Laura Patton

Photo of Laura Patton
Legislative Analyst
Washington Office


M.A. in global security studies, Johns Hopkins University; B.A. in government and history, Franklin & Marshall 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

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Laura Patton is a legislative analyst at the RAND Corporation, focusing on homeland security and terrorism, safety and justice, and transportation and infrastructure. Prior to joining RAND, she served as a legislative assistant for Congressman David Obey (D-WI), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-CA), member of the House Homeland Security Committee. She performed legislative, policy, and constituent liaison duties.

Patton received an M.A. in global security studies from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in government and history from Franklin & Marshall College.


  • A traffic jam on the 5 freeway heading south in Orange County, California, photo by MCCAIG/Getty Images

    Navigating Speed Bumps to a Possible Federal Vehicle Miles Traveled Fee

    It's been clear for years that the gas tax has been losing its ability to pay for America's existing roads and bridges, let alone improvements and new construction. A vehicle miles traveled fee could provide a potential option for a 21st-century transportation funding system.

    Mar 26, 2021 The Hill

  • Handcuffs on a computer keyboard

    Law Enforcement Cyber Center: A New Internet Resource for Combating Cybercrime

    The Law Enforcement Cyber Center provides vital information and resources to police chiefs, police officers, cybercrime investigators, and prosecutors.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • Vehicles driving toward Mt. Hood in Oregon

    How to Improve Oregon's Mileage-Fee Experiment

    Oregon is rolling out the nation's first large-scale pilot to examine switching to a mileage fee instead of the gas tax. The trial is a welcome next step toward understanding how mileage fees can be deployed.

    Jul 7, 2015 The Oregonian

  • Police in formation at a Memorial Day ceremony in Connecticut

    When It Comes to Police-Community Relations, 'Expect What You Inspect'

    As the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report suggests, local governments should evaluate police on more than crime statistics, and police departments and officers should be held publicly accountable for meeting the community's expectations. Adding new dimensions of performance metrics would help.

    Mar 17, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs official arrests an undocumented immigrant

    Prior Removal and Recidivism

    President Obama's executive action on immigration includes a new program that targets immigration enforcement at those arrested for more serious offenses and those deemed to be risks to national security. Research shows that unauthorized immigrants who have been previously deported are more likely to be rearrested after jail release, so local public safety interests and federal immigration enforcement priorities may well align around immigrants with a record of prior removal.

    Dec 11, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • Officer Eric Darnsteadt from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service inspects shipping containers arriving at Port Newark with a truck-mounted X-ray machine

    Securing America's Ports by Better Measuring Capabilities

    Funding for improving U.S. port security has declined from $389 million in 2008 to $100 million in 2014. This makes it more important than ever to ensure the highest possible return on investment from grant funding.

    Jun 13, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • Customs and Border Protection officer Ballard inspects a motorist's passport at the San Ysidro border crossing between Mexico and the U.S. in San Ysidro, California

    Saving Money by Using Advanced DoD Sensors on the U.S. Border

    There is no legal reason why a DoD sensor should be excluded from use in an interagency technology demonstration or in an actual counterdrug operation as long as a valid request for support is made by an appropriate law enforcement official and no personally identifiable or private information on U.S. citizens is collected.

    Jun 6, 2014