Krista S. Langeland

Krista Langeland
Deputy Lead, RAND Space Enterprise Initiative; Senior Physical Scientist


A.L.B. in natural sciences, Harvard University; Ph.D. in materials science, California Institute of Technology


Krista S. Langeland (she/her) is a senior physical scientist at the RAND Corporation focusing on developing frameworks and models for strategic development and decision making support. She is the deputy lead of the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative, a virtual center that provides a focal point for all RAND space-related research for the U.S. government and U.S. allies. Her recent work at RAND focuses on policy and strategy in the space domain, including deterrence in space, building cooperation with allies, assessing adversary perceptions, and examining escalation dynamics. She leverages a wide set of tools and techniques for her analysis, including game theoretic and behavioral modeling, event tree analysis, risk assessments, and network analysis. She has developed frameworks to support decisionmaking in a number of different areas, including examining the potential impact of space technology investments and assessing possible approaches for increasing resilience in the space domain. Since joining RAND, her research has supported technology assessments and policy development through a wide variety of focus areas that include 21st century deterrence, advanced sensing technology, space situational awareness, design principles for technological innovation, optimization of data value, nuclear systems and sustainment, and organizational resiliency. Prior to joining RAND, she received her Ph.D. in materials science from the California Institute of Technology, where she studied methods for enhancing the performance of thin-film silicon solar cells via waveguiding and sub-wavelength metallic scattering surface structures.

Selected Publications

Langeland, Krista, Anthony Vassalo, Clint Reach, Christopher Dictus, and Gabrielle Tarini, Building U.S. Responses to Russia's Threats to Use Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons: A Game Theoretic Analysis of Brinkmanship, RAND Corporation (RR-A1592-1), 2023

Langeland, Krista, Derek Grossman, Tailoring Deterrence for China in Space, RAND Corporation (RR-A943-1), 2021

McClintock, Bruce, Krista Langeland, and Michael Spirtas, First Mover Typology for the Space Domain: Building a Foundation for Future Analysis, RAND Corporation (RR-A2208-1), 2023

Triezenberg, Bonnie L., Krista Langeland, and Bryce Downing, Space Competition and the Dynamics of Conflict: Using Game Theory and Artificial Intelligence to Gain Strategic Insight, RAND Corporation (RR-A751-1), 2022