Michelle Priest is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She has a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include emerging industries, especially government applications of new technologies and drug policy for psychoactive substances.
Prior to joining Pardee RAND, she co-founded a design studio, where she led strategy and operations. She has provided design research, creative ideation, and policy advisory services to public-sector clients. She helped the cities of Los Angeles and Philadelphia use open data for procurement reform and supported the city of Glendale, California, in enhancing its operational innovation. Previously, she worked in the technology sector at a startup building gamified military training software and at Google on the launch of Google+.