Nelson Lim

Nelson Lim
Director, Workforce, Development, and Health Program, RAND Project AIR FORCE; Senior Social Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in economics, University of California, Los Angeles

Media Resources

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Nelson Lim directs the Workforce, Development, and Health (WDH) program in RAND Project AIR FORCE. He oversees projects to enhance the Department of Air Force's human resource management (HRM) practices and counsels senior leaders of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force regarding personnel policies. As a senior social scientist, he spearheads HRM projects for a wide array of clients, including the Department of Defense, U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, National Security Agency, City of Los Angeles, and City of San Diego. He is also a professor of policy analysis at Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Lim has devoted his career to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in his clients' workforces for nearly two decades. In 2009, Lim served as the research director for the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), a congressionally mandated commission to improve top military leaders' diversity. Beyond federal agencies and corporations, Lim has collaborated with cities to help police and fire departments in their recruiting efforts. In 2022, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III named Lim a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODAI).

In recent years, Lim has explored ways to apply emerging technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) Techniques, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Large Language Models (LLM) to HRM. His work investigates potential barriers in technology-enabled talent management practices, like data quality and potential biases, and formulates mitigation strategies to counteract those biases.

Lim earned his Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Member, Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODAI)