Hilary Reininger (recently Smith) is a doctoral student at Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Her dissertation research focuses on how social media platforms can help their users discern, avoid, and resist false information. Her anticipated graduation is fall 2020.
Reininger is a mixed methods public policy researcher studying disinformation at the intersection of social science and technology. She uses theory and tools from sociology, psychology, and conflict studies, adapted to machine learning and other applications, for socio-technical problem-solving. She is experienced in R, text analysis, qualitative coding, interviewing, and survey design and analysis. She applies these skills to research and analysis on contemporary disinformation operations, election security, truth decay, and deception practices. She has also helped research and provide recommendations in management consulting for military and government organizations. She looks forward to applying this background and skills to other non-traditional threats in work at RAND and beyond.
Reininger has studied abroad in Serbia, Kosovo, the United Kingdom, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan. She has studied and speaks both Arabic and Spanish. She has an M.S. in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University and a B.A. in Middle East studies and Arabic from Brigham Young University.