David DeSmet

David DeSmet
Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School, and Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND


M.S. in environmental engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in materials science and engineering, University of California, Berkeley


David DeSmet (he/him/his) is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. 

His research at RAND has spanned the resilience of civil infrastructure, cascading disasters in the context of "green swan" events and energy grids, logistics optimization and spatial analysis in Europe, right-wing extremism, geo-engineering and viable legal instruments for international agreements, and water and energy technologies in the context of multi-domain operations. His policy interests include renewable energy, the consequences of anthropogenic global warming, and socioeconomic equity.

His technical skills include R, Python, data science and machine learning, and GIS. He received his M.S. in environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and his B.S. in materials science and engineering from University of California, Berkeley. He has previously worked with the Army Corps of Engineers within the Risk and Decision Science team.

Selected Publications

Aaron Clark‐Ginsberg, David DeSmet, Ismael A Rueda, Ryan Hagen, Brian Hayduk, "Disaster risk creation and cascading disasters within large technological systems: COVID‐19 and the 2021 Texas blackouts," Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 29(4), 2021

Michelle Grisé, Emmi Yonekura, Jonathan S. Blake, David DeSmet, Anusree Garg, Benjamin Lee Preston, International Legal Mechanisms for Managing the Geopolitical Risks of Geoengineering, RAND Corporation (PEA1133-1), 2021

Taylor Rycroft, Matthew Wood, Valerie Zemba, Alan Kennedy, Charles Weiss Jr, David DeSmet, Rahim Ali, Igor Linkov, "Assessing the sustainability of advanced materials using multicriteria decision analysis and the triple bottom line," Integrated environmental assessment and management, 15(6), 2019