Michael J. Gaines

Michael J. Gaines
Postdoctoral Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; 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 recent Ph.D. graduate of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a postdoctoral researcher 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, an M.S. in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University, and a Ph.D. from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. 

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 socioeconomic disparities in areas that include education, employment opportunity and advancement; 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
  • RAND Spotlight Award, RAND Corporation