Michael J. Gaines

Photo of Michael Gaines
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.S.S.I. in strategic intelligence, National Intelligence University; M.S.M. in logistics management, Florida Institute of Technology; B.A. in history, University of Memphis


Mike Gaines is a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy analyst at RAND. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Memphis, an M.S. in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and an M.S. in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

Prior to joining RAND, Gaines worked as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton fulfilling a Defense Intelligence Agency contract in Stuttgart, Germany. He previously worked as a diplomatic security special agent at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Gaines is a Marine veteran with ten years of active service and 23 years of total service. He has experience in national security, strategic and operational level intelligence, and he recently began working towards a secondary education teaching license. His research interests include addressing socio-economic disparities such as education, opportunity, financial, judicial and policing equity in heterogeneous societies; countering terrorism and insurgencies; gun violence and prevention; conflict prevention, mitigation, and/or domination; and generalizing stable outcomes in social interactions.

Honors & Awards

  • Bronze Star Medal, USMC