Terrence Kelly

Terrence Kelly
Senior Operations Researcher
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in mathematics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; M.S.S. in strategic studies, U.S. Army War College; M.S. in computer and systems engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; B.S., U.S. Military Academy

Media Resources

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Terrence Kelly is a principal mathematician at the RAND Corporation. From 2016 to 2022 he served as the first director of the RAND Homeland Security Research Division and as a RAND vice president.

Over the past decade Kelly has worked on national and homeland security strategy and policies; counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan; U.S. DoD and Army strategy; and science, technology, and acquisition problems. From 2011 to 2014 Kelly served as a program director in the RAND Arroyo Center, and from 2014 to 2015 as the Arroyo Center’s acting associate director. In 2006 and 2007 Kelly served as director of the Joint Strategic Planning and Assessment Office in the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, and in 2004 as the director of Militia Transition and Reintegration for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Prior to joining RAND, Kelly served for 20 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Prior to retiring from the Army, Kelly's positions included senior national security officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; chief of staff of the National Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office; legislative liaison officer in the Army's office of legislative affairs; White House Fellow; assistant professor in West Point's Systems Engineering Department and RPI's Mathematical Sciences Department (visiting); command and staff positions in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 8th Infantry Division; and as a staff officer on the Army Staff.

Kelly holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from RPI and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Previous Positions

Vice President and Director, Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center; Director, RAND Homeland Security Research Division; U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; Director, Militia Transition and Reintegration Programs, CPA, Baghdad, Iraq; Senior National Security Officer, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House Staff; White House fellow; 20-year Army officer

Recent Projects

  • U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Counterinsurgency and stability operations theory and practice
  • Cybersecurity policy

Selected Publications

Terrence K. Kelly, "Transformation and Homeland Security: Dual Challenges for the U.S. Army," Parameters, 33, 2003

Terrence K. Kelly "The Just Conduct of War Against Radical Islamic Terrorists and Insurgents," in Eds. Charles Reed and David Ryall, The Price of Peace, Cambridge University Press (EP-20070019), 2007

Willis, Henry H., Andrew R. Morral, Terrence Kelly, and Jamison Jo Medby, Estimating Terrorism Risk, RAND Corporation (MG-388-RC), 2005

Butz, William, Terrence Kelly, David M. Adamson, Gabrielle Bloom, Donna Fossum, and Mihal Gross, Will the Scientific and Technology Workforce Meet the Requirements of the Federal Government?RAND Corporation (MG-118-OSTP), 2004

Honors & Awards

  • Bronze Star Medal, United States Armed Forces
  • Outstanding Civil Service Medal, Department of the Army
  • Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: KD/PG; The New Republic

Commentary: Foreign Policy; Los Angeles Times; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette