Natasha Lander

Photo of Natasha Lander
Senior Policy Analyst
Washington Office


M.P.P. in national security policy, George Mason University; B.S. in journalism and political science, Bowling Green State University

Media Resources

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Natasha Lander is a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, where she focuses on a range of defense policy and national security issues. From 2013 to 2015, Lander served as an advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (DASD/CWMD) within the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. In this capacity, she aided the development of policy guidance influencing diplomatic, operational, and technical aspects of the international mission to remove and destroy Syria's declared chemical weapons. She also served as DASD/CWMD's principal advisor for NATO's Committee on Proliferation in the Defense Format, where she fostered implementation of policies to protect NATO Allies against threats posed by WMD, and strengthen NATO's chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) preparedness.

Prior to joining RAND, Lander was a senior intelligence analyst and deputy program manager at BAE Systems. During her tenure at BAE, she authored a variety of all-source intelligence assessments for U.S. Government policymakers. Deliverables included strategic assessments for high-level leadership engagement that focused on actionable implications for achieving policy goals.

Lander has an M.P.P. from George Mason University and a B.S. in journalism with a dual major in political science from Bowling Green State University.

Selected Publications

John Gordon, John Matsumura, Athony Atler, Scott Boston, Matthew E. Boyer, Natasha Lander, Todd Nichols, Comparing U.S. Army Systems with Foreign Counterparts: Identifying Possible Capability Gaps and Insights from Other Armies, RAND Corporation (RR-716-A), 2015

Ben Connable, Natasha Lander, Abby Doll, Walter L. Perry, Dan Madden, The Utility of Modeling and Analysis in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, RAND Corporation (RB-9758-OSD), 2014

Judith A. Johnston, Natasha Lander, Brian McInnis, National Intelligence University's Role in Interagency Research: Recommendations from the Intelligence Community, RAND Corporation (RR-243-NIU), 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Medal for Exceptional Public Service, Office of the Secretary of Defense


  • Syrian medical staff take part in a training exercise on how to treat victims of chemical weapons attacks, Gaziantep, Turkey, July 20, 2017

    A Norm in Crisis: Implications of Persistent Chemical Weapons Use

    The international community should consider serious options to hold perpetrators of chemical attacks accountable and stop further attacks. These are not easy choices. But the alternative is accepting that long-held norms are crumbling, and the world is sliding back to a time when inhumane tools of war were common.

    Apr 18, 2018 RealClearDefense

  • Vehicles drive near Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River, in the town of Tabqa, after Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured it from Islamic State militants, Syria May 12, 2017

    Developing a Comprehensive Strategy for Countering the Islamic State

    Despite substantial policy and military focus, U.S. attempts to stop the Islamic State group have met with only varying degrees of success. A patient, long-term U.S. investment in governance—including a renewed commitment to addressing the root causes of instability in the Middle East—is needed in Iraq and Syria.

    Jun 5, 2017 U.S. News & World Report

  • People rush to a site hit by what activists said was heavy shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, June 16, 2015

    Holding Bashar al-Assad Accountable for Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

    With two no votes from China and Russia, the UN Security Council failed to pass a resolution punishing Syrian officials for their roles in chlorine attacks in 2014 and 2015. Leadership from the United States on this issue could show allies that despite a change in government, the U.S. remains committed to holding those who use chemical weapons accountable.

    Mar 22, 2017 The National Interest

  • An ISIS militant waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria, June 29, 2014

    Deterring ISIS's Ambitions

    Western leaders cannot discount the possibility that ISIS may attempt a chemical attack within their borders. They should look to the robust alliances, treaty regimes, and international organizations to which most of them already ascribe as one way to address this threat.

    Mar 7, 2016 The Cipher Brief