Lucia Retter

Photo of Lucia Retter
Research Leader
Cambridge Office


M.A. in international relations and international economics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); B.A. in modern and medieval languages, University of Cambridge


Lucia Retter is a research leader at RAND Europe and co-directs RAND Europe's Centre for Defence Economics and Acquisition. Her research focuses on understanding the factors driving government strategy, policy and decision-making at the nexus between security, influence and prosperity, including the benefits, trade-offs and risks associated with different capability development programmes.

Since joining RAND in 2013, Retter has led studies involving defence strategy, acquisition and capability, technology horizon scanning, defence and space industrial base and skills for the UK Ministry of Defence, the European Defence Agency, the European Commission and other European governments. Recent work includes studies for the UK Ministry of Defence to help frame and inform its Climate Change and Sustainability strategic approach, studies for UK Government clients in support of the national and defence space strategies, a series of studies for the UK Government on the options for the future UK combat air sector out to 2040, a study on energy and environment factors pertinent to military capability planning and a large study for the European Commission on skills needed by the EU defence industry now and in the future. 

Retter holds and M.A. cum laude in international relations and international economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she specialised in economic policy, and a B.A. in modern languages from Clare College, University of Cambridge.


German; Portuguese; Slovak


  • European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Rethinking the EU's Role in European Collective Defence

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine is forcing European nations to quickly re-evaluate how best to maintain their collective security. This makes the concept of European strategic autonomy—the EU's increased ability to operate independently and with partners of choice on defence and security matters—more relevant than ever.

    May 20, 2022 Euractiv

  • EU Defence Ministers meet in Brussels, Belgium, November 16, 2021, photo by Mario Salerno/Council of the EU

    U.S. Support for European Strategic Autonomy Could Boost Transatlantic Solidarity and Security

    Leaders of EU member states and institutions have recently renewed calls for Europe to assume a greater role and increased autonomy in transatlantic and global security and defense. How can Europe and the United States work together to reduce misperceptions about strategic autonomy and chart an outcome that could enhance transatlantic solidarity and security?

    Nov 19, 2021 Encompass