Angela O'Mahony

Angela O'Mahony
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Senior Political Scientist, RAND
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in political science, University of California, San Diego; B.A. in economics, University of California, Los Angeles


Angela (Angel) O'Mahony is associate dean for academic affairs at Pardee RAND Graduate School and a senior political scientist at RAND.

At Pardee RAND, she has been responsible for implementing the redesigned academic program while also pivoting to remote and hybrid instruction during COVID-19. She teaches courses on policymaking in complex environments and international security.

O'Mahony has led RAND research projects examining security cooperation and defense posture, forecasting conflict trends, assessing multinational interoperability, and projecting public support for terrorism. Methodologically, she has led work on computational social-behavioral modelling for complex environments, and uncertainty-sensitive approaches to understanding decisionmaking. Other projects included work on the national security implications of virtual currency and the integration of women into special operations forces. She was the inaugural winner of RAND's Innovation Award in 2015 for her work on incorporating social media in public policy analysis.

O'Mahony co-edited Social-Behavioral Modeling for Complex Systems, a volume that grew out of DARPA-funded RAND research. She has published a dozen articles in top academic journals examining the implications of international political and economic scrutiny on governments' decisionmaking, the causes and consequences of transnational political behavior, and modeling complex social systems.

Prior to joining RAND, O'Mahony was an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, where she taught courses on international political economy and economic statecraft. A native Angelena, she received her B.A. in economics and political science from UCLA and her Ph.D. in political science from UCSD.

Recent Projects

  • Chasing Multinational Interoperability: Values, Objectives and Strategies
  • Influencing Adversary States: Quelling Perfect Storms
  • Assessing, Monitoring, and Evaluating Army Security Cooperation: A Framework for Implementation
  • Priority Challenges for Social and Behavioral Research and its Modeling
  • Assessing Security Cooperation as a Preventive Tool

Selected Publications

Paul K. Davis, Angela O'Mahony and Jonathan Pfautz, eds., Social-Behavioral Modeling for Complex Systems, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2019

Paul K. Davis and Angela O'Mahony, "Special Issue: Representing Social Science in National-Security-Related Modeling and Simulation," Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, 14(1), 2017

Benjamin Nyblade and Angela O'Mahony, "Migrants’ Remittances and Home Country Elections: Cross-National and Sub-National Evidence," Studies in Comparative and International Development, 49(1), 2014

Benjamin Nyblade and Angela O'Mahony, "Playing with Fire: Pre-Electoral Fiscal Manipulation and the Risk of a Speculative Attack," International Studies Quarterly, 2014

Angela O'Mahony, "Political Investment: Remittances and Elections," British Journal of Political Science, 2013

Angela O'Mahony, "Engineering Good Times: Fiscal Manipulation in a Global Economy," British Journal of Political Science, 41(2), 2011

Susan D. Hyde and Angela O'Mahony, "International Scrutiny and Pre-Electoral Fiscal Manipulation in Developing Countries," Journal of Politics, 72(2), 2010

David A. Lake and Angela O'Mahony, "The Incredible Shrinking State: Explaining Change in the Territorial Size of Countries," Journal of Conflict Resolution, 48(5), 2004

Honors & Awards

  • Silver Medal Award and Innovation Award, RAND