Caitlin McCulloch

Associate Political Scientist
Washington Office


B.A. in government, Cornell University; B.A. in China and Asia-Pacific Studies, Cornell University; M.A. in government and politics, University of Maryland; Ph.D. in government and politics, University of Maryland-College Park


Caitlin McCulloch (she/her) is an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her primary research interests are alliance ties, security cooperation, misinformation/information warfare, Eastern Europe and the impact of environmental change on conflict. Prior to joining RAND, she was a Fulbright researcher (2016-2017) and Peace Corps Volunteer (2011-2013) in the Republic of Georgia. She received a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. in China and Asia-Pacific Studies/Government from Cornell University. Her work at RAND has focused on security cooperation, information warfare, and climate change/conflict. She has published externally in outlets such as Research and Politics and Political Violence at a Glance, and has a book chapter in the Routledge Handbook on Self-Determination and Secession (2023).


  • Threat Assessment

    UFO Research Is Only Harmed by Antigovernment Rhetoric

    There is an undercurrent of conspiracy theory and, relatedly, antigovernment sentiment brewing around the issue of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). If it grows, it could prove toxic to any factual and scientific discussion of UAPs.

    Sep 22, 2023

    Scientific American

  • Information Operations

    Truth Decay and National Security

    Even if the U.S. national security apparatus can operate entirely outside of politics, it remains exposed to the effects of Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. Little work is being done to understand how severe the impact of Truth Decay is on national security and, more importantly, how to mitigate it.

    Aug 1, 2023