Daniel Egel

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Ph.D. in economics, University of California, Berkeley; B.A. in biology, University of Chicago

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Daniel Egel is an economist at the RAND Corporation. His research uses qualitative and quantitative methods to study policymaking in fragile and instability-prone countries, with a focus on development- and stability-focused programming. His work at RAND includes assessments of U.S. counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; economic analyses of Brexit, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, post-conflict reconstruction in Syria, and the value of U.S. international security commitments; and support to the peace process in Yemen.

Egel served as an embedded analyst with the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan and NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan, the lead researcher for a joint ILO/UNDP/WFP team assessing job creation opportunities for Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation, a consultant for the Middle East Youth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, and an in-house consultant with the Yemeni Social Fund for Development.

Egel earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Previous Positions

Embedded Analyst, NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan; Embedded Analyst, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan; Consultant, Yemen Social Fund for Development, Sana'a, Yemen; Research Team Lead, United Nations Development Programme, Sub-regional Response Facility for the Syrian Crisis (Jordan); Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation; Consultant, Middle East Youth Initiative, The Brookings Institution; Senior Research Assistant, The Brookings Institution

Recent Projects

  • Strategic Evaluation of the Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund
  • Stabilization and Civilian Security in Yemen
  • The American Way of Irregular War
  • The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Research Support to Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan

Selected Publications

Linda Robinson, Daniel Egel, Ryan Andrew Brown, Measuring the effectiveness of special operations, RAND (RR-2504-A), 2019

Daniel Egel, Andrew Parasiliti, Charles P. Ries, Dori Walker, Estimating the economic benefits of Levant integration, RAND (RR-2375-NLI), 2019

Charles T. Cleveland, Ryan Crocker, Daniel Egel, Andrew M. Liepman, David Maxwell, An American way of political warfare : a proposal, RAND (PE-304), 2018

Eric Robinson, Daniel Egel, Patrick B. Johnston, Sean Mann, Alexander D. Rothenberg, David Stebbins, When the Islamic State Comes to town: the economic impact of Islamic State governance in Iraq and Syria, RAND (RR-1970-RC), 2017

Daniel Egel, Adam R. Grissom, John P. Godges, Jennifer Kavanagh, Howard J. Shatz, Estimating the Value of Overseas Security Commitments, RAND Corporation (RR-518-AF), 2016

Daniel Egel, Charles Ries, Ben Connable, Todd Helmus, Eric Robinson, Isaac Baruffi, Melissa Bradley, Kurt Card, Kathleen Loa, Sean Mann, Stephan Seabrook, Fernando Sedano, and Robert Stewart, Investing in the Fight: Assessing the Use of the Commander's Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan, RAND Corporation (RR-1508), 2016

C. Ross Anthony, Daniel Egel, Charles P. Ries, Craig Bond, Andrew Liepman, Jeffrey Martini, Steven Simon, Shira Efron, Bradley D. Stein, Lynsay Ayer, Mary E. Vaiana, The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, RAND Corporation (RR-740-DCR), 2015

Honors & Awards

  • Mentorship Award, RAND Corporation


  • A boy with followers of the Houthi movement carries a rifle during a rally to commemorate the Ashura, the holiest day for Shi'ite Muslims, in Sanaa, Yemen, August 30, 2020, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Yemen's Chaos Creates a New Opportunity for the Biden-Harris Team

    More than one-quarter million Yemenis have been killed in the nation's civil war. And 150,000 children have died from starvation and left Yemen on the brink of collapse. The foundations of peace must be Yemeni-led, but there is much that the new U.S. administration could do to support the process.

    Nov 24, 2020 The National Interest

  • An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., June 15, 2005, photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

    Defense Budget Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a dramatic toll on the U.S. economy. This could have significant medium-term implications for the U.S. defense budget. The U.S. Department of Defense will need to find efficiencies that are of at least the same magnitude as the recent sequestration.

    Apr 7, 2020 RealClearDefense

  • An empty market after a curfew was imposed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, March 18, 2020

    Economic Consequences of COVID-19 in the Middle East: Implications for U.S. National Security

    The global COVID-19 pandemic will have a dramatic effect on economies across the globe. But the Middle East may be particularly affected, given the simultaneous fall in oil prices. The economic consequences of this pandemic are also likely to affect U.S. interests in the region.

    Apr 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Artificial intelligence concept with face, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    AI and Irregular Warfare: An Evolution, Not a Revolution

    How will artificial intelligence change the way wars are fought? The answer, of course, depends. And it mainly depends on what type of wars are being fought. And how will AI affect the type of wars that the United States is most likely to fight?

    Oct 31, 2019 War on the Rocks

  • F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, rest on the flightline at Los Llanos Air Base, Spain, September 16, 2016

    Economic Benefits of U.S. Overseas Security Commitments Appear to Outweigh Costs

    U.S. policymakers should carefully weigh the potential losses against the potential gains when considering the desirability of large-scale retrenchments of U.S. overseas security commitments.

    Sep 23, 2016 The RAND Blog