Susan L. Marquis

Photo of Susan Marquis
Principal Researcher
Washington Office


Ph.D. in public and international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton 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

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Susan Marquis, the Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School from 2008 until 2021 and vice president of innovation at the RAND Corporation from 2012 to 2021, is now a principal researcher at RAND working with the Office of the President.

Marquis’s tenure at Pardee RAND was defined by transformation of the nation’s largest and oldest public policy Ph.D. program and graduate school, establishing a new model for public policy graduate education that is designed for our radically changing world.

As vice president of innovation, Marquis was a corporate officer and lead for strengthening the environment for innovation across RAND. She was also responsible for the institution’s internal research, development, and investment efforts. Marquis and her team were responsible for RAND’s analytic Methods Centers and RAND’s intellectual policy strategy and management, focusing on support to RAND’s public mission.

Prior to joining the graduate school and RAND, Marquis served as corporate vice president at LMI (Logistics Management Institute), a nonprofit consulting firm supporting the federal government. She led corporate initiatives including establishing the LMI Research Institute and the Visiting Scholar and Public Policy Fellows programs; she also led LMI’s first two corporate acquisition efforts.

Before entering the nonprofit private sector, she served at the highest levels of the U.S. Navy and in senior leadership positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate for fifteen years, including as acting Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. 

Marquis has authored two influential books; I Am Not A Tractor! How Florida Farmworkers Took on the Fast Food Giants and Won explores new models for agricultural labor and social justice movements, while Unconventional Warfare looks at rebuilding U.S. special operations forces. She has been an active board member and advisor, continuing to serve as chair of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School) and as a founding member and director of the Economics of National Security Association. She has also served on the Board of Advisors to the Naval Postgraduate School and Naval War College.

She earned her Ph.D. and Master’s of Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs and her B.A. in history with highest honors from Rutgers College, Rutgers University.

Selected Publications

Susan L. Marquis, I am not a tractor! How Florida Farmworkers Took on the Fast Food Giants and Won, Cornell University Press, 2017

Susan L. Marquis, Unconventional Warfare: Rebuilding U.S. Special Operations Forces, Brookings Institution Press, 1997

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: C-SPAN2; Here and There, Santa Fe Public Radio; KCAW - Sitka, Alaska; KCRW - To The Point; Marketplace; Rorotoko; Salzburg Global Seminar; Sanctuary Magazine; WAMU-FM

Commentary: United Press International; Tampa Bay Times; Scientific American; Newsweek; Orlando Sentinel


  • Occupational Safety and Health

    Forgotten on the Frontlines of the Food Supply Chain

    The working and living conditions of farmworkers make practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine impossible. In the food supply, farmworkers are the first responders who keep the supply chains going. FEMA, the CDC, and state governments should include farmworkers and agricultural communities in their emergency response plans.

    Apr 3, 2020

    The RAND Blog

  • Labor Markets

    Saving Farmworkers from Slavery-Like Conditions, Field by Field

    Those at the bottom of the European agricultural supply chain are vulnerable to abuse. The same was true in the tomato fields of Florida until recently. The solution developed there may offer a roadmap for doing right by workers in Europe.

    Sep 5, 2019

    United Press International

  • Postsecondary Education

    Pardee RAND Reimagines the Future of Public Policy Problem Solving

    The Pardee RAND Graduate School is taking a new approach to public policy education. Three new streams of study and action will better align with today's policy needs. Faculty and students will shift the focus from coming up with solutions to actually implementing them.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • From Florida's Farm Fields, Lessons for #MeToo and Other Movements

    Organizers who want to bring about social change would do well to look to Florida farmworkers. They took on the low wages, physical abuse, and vulnerability that have long characterized agricultural labor in the United States—and won, changing the culture for the better.

    Jun 15, 2018

    United Press International

  • Wages and Compensation

    Justice for Florida Farmworkers: Q&A with Susan Marquis

    In her new book, Susan Marquis takes readers inside the fight in Florida tomato fields. She traces the history and victories of a grassroots group of farmworkers and community leaders who wrested better wages and working conditions from major tomato growers and their corporate buyers.

    Dec 15, 2017

  • Campaign for Fair Food Makes a Real Difference

    The Fair Food Program protects farmworkers while providing corporations with transparency in their supply chains and tremendous brand protection. It has been widely recognized for improving agricultural working conditions and for changing the culture of America's farm fields.

    Aug 25, 2017

    Tampa Bay Times

  • On 'Hidden Figures' and Being the Only Woman in the Room

    RAND's Susan Marquis discusses the three brilliant African-American women depicted in the film Hidden Figures, the critical role of women in RAND's history, and more.

    Mar 12, 2017

    Scientific American

  • Los Angeles

    Good (Fast) Food as a Vehicle for Social Change

    Neighborhood by neighborhood, a few dozen jobs at a time, two celebrity chefs are tackling complex, persistent public policy problems. They could succeed in their own way in communities where generations of government programs and charity have had limited impact.

    Jun 1, 2016

    Shockingly Delicious

  • 'Product of Mexico': Why Have Corporate/Social Responsibility Programs Failed?

    The Fair Food Program has been a leader in using cooperation, visibility, and accountability to meet the needs of workers, growers, and buyers. Can it be a model for addressing these critical issues in Mexico as well?

    Dec 12, 2014


  • Wal-Mart Chooses Fairness, Giving Farmworkers a Boost

    The recent commitment by Wal-Mart Stores to the Fair Food Program is a transformational moment in the decades-long struggle for fair treatment of agricultural workers in America but the decision is hardly the last human-rights battle to be won on behalf of this long-oppressed work force.

    Feb 7, 2014

    Orlando Sentinel