Brodi Kotila

Brodi Kotila
Senior Political Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in political science, Harvard University; M.A. in political science, Harvard University; J.D., Yale Law School; B.A. in political science, UC Berkeley


Brodi Kotila is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, and is also a lawyer. She supports the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security on a wide range of matters including national security strategy and policy development and implementation, planning, legal, regulatory, and policy analysis, risk mitigation, business process improvement, and evaluation.

Previously, Kotila served as Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Plans, Analysis and Risk at the Department of Homeland Security, leading policy development, strategy, and planning for the Department and managing the Office of Policy’s 180 employees and approximately $40 million budget. Prior to joining DHS, Kotila served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of the Army, providing advice on policy, planning, and resource matters including headquarters restructuring, recruiting, retention, training, health care, and family programs. Previously, Kotila led interagency policy development for the White House Domestic Policy Council on veterans and military families issues including mental health care, suicide prevention, education, training, and employment. From 2011-2014, Kotila served as Special Counsel to the Department of Defense General Counsel, where she advised the General Counsel and the Secretary of Defense on issues including DoD efforts to combat sexual assault, implementation of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and the role of women in military service. Kotila previously served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Kotila holds a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Previous Positions

Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Plans, Analysis and Risk, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of the Army; Military and Veterans Family Policy Lead, White House Domestic Policy Council; Special Counsel to the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense; Intelligence Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve

Recent Projects

  • Strengthening the Defense Innovation Ecosystem
  • Evidence Act Capacity Assessment
  • Developing Contingency Plans for Significant Cyber Events
  • Thinking Beyond Experience: Preparing the Joint Force for the Challenges of the Now and the Future
  • Assessing Trends in Military Capabilities of Key U.S. Adversaries

Honors & Awards

  • Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, Department of the Army