Maria McCollester

Maria McCollester
Political Scientist


Ph.D. in political science, Boston College; M.P.A. in public administration, University of Pennsylvania; B.A. in political science, Indiana University of PA; B.A. in history, Indiana University of PA


Maria McCollester is a political scientist at RAND. McCollester's educational and professional experience coalesces around institutional and organizational development, coordination, and governance, especially within the U.S. federal government and legislative, legal, policy, and regulatory analysis, and historical research. Her broad research interests include environmental and climate policy, public administration and governance, the legislative process, and national and homeland security. Prior to coming to RAND, McCollester completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at Boston College. Her dissertation research focused upon the development of of the United States' federally protected public land system and its connection to presidential and Congressional power. Preceding and during her time at Boston College, McCollester worked for a number of governmental agencies and non-profit organizations, including as a policy analyst with the Government Accountability Office.

Selected Publications

Narayanan, Anu, Scott R. Stephenson, Michael T. Wilson, Maria McCollester, Sarah Weilant, Emmi Yonekura, Sascha Ishikawa, Jay Balagna, Krista Romita Grocholski, and Nihar Chhatiawala, Accounting for Climate Resilience in Infrastructure Investment Decisionmaking: A Data-Driven Approach for Department of the Air Force Project Prioritization, RAND Corporation (RR-A1730-1), 2023

McCollester, Maria, Michelle E. Miro, and Kristin Van Abel, Building Resilience Together: Military and Local Government Collaboration for Climate Adaptation, RAND Corporation (RR-3014-RC), 2020

Ligor, Douglas C., Shawn D. Bushway, Maria McCollester, Richard H. Donohue, Devon Hill, Marylou Gilbert, Heather Gomez-Bendaña, Daniel Kim, Annie Brothers, Melissa Bauman, Barbara Bicksler, Rick Penn-Kraus, and Stephanie J. Walsh, Criminal History Record Information Sharing with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency: Education and Training Materials for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Partners, RAND Corporation (RR-A846-1), 2022

Edwards, Kathryn A., Maria McCollester, Brian Phillips, Hannah Acheson-Field, Isabel Leamon, Noah Johnson, and Maria C. Lytell, Compensation and Benefits for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workers: A Comparison of the Federal Government and the Private Sector, RAND Corporation (RR-4267-OSD), 2021

McGovern, Geoffrey, Maria McCollester, Douglas C. Ligor, Sheng Tao Li, Douglas Yeung, and Laura Kupe, The Role of Intellectual Property in U.S. Homeland Security, RAND Corporation (RR-3039-DHS), 2019