Krystyna Marcinek

Krystyna Marcinek
Associate Policy Researcher, RAND


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jagiellonian University, Poland


Krystyna Marcinek (she/her) is an associate policy researcher at RAND. Her research interests include international security, strategic competition, deterrence, NATO, Russia, and Ukraine. She has also studied the role of emerging technologies in the future of warfare.   

Marcinek previously held analytical and advisory positions in several government institutions in Poland, including the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Polish Armed Forces. Her primary focus was Russian influence on Polish and regional security. She advised on Poland's response to the conflict in Ukraine (2014-2015), the EU migrant crisis (2015), counterterrorism, and energy security.

Marcinek holds a Ph.D. in policy analysis from Pardee RAND Graduate School and an M.A. with honors in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies from Jagiellonian University in Poland.


Polish; Russian; Ukrainian


  • Poland

    Cherish Allies While You Can: What Should the U.S. Do to Support the Incoming Polish Government?

    Plenty has been said about what lessons Poland's recent elections hold for pro-democracy forces across the wider West, as well as the message this election sends about a feared inevitability of autocracy, and the significance of this opposition win for European security. But what does the election of an opposition alliance mean for U.S. relations with Warsaw?

    Nov 14, 2023


  • Nuclear Weapons and Warfare

    Nuclear Weapons and Putin's 'Holy War'

    Russia's nuclear saber-rattling has shifted the stakes of the war in Ukraine. But enabling Russia's blackmail doesn't prevent the catastrophic costs of nuclear escalation. It merely shifts those costs away from Russia and into the future, inviting other nuclear states to pull the same move for their conquests.

    Nov 2, 2022

    The Hill

  • Natural Gas

    Russia Does Not Seem to Be After Ukraine's Gas Reserves

    There seems to be very little reason to believe that the true stakes of the war in Ukraine are the country's natural gas reserves, as some have speculated. Ukrainian gas fields appear too small to justify the costs of the invasion, too hard to keep, and almost impossible for Russia to exploit.

    Apr 11, 2022

    The RAND Blog