Karishma V. Patel

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


M.P.A. in public administration, Harvard University; B.A. in economics; international studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Karishma Patel is a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. She specializes in international relations and development, environmental and climate change, urban issues, and natural resource management, having worked in countries across Asia, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean.

She has more than ten years of experience developing collaborative strategies and frameworks, building partnerships, and conducting evaluations to support global programs and local interventions. Her research currently contributes to disaster recovery planning, understanding urban technologies and risk governance in cities, advancing climate change adaptation in developing countries, and evaluating poverty reduction interventions for marginalized urban populations.

Prior to RAND, Patel worked on a series of projects and programs for USAID, NASA, and the French Red Cross. Using participatory planning and research methods, she worked with governments in Asia and Africa to incorporate earth sciences and geospatial technologies in decisionmaking; supported community-led water and sanitation project in remote villages in Guyana; and researched behaviors related to the spread of HIV/AIDS in fishing communities in western Kenya. 

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.


  • Stock market trends overlaid on picture of houses with solar panels, photos by BAIVECTOR/Adobe Stock and ebobeldijk/Getty Images

    More Than Green: Leveraging Green Bonds to Invest in Greater Climate Resilience

    The significance of green bonds may depend not only on having a lot of them but also on carefully developing, investing, and tracking projects against the larger goal of climate resilience.

    Nov 24, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Green Infrastructure in Los Angeles: An Olympian Feat

    Los Angeles has an opportunity to reinvent itself by harnessing the collective spirit of Olympics development, climate activism, and Measure W funding. No single project can address all LA's environmental needs, but many diverse projects could provide an opportunity for synergies and to create a new “city feel,” the way palm trees, traffic, and movie-touting billboards do now.

    Feb 11, 2020 The RAND Blog