Karishma Patel

Photo of Karishma Patel
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.P.A., Harvard University; B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Karishma Patel is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and a doctoral fellow at Pardee RAND Graduate School. She began her career in public health, interested in community resilience, and eventually expanded her work to also include economic development, environmental issues, and food security across Asia, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Before joining RAND, she worked on a joint USAID and NASA program to incorporate climate science and geospatial technologies in decision-making in governments to support resilience-building in agriculture, disaster management, public health, infrastructure, and natural resource management. Working closely with beneficiaries, science teams, and stakeholders, she introduced participatory planning methods and user-centered design in product development. She also conducted program evaluation, designed data collection methods, led capacity building and trainings, and managed IT projects.

Among other areas, Patel has also worked on technology policy in Rwanda, Mauritius, and Malawi; community-led water and sanitation in Guyana; primary health services in rural North Carolina; institutional policy and collaboration within US Government; and natural resource management around the world. 

Patel holds an M.P.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics and international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.