Nidhi Kalra

Nidhi Kalra
Senior Information Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


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

More Experts


Nidhi Kalra (she/her) is a senior information scientist at RAND and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focuses climate change mitigation, adaptation, and decarbonization planning, as well as tools and methods that help people and organizations make better decisions amid deep uncertainty. She is an appointed commissioner for California 100, a statewide initiative inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century.

She previously served as director of RAND's San Francisco Bay Area office and codirector of RAND's Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty. She also spearheaded RAND's autonomous vehicle policy work. Kalra is the lead author 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 is committed to using her expertise to further evidence-based policy making and has testified on autonomous vehicle policy at three congressional hearings.

Kalra served as the vice president of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty and, in 2018, served as senior technology policy adviser to then-U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris. In 2013, as a senior decision scientist, she helped launch the World Bank's portfolio in robust decision making.

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 holds a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.


Spanish; Hindi

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Bloomberg News; 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