Lisa M. Harrington

Lisa Harrington, h0638
Associate Director, Forces and Resources Policy Center, RAND National Security Research Division; Senior Operations Researcher
Washington Office


Ph.D. in operations research, Air Force Institute of Technology; M.S. in national security strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces; B.S. in mathematics, Michigan Technological Univ


Lisa Harrington is a senior operations researcher at the RAND Corporation and serves as associate director of the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division. She has focused on research problems ranging from examining Air Force (AF) science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) requirements for officers/civilians, to cost analyses for AF Academy faculty, to defining competencies for senior AF leaders. Harrington is principal investigator for a project funded by the Undersecretary of the AF for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to examine the relationships between accessions, attrition and affiliation between the full-time active AF, and the part-time AF reserve components including forecasts given economic and policy fluctuations. She is also co-principal investigator for a project funded by the Assistant Secretary of the AF for Acquisition to assist in better defining education requirements for career fields and more efficiently accessing officers with required education qualifications focusing on STEM degrees scholarship efficiencies. Prior to joining RAND in 2010, Harrington was the Director of Manpower and Personnel at U.S. Central Command, and then Dean of Students at the AF's graduate school, the AF Institute of Technology (AFIT). She commanded at the group/squadron level, was the Deputy Director for AF General Officer Management, and the manpower/personnel representative on the AF Chief of Staff's Action Group. Harrington has functional/analytical experience in military promotions, recruiting and retention, accessions, career field structures, compensation, education and training, and manpower requirements. She received her Ph.D. in operations research from AFIT.

Recent Projects

  • Analysis of AC General/Flag Officer Requirements
  • Reserve Component Duty Status Reform
  • Optimizing Air Force Training Pipelines
  • Civilian Acquisition Workforce Development

Selected Publications

Harrington, L., Bigelow, J., Rothenberg, A., Pita J., Emslie, P., A Methodology for Modeling the Flow of Military Personnel across Air Force Active and Reserve Components, RAND Corporation (RR-825), 2016

Harrington, L., Terry, T., Air Force Officer Accession Planning: Addressing Key Gaps in Meeting Career Field Academic Degree Requirements for Non-rated Officers, RAND Corporation (RR-1099), 2016

Harrington, L., Mikolic-Torreira, I., McGovern, G., Mazarr, M., Schirmer, P., Gierlack, K., Hemler, J., Welch, J., Reserve Component General and Flag Officers: A Review of Requirements and Authorized Strength, RAND Corporation (RR-1156), 2016