William Marcellino

Photo of William Marcellino
Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

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 media@rand.org.

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Bill Marcellino is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, professor of text analytics at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University and Johns Hopkins University. He was trained as a sociolinguist and corpus linguist, and at RAND he develops analytic toolsets, including RAND-Lex, RAND's proprietary text analytics suite. Marcellino teaches text analytics methods for big datasets (e.g. social media), as well as qualitative research methods. His research focuses on information as a warfighting function, intelligence, military resilience, counter-violent extremism/terrorism, and social media as a data source. He has also served as a U.S. Marine tank officer and enlisted rifleman. Marcellino received his Ph.D. in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • Sex Offender Behaviors and Risk Factors
  • Defending Against and Mitigating the Effects of Disinformation
  • Army Contract Analytics Capability Development
  • RAND Corporation Conspiracy Theories Research
  • Marine Intercept Program

Selected Publications

William M. Marcellino, Kim Cragin, Joshua Mendelsohn, Andrew Cady, Madeline Magnuson, and Kathleen Reedy, "Measuring the Popular Resonance of Daesh’s Propaganda," Journal of Strategic Security, 10(1), 2017

Marcellino, William, Kate Cox, Katerina Galai, Linda Slapakova, Amber Jaycocks, and Ruth Harris, Human-machine detection of online-based malign information, RAND Corporation (RR-A519-1), 2020

William M. Marcellino, "Talk like a Marine: USMC linguistic acculturation and civil-military argument," Discourse Studies, 16(3), 2014

William M. Marcellino, "Revisioning Strategic Communication Through Rhetoric & Discourse Analysis," Joint Forces Quarterly, (76), 2016

Christopher Paul & William M. Marcellino, Dominating Duffer’s Domain: Lessons for the 21st Century Information Operations Practitioner, RAND Corporation (RR-1166), 2017

Kavanagh, Jennifer, William Marcellino, Jonathan S. Blake, Shawn Smith, Steven Davenport, and Mahlet G. Tebeka,, News in a Digital Age: Comparing the Presentation of News Information over Time and Across Media Platforms., RAND Corporation, (RR-2960), 2019

Johnson, Christian, William Marcellino, Bag-of-Words Algorithms Can Supplement Transformer Sequence Classification & Improve Model Interpretability, RAND Corporation (WR-A1719-1)

Marcellino, William, Smith, Meagan, Paul, Christopher, & Skrabala, Lauren., Monitoring Social Media: Lessons Learned for Future Department of Defense Social Media analysis in Support of Information Operations, RAND Corporation (RR-1742)

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: BTRtoday; The World and Everything in It


  • A woman from Ukraine listens to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's speech on a phone, at a refugee shelter after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 28, 2022, photo by Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

    The Will to Fight in the Age of Social Media

    Social media messaging has played a decisive role in strengthening Ukraine's will to fight—arguably the single most important factor in war—against Russia.

    Mar 22, 2022 Stars and Stripes

  • Woman looking at phone with COVID-19 news story, photo by LeoPatrizi/Getty Images

    Reining in COVID-19 Disinformation from China, Russia, and Elsewhere

    During the pandemic, misinformation and conspiracy theories have spread more virulently than ever before. The vast scale of the problem means scalable solutions like machine learning could be needed to rein in the bots, trolls, and conspiracy theories being spread by bad-faith actors.

    Nov 19, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Army soldiers participate in a parade in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2013, photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade/U.S. Army

    The Link Between Extremism and Military Functioning

    U.S. Department of Defense policy prohibits service members from actively participating in extremist activities. Broadening the policy to include passive forms of participation could introduce two challenges.

    May 20, 2021 Military Times

  • Virtual human 3D illustration with computer code, photo by monsitj/Getty Images

    A Machine Learning Approach Could Help Counter Disinformation

    Disinformation has become a central feature of the COVID-19 crisis. This type of malign information and high-tech “deepfake” imagery poses a risk to democratic societies worldwide by increasing public mistrust in governments and public authorities. New research highlights new ways to detect and dispel disinformation online.

    Jun 25, 2020 C4ISRNET

  • Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock

    'Star Trek' at 50: How the TV Series Inspired a Boy to Become a Scientist

    William Marcellino discusses how “Star Trek” convinced him at an early age that science and the advancement of human knowledge could make the world a better place.

    Aug 26, 2016 Los Angeles Times