Christopher G. Pernin

Photo of Christopher Pernin
Director, Engineering and Applied Sciences Department; Senior Physical Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and M.S. in chemistry, Northwestern University; B.S. in chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Media Resources

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Chris Pernin (he/him) is director of the Engineering and Applied Sciences Department and a senior physical scientist at the RAND Corporation. Since joining RAND in 1999, Pernin has been involved with or led a wide range of national security and domestic research projects on decisionmaking, institutional reform, acquisition, technology development, and strategic planning for both national and international clients. He has served on various advisory panels throughout his career, including being an ad hoc member of the Army Science Board and member of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal editorial board. Prior to joining RAND, he spent time at Argonne National Laboratory, working on early development of the Advanced Photon Source facility. Pernin received his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry, from Northwestern University and his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Recent Projects

  • Chemical Demilitarization Endgame
  • Building Coalitions and Interoperability in the 21st Century
  • Lessons from Failed Acquisition Programs
  • Integrating Technologies into the Navy
  • Towards a School Transportation System in Qatar

Selected Publications

Christopher G. Pernin, Angela O'Mahony, et al. , Chasing Multinational Interoperability: Benefits, Objectives, and Strategies, RAND (RR-3068-A), 2020

Christopher G. Pernin, Jakub P. Hlavka, Matthew E. Boyer, John Gordon IV, Michael Lerario, Jan Osburg, Michael Shurkin, Daniel C. Gibson, Targeted Interoperability: A New Imperative for Multinational Operations, RAND Corporation (RR-2075-A), 2019

Christopher G. Pernin, Elliot Axelband, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Brian B. Dille, John Gordon IV, Bruce J. Held, K. Scott McMahon, Walter L. Perry, Christopher Rizzi, Akhil R. Shah, Peter A. Wilson, Jerry M. Sollinger, Lessons from the Army's Future Combat Systems Program, RAND Corporation (MG-1206-A), 2012

Christopher G. Pernin, Edward Wu, Aaron L. Martin, Gregory Midgette, Brendan See, Efficiencies from Applying a Rotational Equipping Strategy, RAND Corporation (MG-1092-A), 2011

John F. Schank, Christopher G. Pernin, Mark V. Arena, Carter Price, Susan Woodward, Controlling the Cost of C4I Upgrades on Naval Ships, RAND Corporation (MG-907-NAVY), 2009

Christopher G. Pernin, Katherine Comanor, Lance Menthe, Louis R. Moore, and Tim Andersen, Allocation of Forces, Fires and Effects Using Genetic Algorithms, RAND Corporation (TR-423-A), 2008

Christopher G. Pernin, Louis R. Moore, Katherine Comanor, Knowledge Matrix Approach to Intelligence Fusion, RAND Corporation (TR-416-A), 2007

Christopher G. Pernin, et al, Next Generation Environmental Technologies: Benefits and Barriers, RAND Corporation (MR-1682-OSTP), 2003

Honors & Awards

  • President's Gold Award, RAND
  • Merit Bonus Award, RAND


  • U.S. Marines receive a safety brief before they conduct live-fire drills during Trident Juncture 2015 in Almeria, Spain, October 27, 2015

    Building Interoperability for European Defense

    To make the most out of declining defense budgets, the U.S. needs to engage European forces to build interoperability that would enable joint operations to deter and defeat potential adversaries, even with little advance notice. But building interoperable units has often proved difficult even among the friendliest of nations.

    Nov 9, 2015 Defense News

  • Paratroopers depart Lielvarde Airbase, Latvia, Sept. 8, 2014, at the conclusion of a NATO exercise involving over 2,000 troops from 10 nations that focuses on increasing interoperability and synchronizing complex operations

    The More Options, the Better

    Preserving the ability of the United States to choose how it will respond to global events is essential. And maintaining options is critical to the calculus.

    Sep 23, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade training with NATO allies in Poland

    Rethinking U.S. Force Planning

    While the renewed interest in crisis response forces by the military services is welcome in these times of uncertainty, forces that are permanently assigned to a geographic combatant command and based in a region continue to offer distinct benefits. RAND research has shown that an overseas presence enhances contingency responsiveness in most cases.

    May 16, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • The Joint Multinational Training Command regularly trains U.S. and multi-national soldiers, during sophisticated and complex mission rehearsal exercises throughout Europe

    Pentagon's Reliance on Europe Is 'Wishful Thinking'

    There needs to be more frank and precise thinking about the kind of support allies are able and willing to provide. Counting on Europeans even just to pull as much weight as they have in the past is an increasingly doubtful proposition.

    Apr 9, 2014 Defense One

  • A soldier with the Army's intelligence community demonstrated use of a portion of the Army's Distributed Common Ground System

    Calling for a Time-Out in the Army Intelligence Software Debate

    The Army's Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) program has been getting much attention from Congress, and its future was the subject of a heated exchange between the Army's Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno and Representative Duncan Hunter in May.

    Aug 21, 2013 The RAND Blog