Nidhi Kalra

Nidhi Kalra

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

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Nidhi Kalra is a senior information scientist at RAND and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focuses on 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 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 policymaking and has testified on autonomous vehicle policy at three congressional hearings. She was also an appointed commissioner for California 100, a statewide initiative inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century.

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


Ph.D. in robotics, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in computer science, Cornell University


Spanish; Hindi

Authored by Nidhi Kalra

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