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


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Lauren A. Mayer (she/her) is associate director of the Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Department and a senior policy researcher at RAND. With over 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. Recent work has included improving requirements processes for the Space Force and Air Force, developing improved risk methods for Navy Analyses of Alternatives, and exploring pathways for technology acquisition and transition for the Air Force and Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, Research, and Engineering

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. 


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

Authored by Lauren A. Mayer

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