Natalie W. Crawford

Natalie W. Crawford
Senior Fellow; Distinguished Chair in Air and Space Policy; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


B.A. in mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles; Honorary Ph.D. in engineering, Michigan State University; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Policy, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Natalie Crawford is a senior fellow and distinguished chair in Air and Space Policy at the RAND Corporation. She is also a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She has held a number of leadership positions within RAND Project Air Force, and was vice president and director from 1997 to 2006. 

Crawford received the U.S. Air Force Academy's 2012 Thomas D. White National Defense Award for her significant contributions to national security. In 2011, she received the Air Force Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the advancement of aerospace science and technology. In 2006, she received the OSD Medal for Exceptional Public Service and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Defense Industrial Association's Combat Survivability Division. Crawford was awarded the Department of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service twice, in 1995 and 2003. Also in 2003, she received the Air Force Analytic Community's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lt. Gen. Glenn Kent Leadership Award, and the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award from the Military Operations Research Society. She was named an AIAA Fellow in 2011. In 2018 she was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of public policy by the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Senior Mentor, USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Member, National Academy of Engineering; Honorary Fellow, AIAA

Honors & Awards

  • Thomas D. White National Defense Award 2012, United States Air Force Academy
  • Lifetime Achievement Award 2011, Air Force Association
  • Medal for Exceptional Public Service 2006, Office of the Secretary of Defense


  • Report

    Outsmarting Agile Adversaries in the Electromagnetic Spectrum

    RAND researchers conducted case studies comprising key elements necessary for creating near-real-time, autonomous, inflight software reprogramming and artificial intelligence–enabled cognitive electronic warfare capabilities for the U.S. Air Force.

    Jan 19, 2023

  • Report

    Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea

    North Korea's ballistic missile program, the theater missile defense debate, and ongoing discussions concerning South Korea's next-generation combat aircraft have combined to heighten awareness of the critical importance of aerospace power.


  • Report

    Modernizing Airpower Projection Capabilities: Future Needs and Options

    In light of the resounding victory in the Persian Gulf War and the strong pressures to reduce military spending, many observers are questioning the need to modernize U.S. airpower.


  • Report

    Low level attack of armored targets

    The proliferation, redundancy, and diversity of Soviet surface-to-air defenses, especially in defense of the battle area, severely limit the air space in which tactical aircraft can operate effectively and survive. Further complications arise when th...