Todd C. Helmus

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Senior Behavioral Scientist; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Wayne State University

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Todd C. Helmus is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. He specializes in disinformation, terrorism, and social media. Helmus' latest research focuses on ways to counter Russian disinformation campaigns in the United States and Europe and assess the impact of international counter violent extremism campaigns. His research also focuses on preventing violent extremism in the U.S. military, identifying ways to enlist key influencers in support of U.S. strategic communications, and detecting and countering online conspiracy theories. Helmus has served as a deployed advisor to U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan and led studies on U.S. efforts to train Afghan special operations forces. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Wayne State University.

Selected Publications

Todd C. Helmus, James Marrone, Marek Posard, Danielle Schlang, Russian Propaganda Hits Its Mark Experimentally Testing the Impact of Russian Propaganda and Counter-Interventions, RAND (RR-A704-3), 2020

Helmus, Todd C. and Marta Kepe, , A Compendium of Recommendations for Countering Russian and Other State-Sponsored Propaganda, Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation (RR-A894-1), 2021

Todd C. Helmus, Hannah Jane Byrne, and King Mallory, Countering Violent Extremism in the U.S. Military, RAND Corporation, (RR-A1226-1), 2021

Todd C. Helmus, Elizabeth Bodine-Baron, Andrew Radin, Madeline Magnuson, Joshua Mendelsohn, William Marcellino, Andriy Bega, Zev Winkelman, Russian Social Media Influence: Understanding Russian Propaganda in Eastern Europe, RAND (RR-2237), 2018

Todd C. Helmus, Elizabeth Bodine Baron, Empowering ISIS Opponents on on Twitter, RAND Corporation (PE-227-RC), 2017

Todd C. Helmus, Miriam Matthews, Rajeev Ramchand, Sina Beaghley, David Stebbins, Amanda Kadlec, Michael A. Brown, Aaron Kofner, Joie D. Acosta, RAND Program Evaluation Toolkit for Countering Violent Extremism, RAND (TL-243), 2017

Elizabeth Bodine Baron, Todd Helmus, Madeline Magnuson, Zev Winkelman, Examining ISIS Support and Opposition Networks on Twitter, RAND (RR-1328), 2016

Todd C. Helmus, Christopher Paul, Russell W. Glenn, Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation, RAND (MG-607), 2007

Honors & Awards

  • Gold Merit Award (2010), RAND
  • Bronze Merit Award (2021), RAND