Lauren A. Mayer

Lauren A. Mayer
Associate Research Department Director, Engineering and Applied Sciences Department; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in engineering and public policy, Carnegie Mellon University; M.Sc. in environmental sciences and engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; B.Sc. in mathematics; environmental policy, American University

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Lauren A. Mayer (she/her) is an associate research department director, Engineering and Applied Sciences Department, a senior policy researcher, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. With 20 years of experience researching risk-related topics, her current research centers around improving the defense acquisition system, including requirements development; technology promotion and transition; and, cost, schedule and performance risks. Mayer's methodological focus strives to improve subjective risk assessments conducted for the military.

Mayer has broad expertise conducting technical risk analyses and risk-informed decision analyses, communicating risk to the public and other stakeholders, applying social science techniques (e.g., qualitative interviewing, expert elicitation) to risk-related topics and developing interactive computer decision tools. 

Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Mayer worked for ISL, Inc. performing risk and decision analyses as a consultant for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other government agencies. She has also worked as an actuary for GEICO. Mayer earned a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.Sc. in environmental risk assessment from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.Sc. in mathematics and environmental policy from American University.