Emily Ellinger

Emily Ellinger
Policy Analyst
Pittsburgh Office


M.S. in international relations, University of Edinburgh; B.A. in physics, Northwestern University


Emily Ellinger (she/her) is a policy analyst at RAND Corporation, based in the Pittsburgh office. Her research interests include strategic competition, alliance formation and politics, the security clearance process, extremism, and security cooperation, geographically focused on Europe and East Asia.

Ellinger holds a M.S. in international relations from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her master’s thesis comprised a comparative analysis of U.S. alliances as they related to intelligence sharing in a post-9/11 world. Her B.A. from Northwestern University is in Physics with concentrations in theoretical physics and astrophysics. During her undergraduate studies she spent three years researching protoplanetary disks with NASA, culminating in two publications including “Connection historical disk interactions with current planetary system architectures”.

Prior to joining RAND, Ellinger was a threat analyst at Prescient LLC, a private firm that provided open-source analysis for on-the-ground threats and potential risks in remote locations around the world. During her undergraduate career, Ellinger spent a quarter in China studying at Peking University and Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic. There she investigated public health and renewable energy technology and policy in a fellowship for the Wanxiang Corporation.

Selected Publications

Michael J. Mazarr, Bryan Frederick, John J. Drennan, Emily Ellinger, Kelly Elizabeth Eusebi, Bryan Rooney, Andrew Stravers, Emily Yoder, Understanding Influence in the Strategic Competition with China, RAND Corp., 2021

Marek N. Posard, Emily Ellinger, Jamie Ryan, Richard S. Girven, Updating Personnel Vetting and Security Clearance Guidelines for Future Generations, RAND Corp., 2021

Mazarr, Michael J., Bryan Frederick, Emily Ellinger, and Benjamin Boudreaux, Competition and Restraint in Cyberspace: The Role of International Norms in Promoting U.S. Cybersecurity, RAND Corporation (RR-A1180-1), 2022