Hilary Reininger

Photo of Hilary Reininger
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


M.S. in conflict analysis and resolution, George Mason University; B.A. in Middle East studies and Arabic, Brigham Young University


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.

Recent Projects

  • Defending Against and Mitigating the Effects of Disinformation
  • [NCCIC] Strategic Planning Support
  • Analytic and Conceptual Support to the "Operations in the Information Environment" Capabilities Based Assessment
  • Countering Information Disorder: A Review of Tools and Ongoing Efforts
  • Analysis of Active Component General and Flag Officer (G/FO) Requirements

Honors & Awards

  • James Q. Wilson Dissertation Fellowship, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • NSRD Research Award, National Defense Research Institute


R; VBA; Spanish; Arabic


  • Woman using smartphone with social network icons, photo by Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images

    Platforms Should Use Algorithms to Help Users Help Themselves

    Social media users generate massive volumes of content, which then spreads at extraordinary speeds. Yet platforms generally rely on a slow process of human moderation to remove prohibited content. What if moderation could happen before the content is even posted?

    Jul 20, 2021 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace