Megan McKernan

Photo of Megan McKernan
Defense Researcher
Pittsburgh Office

Education

M.A. in international trade and investment policy, George Washington University; B.A. in economics, William Smith College

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 media@rand.org.

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Overview

Megan McKernan is an international/defense researcher at the RAND Corporation, working predominantly in U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) weapon systems acquisition. She is currently co-leading research examining acquisition data sharing and management and prototyping in DoD. She has conducted analysis in the following other research topics in defense acquisition: industrial base considerations; earned value management; tailoring; program manager tenure; program framing assumptions; rapid acquisition; analysis of root causes of Nunn-McCurdy unit cost breaches; acquisition program cancelations; schedule growth; acquisition knowledge management; and other program specific analyses. She uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods in conducting research including case studies, data collection and analysis, interviews, and literature reviews. Prior to working at RAND, McKernan was an economic analyst at the CIA for four years providing reports for policymakers, primarily at the National Security Council, Dept. of Treasury and Dept. of State on global economic issues with a concentration on emerging market countries. She holds an M.A. in international trade and investment policy from George Washington University and a B.A. in economics from William Smith College.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Recent Projects

  • Policy Review and Analysis of the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) Acquisition Process
  • Policy Implications on the Management and Access of Acquisition Data
  • Doing Data Right in DoD Weapon System Acquisition
  • Understanding Trends in Army Acquisition Performance
  • Tailoring: Practical and Possible?

Selected Publications

Megan McKernan, Jessie Riposo, Geoffrey McGovern, Douglas Shontz, and Badreddine Ahtchi, Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: Considerations for Implementing the Controlled Unclassified Information Reform Program, RAND (RR-2221-OSD), 2018

Megan McKernan, Nancy Young Moore, Kathryn Connor, Mary E. Chenoweth, Jeffrey A. Drezner, James Dryden, Clifford A. Grammich, Judith D. Mele, Walter T. Nelson, Rebeca Orrie, Douglas Shontz, and Anita Szafran, Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: Doing Data Right in Weapon System Acquisition, RAND (RR-1534-OSD), 2017

Megan McKernan, Jessie Riposo, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Geoffrey McGovern, Douglas Shontz, and Clifford A. Grammich, Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: A Closer Look at the Origins and Implementation of Controlled Unclassified Information Labels and Security Policy, RAND (RR-1476-OSD), 2016

Megan McKernan, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Jerry M. Sollinger, Tailoring the Acquisition Process in the U.S. Department of Defense, RAND (RR-966-OSD), 2015

Jessie Riposo, Megan McKernan, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Geoffrey McGovern, Daniel Tremblay, Jason Kumar, Jerry M. Sollinger, Issues with Access to Acquisition Data and Information in the Department of Defense: Policy and Practice, RAND (RR-880-OSD), 2015

Jennifer Kavanagh, Megan McKernan, Kathryn Connor, Abby Doll, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Kristy N. Kamarck, Katherine Pfrommer, Mark V. Arena, Irv Blickstein, William Shelton and Jerry M. Sollinger, Joint Precision Approach and Landing System Nunn-McCurdy Breach Root Cause Analysis and Portfolio Assessment Metrics for DoD Weapons Systems, Volume 8, RAND (MG-1171/8-OSD), 2015

Jessie Riposo, Megan McKernan, Chelsea Kaihoi, Prolonged Cycle Times and Schedule Growth in Defense Acquisition: A Literature Review, RAND (RR-455), 2014

Mark V. Arena, Irv Blickstein, Abby Doll, Jeffrey A. Drezner, James G. Kallimani, Jennifer Kavanagh, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Megan McKernan, Charles Nemfakos, Rena Rudavsky, Jerry M. Sollinger, Daniel Tremblay, Carolyn Wong, Management Perspectives Pertaining to Root Cause Analyses of Nunn-McCurdy Breaches, Volume 4: Program Manager Tenure, Oversight of Acquisition Category II Programs, and Framing Assumptions, RAND (MG-1171z4), 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Merit Bonus Team-Player Award (2007); Impact Award (2011); and Spotlight Award (2015), RAND
  • Recipient of Full-tuition Fellowship for Master's Degree at The George Washington University - 1997, Wolcott Foundation
  • Recipient of a Foreign Language Study Grant and an Internship Grant at The Elliott School of International Affairs - 1999, The George Washington University

Publications