Lawrence M. Hanser

Photo of Lawrence Hanser
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and M.S. in psychology, Iowa State University; B.A. in psychology, Marquette University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Lawrence M. Hanser (he/him) is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. He previously served as associate director of the Manpower, Personnel, and Training Program within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

As an industrial/organizational psychologist, Hanser’s research has focused on people and organizations, and the interface between them—specifically on the design of organizations, and how people are selected and trained to be successful in them. He has led and participated in projects focused on understanding the skill requirements of senior leadership positions in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the impact of these requirements on development and succession planning. His recent work examines the career patterns of U.S. Army civilians, paths to increasing professionalism among U.S. Air Force personnel, and entrance testing of applicants to military service.

Prior to joining RAND in 1989, he was chief of the Selection and Classification Technical Area at the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences in Alexandria, Virginia. In this capacity he was responsible for developing and leading a broad portfolio of research on the selection and occupational classification of U.S. Army personnel. Among these was “Project A,” the largest and most comprehensive personnel research project ever undertaken in the field of industrial/organizational psychology.

Hanser received his M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University.

Previous Positions

Chief, Selection and Classification Technical Area, Manpower and Personnel Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Recent Projects

  • Organizing and Training for the Contested, Degraded, and Operationally Limited Space Force
  • Career patterns of US Army civilian employees
  • Admission standards at US military academies
  • Entrance standards for enlisted military personnel

Selected Publications

Jennifer Li et al., Enhancing Professionalism in the U.S. Air Force, RAND (RR-1721-AF), 2017

Shanthi Nataraj and Lawrence M. Hanser, Career Paths in the Army Civilian Workforce: Identifying Common Patterns Based on Statistical Clustering, RAND (RR-2280-A), 2018

Brien Alkire, Sherrill Lingel, and Lawrence M. Hanser, A Wargame Method for Assessing Risk and Resilience of Military Command-and-Control Organizations, RAND (TL-291-AF), 2018

Douglas Yeung et al., Recruiting Policies and Practices for Women in the Military: Views from the Field, RAND Corporation (RR-1538-OSD), 2017

Chaitra Hardison et al., How Effective Are Military Academy Admission Standards?RAND Corporation (RB-9905-OSD), 2016

Lawrence M. Hanser et al., United States Service Academy Admissions: Selecting for Success at the Military Academy/West Point and as an Officer, RAND Corporation (RR-723-OSD), 2015

Lawrence M. Hanser et al., Improving Development Teams to Support Deliberate Development of Air Force Officers, RAND Corporation (RR-1010-AF), 2015

Honors & Awards

  • Scholarly Achievement Award, Academy of Management
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: San Francisco Chronicle


  • Young man working at computer outside

    The Realities of Silicon Valley's Lack of Workforce Diversity

    Major Silicon Valley tech firms have released statistics indicating their workforces are largely made up of white men. Corporate America is on the receiving end of a complex chain of social and educational factors that continue to leave minorities behind in terms of college graduation, and both minorities and women behind in terms of STEM degrees.

    Oct 2, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle