Christian Curriden

Christian Curriden
Defense Analyst
Washington Office


M.A. in social science, University of Chicago; B.A. in history, Brigham Young University


Christian Curriden is a defense analyst at the RAND Corporation. His work at RAND has mostly focused on Chinese and Korean issues, especially PLA research and development, as well as artificial intelligence applications in the PLA. His research has also touched on proxy wars, the Chinese science and technology environment, and Chinese military interventions abroad. Outside of RAND, Christian has conducted research and published or presented papers on Chinese space capabilities and Chinese soft power in Hollywood. 

Before joining RAND, he completed his MA at the University of Chicago, where his thesis used deterrence theory and trade data to explore the reasons China could not coerce North Korea. Curriden's extensive experience working and studying in China has included the completion of the State Department Critical Language Scholarship, conducting research on Chinese public opinion of North Korea at Nanjing University, and writing market reports for Fortune 500 companies at North Head, a consulting firm in Beijing. He has also conducted both primary and secondary source research in Korean on Northeast Asian diplomacy and lived in South Korea for two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Recent Projects

  • Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Selected Publications

"Military Artificial Intelligence in China," in Forrest E. Morgan, Benjamin Boudreaux, Andrew J. Lohn, Mark Ashby, Christian Curriden, Kelly Klima, Derek Grossman, Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence, The RAND Corporation (RR-RR-3139-1-AF)


Chinese; Korean


  • North Korea

    Searching for Signs of Doi Moi in North Korea

    President Trump's second summit with Kim Jong Un prompted voluminous commentary about whether Pyongyang might adopt the “Vietnam model” of economic reform and opening up, known as doi moi. Some version of doi moi is not impossible in North Korea, but it will likely be more difficult than it was in Vietnam and made all the more so by Kim's reluctance to risk losing absolute control.

    Aug 12, 2019

    38 North