Jennifer Kavanagh

jennifer kavanagh, jennifer kavanagh
Associate Director, Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, RAND Arroyo Center; Political Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in political science, University of Michigan; M.A. in political science, University of Michigan; B.A. in government, Harvard 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


Jennifer Kavanagh is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation and associate director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program in RAND's Arroyo Center. Her research focuses on defense strategy and planning, trends in international conflict and military interventions, domestic and international terrorism, military personnel policy, and U.S. public opinion. She also studies domestic poiltical trends and public opinion in the United States, with a focus on their implications for U.S. foreign and domestic policy.

Kavanagh is also a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and has taught research methods courses as an adjunct professor at Georgetown and American University. While completing her Ph.D., she was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow and completed a research internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. She was a research assistant at RAND from 2003-2006.

Kavanagh graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government and a minor in the Russian language. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy at University of Michigan. Her dissertation, "The Dynamics of Protracted Terror Campaigns: Domestic Politics, Terrorist Violence, Counterterror Responses" was named the best dissertation in the Public Policy subfield in 2010 by the American Political Science Association.

Selected Publications

Jennifer Kavanagh, Are U.S. Military Interventions Contagious over Time?RAND (RR-192), 2013

Jennifer Kavanagh, "Selection, availability, and opportunity: The conditional effect of poverty on terrorist group participation," Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2011

Harrell, Margaret, Laura Castaneda, Bryan Hallmark, Peter Schirmer, Jennifer Kavanagh, Daniel Gershwin, and Paul Steinberg, Assessing the Assignment Policy for Army Women in Iraq, RAND Corporation (MG-590-1-OSD), 2007

James Hosek, Jennifer Kavanagh, and Laura Miller, How Deployments Affect Active Duty Service Members, RAND Corporation (MG-432), 2005

Jennifer Kavanagh, Stress and Performance: A Review of the Literature and its Applicability to the Military, RAND Corporation (TR-192-RC), 2005

Jennifer Kavanagh, Determinants of Productivity for Military Personnel: A review of findings on the contribution of experience, training, and aptitude to military performance, RAND Corporation (TR-193-OSD), 2004

Honors & Awards

  • Department of Homeland Security Fellowship, Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology
  • Best Dissertation in Public Policy Subfield, 2010, American Political Science Association