Susan L. Marquis

Photo of Susan Marquis
Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Distinguished Chair of Policy Analysis; Vice President, Innovation, RAND Corporation
Santa Monica 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 serves two key roles at the RAND Corporation. As vice president for innovation, she oversees and guides RAND's internal research and intellectual property management efforts. As Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, she leads the largest and oldest public policy Ph.D. program in the United States.

Marquis is the author of Unconventional Warfare: Rebuilding U.S. Special Operations Forces (1997). Her latest book is I am not a tractor! How Florida Farmworkers Took on the Fast Food Giants and Won, published by Cornell University Press in December 2017. As Distinguished Chair of Policy Analysis, Marquis teaches and researches on organizational culture in government institutions and innovative solutions to persistent and complex public policy problems.

Prior to joining RAND, Marquis served as operational vice president of LMI, a not-for-profit government consulting firm. From 1997 to 2002, she was with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, first as deputy director, Assessment Division, and then as assistant deputy chief of Naval Operations. Marquis currently serves as chair of the Woodrow Wilson School Advisory Council, Princeton University; was a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge; and is a non-resident senior fellow at the Fox Leadership Institution, University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy and a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Economics of National Security Association.

Marquis earned her Ph.D. in public and international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.

Selected Publications

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

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

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


  • Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at a farm near Arvin, California, April 3, 2020, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    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

  • Farm workers pick tomatoes in the countryside near the town of Foggia, southern Italy, September 24, 2009, photo by Tony Gentile/Reuters

    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

  • Pardee RAND students shared their Tech Lab Pilot projects during a 2017 open house

    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

  • Students march as part of a national school walkout on March 14, 2018 to honor the 17 students and staff members killed on February 14 in Parkland, Florida

    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

  • Large container of ripe tomatoes in front of tractors

    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

  • Farm workers harvesting yellow bell peppers in California

    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

  • U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson, November 24, 2015

    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

  • Chefs Daniel Patterson (left) and Roy Choi (center) celebrate during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the restaurant Locol in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California

    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

  • Farm workers sort tomatoes at a ranch in Mexico

    '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 Newsweek

  • March to support the Fair Food Program

    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