Shira Efron

shira efron
Associate Policy Researcher, RAND; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A in international affairs/business, New York University; B.Sc. in biology, Tel Aviv University

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Shira Efron is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, a special advisor on Israel with RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She has extensive experience investigating geopolitical trends in the broader Middle East as well as domestic policies in Israel. In addition to her Middle East expertise, Efron's research focuses on Africa, food security, and technology adoption in developing countries.

Prior to RAND, Efron primarily conducted research and analysis on Middle East issues. She was the policy director and country representative of the Institute for Inclusive Security in Israel. Previously, she was a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, where she edited the Middle East Bulletin, a multi-weekly online publication for a high-level U.S. government and stakeholder audience focusing on the intersection of U.S. political, economic, and security interests in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Efron was also a research analyst at a hedge fund in New York, an editor at the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, and a reporter in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Efron graduated from the Pardee RAND Graduate School with a Ph.D. in policy analysis. In her dissertation she employed a mixed-method approach to examine the feasibility—both technical and non-technical—of using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for agriculture in Africa. She also has an M.A. in international relations/international business from New York University (NYU) and a B.Sc. in biology and computer science from Tel Aviv University.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • Developing Capacity of the Center for Research and Security Studies, Abu Dhabi
  • The costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • A Simple Decision Support Tool to Assess Potential Public Health Emergency Interventions- Proof-of-Concept and Illustrative Application to Ebola.
  • The RAND Food-Water-Energy Security Index.
  • An Approach for Sustainable Operations at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex.

Honors & Awards

  • PAF Disertation Award, Project Air Force
  • Pardee Dissertation Award, Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress


  • Demonstrators wave Turkish and Palestinian flags during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Istanbul, Turkey, December 10, 2017

    Jerusalem Embassy Move Sparks Turkey-Israel War of Words

    President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has exacerbated tensions between Turkey and Israel. Economic interests had provided incentives for thawing relations in June 2016, but separating economic interests from political differences is harder today given the mistrust between Ankara and Jerusalem.

    Jan 2, 2018 The Cipher Brief

  • A drone takes off from an operations center in Muhanda, Rwanda, on its way to deliver blood supplies to remote hospitals, October 12, 2016

    Drones Could Deliver Change to Africa

    Drones could transform Africa's urban and rural infrastructure and enhance its agricultural productivity. But deployment of drones on the continent faces technological, economic, social, and legal, and regulatory challenges.

    Nov 17, 2017 Inside Sources

  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2017.

    Toward a Renewed Middle East Peace Process

    Momentum is building toward resumption of the dormant Middle East peace process. But there will need to be a clear, consistent plan that delivers quick, tangible results to both sides and helps restore trust between them in order for a peace plan to succeed.

    May 11, 2017 The Jewish Journal

  • Yesh Atid on Election Night

    When Winning Means Losing: Israel After the Election

    It is not clear whether or to what extent Netanyahu will abandon his traditional coalition partners on the right and turn toward the fragmented political center. However, such a turn may be necessary, writes Shira Efron.

    Jan 23, 2013 The RAND Blog