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. His current research aims at answering policy questions primarily in national defense. He has been principal investigator within RAND Project Air Force (PAF), the Arroyo Center, and RAND Health.

Cordova's recent research on national defense has included Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), defense acquisition and military technologies.

He previously was a member of the modeling team of COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts), which he joined when this initiative was launched.

Prior to joining RAND, Cordova was the chief technology officer of Copley Networks in California, where he directed fiber-optic telecom, datacom and video transmission product development. Before that, he spent 13 years with Litton Industries in California (now part of Northrop-Grumman). During that period he designed and developed fiber optic gyroscopes, and led a team that developed fiber gyros for military environments. For his contributions Cordova received Litton's C. Thornton Advanced Technology Award in 1994. He was also the principal investigator of the DoD DARPA Mantech task in charge of optimizing optical fiber. Cordova has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, a "Diplome d'Ingenieur," from Ecole Superieure d'Electricite, Paris, France, and a B.S. in physics from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico. He holds 23 U.S. patents.

Recent Projects

  • Navigation and Guidance Technologies for Strategic Systems
  • Technology for Automating ISR PED for Efficiency and Effectiveness
  • Planning the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) ISR Force in the Post-OND/OEF-A World
  • Simulation of Potential Participation in Multistate Health Plans
  • 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


  • 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