Susan M. Gates

Susan M. Gates
Director, Office of Research Quality Assurance; Senior Economist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. in economic analysis and policy, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; M.A. in Russian and Eastern European studies, Stanford University; A.B. in mathematical economics, Brown University

Media Resources

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Susan M. Gates is director of the Office of Research Quality Assurance, a senior economist at RAND, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research applies insights about the economics of organizations, personnel economics, and labor economics to address challenges facing public and private sector organizations and to advance workforce development, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Gates is an experienced project leader and manager. Her recent research has focused on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition and cyber workforces, how public school districts prepare, manage, and support leaders, and the efforts of local governments to promote entrepreneurship. Prior research examined higher education as an industry, entrepreneurship and innovation, the military child care system, and a wide range of defense workforce and management issues. Her published research appears in numerous RAND reports as well as in external publications such as the Economics of Education Review, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Public Administration Review, Managerial and Decision Economics, ERS Spectrum, and Armed Forces and Society.

As the director of RAND's Office of Research Quality Assurance, Gates supports the achievement of RAND's Standards for High-Quality and Objective Research and Analysis by maintaining a strong culture of quality along with supportive policies and processes. 

Gates received her Ph.D. in economics from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her M.A. in Russian and Eastern European studies from Stanford University. 

Selected Publications

Werber, Laura, Susan M. Gates, Brian Phillips, Lucas Greer, Jonas Kempf, and Samantha Cherney, Understanding and Improving Civilian Employer Experiences with Guard and Reserve Duty, RAND Corporation (RR-A852-1), 2024

Gates, Susan M., Matthew D. Baird, Benjamin K. Master, and Emilio R. Chavez-Herrerias, Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools, RAND Corporation (RR-2666), 2019

Gates, Susan M., Julia H. Kaufman, Sy Doan, Andrea Prado Tuma and Deborah Kim , Taking Stock of Principal Pipelines: What Public School Districts Report Doing and What They Want to Do to Improve School Leadership., RAND (RR-A-274-1), 2020

Gates, Susan M., Elizabeth A. Roth and Jonas Kempf, Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce Analyses: Update to Methods and Results through FY 2021. , RAND (RR-A758-2-OSD), 2022

Gates, Susan M., Ashley Woo, Lea Xenakis, Elaine Lin Wang, Rebecca Herman, Megan Andrew and Ivy Todd , Using State-Level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality: Lessons from Seven States Partnering with Principal Preparation Programs and Districts. , RAND (RR-A-413-1), 2020

Susan M. Gates et al., "Mobility and Turnover Among School Principals," Economics of Education Review, 25(3), 2006

Fairlie, Robert W., Kanika Kapur and Susan M. Gates, "Is employer-based health insurance a Barrier to Entrepreneurship?" Journal of Health Economics, 30(1), 2011

Dominic J. Brewer, Susan M. Gates and Charles Goldman, In Pursuit of Prestige: Strategy and Competition in U.S. Higher Education, Transaction Press, 2006

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CPRE Knowledge Hub; Marketplace