Shira Efron

Photo of Shira Efron
Policy Researcher, RAND; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Special Advisor on Israel
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.Phil 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 a 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 is leading RAND's new Israel program and researches issues related to Israel, the Middle East, food security, and technology adoption in developing countries. Prior to RAND, Efron worked at several think tanks and NGOs focusing on the Middle East. 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 has a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. 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

  • Israel and China: Security Implications of Ties
  • Food Security in the Gulf Cooperation Council
  • What Might Happen if Palestinians Start Voting in Jerusalem Municipal Elections? Gaming the End of the Electoral Boycott and the Future of City Politics
  • The costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The Public Health Impacts of Gaza's Water Crisis: Analysis and Policy Options

Selected Publications

Shira Efron, Charles Fromm, Bill Gelfeld, Shanthi Nataraj, Chase Sova, "Food Security in the Gulf Cooperation Council,", 2018

Jonathan Blake, Elizabeth M. Bartels, Shira Efron, Yitzhak Reiter, What Might Happen if Palestinians Start Voting in Jerusalem Municipal Elections?, 2018

Shira Efron, Jordan R. Fischbach, Ilana Blum, Rouslan I. Karimov, Melinda Moore, The Public Health Impacts of Gaza's Water Crisis, , 2018

Efron, Shira.; Goldenberg, Ilan "The Crisis of the Gaza Strip: A Way Out," in , United States Policy toward the Gaza Strip, Institute for National Security Studies (EP-EP-67493), 2018

"The Crisis of the Gaza Strip: A Way Out ," in Efron, Shira.; Fischbach, Jordan R.; Giordano, Giulia, Gaza's Water and Sanitation Crisis: The Implications for Public Health, Institute for National Security Studies (EP-67494), 2018

Cohen, Raphael S.; Johnson, David E.; Thaler, David E.; Allen, Brenna.; Bartels, Elizabeth M.; Cahill, James.; Efron, Shira., Lessons from Israel's wars in Gaza, RAND Corporation (RR-1888-A), 2017

Shira Efron, The Future of Israeli-Turkish Relations, , 2018

Henry H. Willis, David G. Groves, Jeanne S. Ringel, Zhimin Mao, Shira Efron, Michele Abbott, Developing the Pardee RAND Food-Energy-Water Security Index, , 2016

Honors & Awards

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




  • Palestinian demonstrators run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018

    Five Thoughts on Jerusalem, Gaza, and What's in Between

    Dozens of people have been killed and over 2,000 injured in protests in the Gaza Strip along the border with Israel. Continued clashes are expected until the fundamental problems of the strip are solved, including the governance vacuum, the Palestinian Authority-Hamas rift, and the conflict with Israel.

    May 15, 2018 The Hill

  • U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 5, 2018

    Gaza on the Brink

    The combined risk of violence and pandemic in Gaza makes this small coastal enclave a ticking time bomb. While neither Israel nor the U.S. has the solutions to all of Gaza's water and health woes, the United States' decision to withhold funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency could only make things worse.

    Mar 9, 2018 U.S. News & World Report

  • 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