Aaron C. Davenport

Photo of Aaron Davenport
Senior Policy Researcher, Associate Program Director, Homeland Security Research Division
Washington Office


M.S. in environmental sciences, occupational health, industrial hygiene, minor - hazardous materials, University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health


Aaron C. Davenport is a senior policy researcher and the Associate Director for the Strategy, Policy, and Operations Program (SPOP) within the  Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC) FFRDC and RAND's Homeland Security Research Division.  He is also acting-associate program director for the Personnal and Resources Program (PRP) within HSOAC.

Davenport retired as a senior officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. His final assignment was Chief of Cutter Forces for a fleet of 250 ships and 8,500 sea going personnel. He also served as founding Deputy Chief, USCG Office of Counter-Terrorism and Special Missions and Executive Officer, Counterdrug Operations, US Southern Command. Davenport’s sea duty includes six ships and command of two large cutters, enforcing international treaties, international immigration and trafficking laws, and performing institutional security governance and capacity building assistance, humanitarian assistance and joint maritime operations throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Bering Sea. He was also detailed to the White House Staff as Special Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism for two administrations (Obama/Bush).

Davenport completed senior executive fellowships at the RAND's National Defense Research Institute and the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. He participated as an expert panel member and paper presenter at the 2019 NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, Advanced Research Workshop on Counterterrorism and is currently advising the U.S. Institute of Security Governance and Bahamas Ministry of National Security. Earlier research and analysis include assessing border security in Northern Africa, the Caucasus, and assessments of DHS program strategy, operations, policy and metrics. Davenport has participated in several congressionally mandated studies, written for several publications within the national and homeland security arena and is regarded as an expert on maritime and border security. Davenport has also contributed as a maritime security and strategy expert panelist and contributor to multiple international and national symposiums and conferences.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Previous Positions

White House Special Advisor for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism, Office of the Vice President of the United States, National Security and Homeland Security Affairs, 2007-2009; Chief, US Coast Office of Cutter Forces, Department of Homeland Security, 2011-2014; Deputy Chief, US Coast Guard Office of Counter-terrorism and Special Missions, Department of Homeland Security, 2005-2006; Executive Officer, Counter-drug Operations Division, US Southern Command Headquarters, Department of Defense, 2001-2003; Commanding Officer, US Coast Guard Cutters JARVIS, (2009-2010) VALIANT (2003-2005), Department of Homeland Security; Operations Officer, US Coast Guard Marine Safety and Group Office, Philadelphia, PA, Department of Transportation, 1988-1990,; Deputy Chief, Safety and Environmental Health Branch; Senior Industrial Hygienist, US Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Department of Transportation, 1995-1998

Recent Projects

  • USCG Evergreen - Future Strategic Planning and Emerging Policy
  • Security Cooperation and Security Governance - Ministry of National Security, RBDF, Bahamas
  • COVID-19 Secretary's Advisory Group, Analytical Support
  • Domain Awareness Strategic Plan
  • Evaluation of Colombia Counterdrug Programs

Selected Publications

Aaron C. Davenport and William C. Hinds, "Carbon Monoxide and Oxides of Nitrogen Exposure During Offloading of Car Carrier Vessels," Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

A.C. Davenport, T.J. Glynn, H. Rhambarose, "Coast Guard Exposure to Gasoline, MTBE, and Benzene Vapors During Inspection of Tank Barges," American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal

Davenport, Aaron C., Jonathan William Welburn, Andrew Lauland, Annelise Pietenpol, Marc Robbins, Erin Rebhan, Patricia Boren, and K. Jack Riley, An Evaluation of the Department of Defense's Excess Property Program: Law Enforcement Agency Equipment Acquisition Policies, Findings, and Options, RAND Corporation, 2018

Gerstein, Daniel M., Anthony Atler, Aaron C. Davenport, Beth Grill, Amanda Kadlec, and William Young, Managing International Borders: Balancing Security with the Licit Flow of People and Goods, RAND Corporation, 2018

Liisa Ecola, Aaron Davenport et. al., Rebuilding Surface, Maritime, and Air Transportation in Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, RAND Corporation (RR-2607-DHS), 2020

Aaron C. Davenport, Lessons from Maritime Narcotics Interdiction: Interdiction in the Maritime Source, Transit, and Arrival Zones of the Western Hemisphere, IOS Press, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, Vol 150 (EP-68327), 2020

Aaron C. Davenport et. al., Decoding Data Science, RAND Corporation (PE-A150-1), 2020

Savitz et. al., Enhancing U.S. Coast Guard Metrics, RAND Corporation (RR-1173-USCG), 2015

Honors & Awards

  • Defense Superior Service Medal, Secretary of Defense, Office of the Vice President of the United States
  • Meritorious Service Medal (4), Commander, U.S. Southern Command; USCG Commandant; USCG Pacific Area/Atlantic Area Commander
  • 2019, 2017, 2016 Research and Analysis, Key Contributor Medal, RAND Corporation




  • Detroit police line up next to an armored vehicle following a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Detroit, Michigan, June 1, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    How to Reform Military Gear Transfers to Police

    Police officers equipped like soldiers have appeared on the streets of American cities amid recent protests over George Floyd's killing. How should lawmakers reform a program that makes use of excess equipment and is popular with police departments, but that also raises substantial concerns about the militarization of policing?

    Jul 13, 2020 The Wall Street Journal