Nidhi Kalra

Nidhi Kalra
Senior Information Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in robotics, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in computer science, Cornell 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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Nidhi Kalra (she/her) is a senior information scientist at the RAND Corporation. She has previously served as director of RAND's San Francisco Bay Area office and codirector of RAND's Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty. Her research focuses climate change mitigation, adaptation, and decarbonization plannand, as well as tools and methods that help people and organizations make better decisions amid deep uncertainty.

She previously spearheaded RAND's autonomous vehicle policy work. Kalra is the lead author of the study Driving to Safety: How Many Miles of Driving Would It Take to Demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle Reliability? (2016) and coauthor of the flagship report Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers (2016). She has over ten years of experience in autonomous vehicle policy and is committed to using her expertise to further evidence-based policy making. She has testified on autonomous vehicle policy at three congressional hearings.

In 2018, Kalra served as senior technology policy adviser to U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris. In 2013, she served as a senior decision scientist in the Office of the Chief Economist of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, where she helped launch the World Bank's portfolio in robust decisionmaking.

Kalra developed educational technology tools to promote literacy among blind children in India, a project that went on to receive the Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation. She received her Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.


Spanish; Hindi

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CNN International;; KCBS-AM; KJZZ - (NPR); KNX-AM; KPCC-FM Online; KQED-FM; Marketplace Radio; NBC News Online; Newsy video news service, Scripps; NHPR/New Hampshire Public Radio Online; Radio Health Journal; Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys; U.S. News & World Report; WUSF-TV Online