Douglas C. Ligor

Douglas C. Ligor
Senior Behavioral/Social Scientist
Off Site Office


J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law; B.S. in economics, United States Military Academy, West Point

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

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Doug Ligor is a senior behavioral/social scientist at the RAND Corporation. His research areas include: homeland and national security law, regulation and policy, particularly as they relate to immigration, border security, migration, asylum, and refugee processing; space governance and international law; law enforcement; and national defense. Ligor's research interests extend to civil and criminal legislation, law, and litigation; statutory and regulatory compliance; international and customary law (including treaty-based regimes); and the organization and operational coordination of federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities

Prior to joining RAND, Ligor served as the deputy chief counsel for the Northeast Law Division of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security. He also served as an assistant district counsel with the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service (later DHS/Immigration and Customs Enforcement). He represented DOJ and DHS with respect to all major aspects of U.S. immigration law, including national security issues and cases; naturalization and citizenship; lawful permanent residence; family- and employment-based immigration; asylum and refugee status; criminal and civil grounds of detention and removal; deferred action; and prosecutorial discretion. Ligor began his legal career through the Department of Commerce's Honors Attorney Program, serving as legal liaison to the Secretary of Commerce. Before joining federal service, Ligor served as an Armor officer in the U.S. Army in company and battalion staff positions. 

Ligor received his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and his B.S. in economics from the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Recent Projects

  • Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC)
  • Responsible Space Behaviors for the New Space Era: Preserving the Province of Humanity
  • Multidomain Command and Control Doctrine, Authorities, and Information Systems
  • Protecting DHS Intellectual Property
  • Assessing the Risk Mitigation Value of TWIC at Maritime Facilities

Selected Publications

Ligor, Douglas C., Neither Deportation nor Amnesty: An Alternative for the Immigration Debate Building a Bridge Across the Deportation–Amnesty Divide, RAND Corporation (PE-279-RC), 2018

McClintock, Bruce, Katie Feistel, Douglas C. Ligor, and Kathryn O'Connor, Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era: Preserving the Province of Humanity, RAND Corporation (PE-A887-2), 2021

Douglas C. Ligor, Bruce McClintock, "Nasty, Brutish, and Short--The Future of Space Operations in the Absence of the Rule of Law," NATO Legal Gazette, (42), 2021

Geoffrey McGovern, Maria McCollester, Douglas Ligor, et. al., The Role of Intellectual Property in U.S. Homeland Security, RAND Corporation (RR-3039), 2019

Priebe, Miranda, Douglas C. Ligor, Bruce McClintock, Michael Spirtas, Karen Schwindt, Caitlin Lee, Ashley L. Rhoades, Derek Eaton, Quentin E. Hodgson, and Bryan Rooney, Multiple Dilemmas: Challenges and Options for All-Domain Command and Control, RAND Corporation (RR-A381-1), 2020

Rennane, Stephanie, Beth J. Asch, Michael G. Mattock, Heather Krull, Douglas C. Ligor, Michael Dworsky, and Jonas Kempf, U.S. Department of Defense Disability Compensation Under a Fitness-for-Duty Evaluation Approach, RAND Corporation (RR-A1154-1), 2022

Williams, Heather J., Kristin Van Abel, David Metz, James V. Marrone, Edward W. Chan, Katherine Costello, Ryan Bauer, Devon Hill, Simon Veronneau, Joseph C. Chang, Ian Mitch, Joshua Lawrence Traub, Sarah Lovell, Zachary Haldeman, Kelly Klima, and Douglas C. Ligor, The Risk-Mitigation Value of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential: A Comprehensive Security Assessment of the TWIC Program, RAND Corporation (RR-3096-DHS), 2020

Honors & Awards

  • Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center Director's Innovation Award, 2018, RAND Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center
  • Superior Performance Award (2003 to 2016), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Training Excellence Award, 2015, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: ABC Radio Australia; Arizona Public Media; Newstalk ZB, New Zealand; Robert Wright's Nonzero podcast; VOA