans are most likely to appeal to out-of-state students, interstate migrants, out-of-state workers, seasonal movers (e.g., “snowbirds”), and similar groups that require improved access to health care across state lines.

    Apr 1, 2013 The RAND Blog