Michael D. Rich

Photo of Michael Rich
President Emeritus
Santa Monica Office

Education

J.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Michael D. Rich is president emeritus at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. For nearly 50 years, he helped RAND become a leading source of expertise, analysis, and evidence-based ideas in an increasingly complex and polarized policymaking environment.

During his tenure as president and CEO from 2011 to 2022, Rich focused on extending the impact of RAND's work. He challenged the organization to broaden its legacy of innovation and help decisionmakers stay ahead of the curve on the issues that matter most. Rich is the coauthor of Truth Decay, the first study in an ongoing series of research that examines how the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life has caused an erosion of civil discourse and political paralysis, among other problems.

In 2020, Rich launched the ongoing fundraising campaign Tomorrow Demands Today, the most ambitious such effort in RAND's history. Philanthropic support enables RAND researchers and students at the Pardee RAND Graduate School to bring bold thinking, analytical rigor, and cross-cutting perspectives to the most critical issues of our time.

Rich began his RAND career as a summer intern in 1975, joining the organization full-time the following year as a researcher focused on U.S. national security issues. He served in a variety of senior leadership positions at RAND and was instrumental in the creation of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center that provides research and analysis to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the Intelligence Community. He also helped lead RAND's diversification and expansion into international markets—including Europe and Australia. Throughout his career, Rich has been an enthusiastic supporter of Pardee RAND, the world's largest public policy Ph.D. program, where he has taught and advised graduate students and has chaired numerous committees.

Rich serves on the governing boards and advisory committees of many policy and service organizations, including the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, WISE & Healthy Aging, the Everychild Foundation, Santa Monica–UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, and the UCLA Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the California Bar, and he served on the U.S. Defense Science Board from 2012 to 2021 and the Council for Aid to Education from 1996 to 2022. Rich received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. In June 2022, the Pardee RAND Graduate School conferred upon Rich the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Policy.

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CNN; The Costa Report, syndicated radio; KCRW To The Point; KDKA-PIT (CBS); KPCC-FM AirTalk; Los Angeles Times; Miami Herald; The Palestinian Chronicle; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Santa Monica Daily Press

Commentary: CNN; The Health Care Blog; The Hill; Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette; USA Today; U.S. News & World Report; Washington Times

Commentary

Publications

  • Brochure

    RAND's Impact: Year in Review 2021

    The RAND Corporation's mission is to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis; this Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2021.

    Jan 7, 2022

  • Brochure

    RAND's Impact: 2020 Year in Review

    The RAND Corporation's mission is to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis; this Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2020.

    Jan 19, 2021

  • Brochure

    RAND's Impact: 2019 Year in Review

    The RAND Corporation's mission is to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis; this Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2019.

    Jan 20, 2020

  • Brochure

    RAND's Impact: Year in Review 2018

    The RAND Corporation's mission is to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis; this Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2018.

    Feb 1, 2019

  • Multimedia

    Truth Decay: A Narrated Video

    "Truth Decay" is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. RAND is studying the causes and consequences of this phenomenon, and how they are interrelated. We invite other research organizations and individuals to join us in finding potential solutions and responses.

    May 16, 2018

  • Brochure

    RAND's Impact: Year in Review 2017

    The RAND Corporation's mission is to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis; this Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2017.

    May 8, 2018

  • Research Brief

    Truth Decay: A Threat to Policymaking and Democracy

    RAND has begun to investigate the causes and consequences of the phenomenon it calls Truth Decay -- the diminishing role of facts and data in American public life -- and invites others to join in continued research to help counteract it.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • Report

    Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life

    "Truth Decay" refers to a diminishing reliance on facts and analysis observed in contemporary U.S. society, and especially its political discourse. This report explores the causes and effects of Truth Decay and proposes strategies for further action.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • Brochure

    RAND Year in Review 2016

    RAND President and CEO Michael Rich offers a year-end assessment of RAND's impact, highlighting ways in which the organization's findings and recommendations are helping to improve the health, security, and prosperity of individuals and communities throughout the world. This Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2016.

    Jan 19, 2017

  • Brochure

    The Erosion of Truth: Remarks from Politics Aside 2016

    In his opening remarks at Politics Aside 2016, RAND president and CEO Michael Rich discussed a phenomenon he calls 'Truth Decay.'

    Nov 11, 2016

  • Brochure

    Enabling the Future: Remarks from Pardee RAND Commencement 2016

    In his remarks at the 2016 Pardee RAND Commencement, RAND president and CEO Michael Rich discussed the idea of 'Enabling the Future'.

    Jun 18, 2016

  • Brochure

    The Role of Think Tanks in Modern Governance: Remarks at the China Development Forum 2016

    In his remarks at the 2016 China Development Forum, RAND president and CEO Michael Rich discussed the role of think tanks in modern governance.

    Mar 19, 2016

  • Brochure

    RAND Year in Review 2015

    RAND President and CEO Michael Rich offers a year-end assessment of RAND's impact, highlighting ways in which the organization's findings and recommendations are helping to improve the health, security, and prosperity of individuals and communities throughout the world. This Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2015.

    Jan 26, 2016

  • Brochure

    Honoring the Career of Charles Wolf, Jr.

    A speech by RAND president and CEO Michael Rich honoring the 60-year career of Charles Wolf, Jr., RAND economist and founding dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

    Jun 8, 2015

  • Brochure

    RAND Year in Review 2014

    RAND President and CEO Michael Rich offers a year-end assessment of RAND's impact, highlighting ways in which the organization's findings and recommendations are helping to improve the health, security, and prosperity of individuals and communities throughout the world. This Year in Review reflects on RAND's achievements in 2014.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 38, No. 2, Summer 2014

    The cover story discusses the rising wave of cybercrime and possible responses to it, while other features highlight research on medical innovation and U.S. security cooperation, plus public policy insights from Victor Hugo.

    Aug 7, 2014

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 38, No. 1, Spring 2014

    Feature stories discuss the implications of climate change for the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevada, the burdens borne by military caregivers, the drawbacks of joint aircraft programs, and growing inequalities across the European Union.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • Brochure

    Eulogy for Willis Ware

    This paper contains the eulogy delivered by Michael Rich, President and Chief Executive Officer of RAND, at a memorial service in honor of Willis Ware, held March 28, 2014. Ware was a pioneer in the fields of computing, privacy, and security.

    Mar 28, 2014

  • Brochure

    Making a Difference: A Look Back at How Well We Carried Out Our Mission in 2013

    In the context of the RAND Corporation's mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis, the Year in Review offers an assessment of RAND's achievements in 2013.

    Feb 17, 2014

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 37, No. 2, Fall 2013

    Stories discuss U.S. and Mexican immigration and labor reforms; British, French, and German defense policies in the face of austerity; seven ramifications of the Affordable Care Act; and the cost-effectiveness of correctional education programs.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 37, No. 1, Summer 2013

    Stories discuss the harms caused by sexual assault in the military; the prospects for minimalist international interventions; cyber threats and nations' responses to them; and the rising costs of dementia in the United States.

    Jul 15, 2013

  • Brochure

    2012 Year in Review

    In the context of the RAND Corporation's mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis, the Year in Review offers an assessment of RAND's achievements in 2012.

    Mar 15, 2013

  • Brochure

    Eulogy for Tora Kay Bikson

    This paper contains the eulogy delivered by Michael Rich, President and Chief Executive Officer of RAND, at a memorial service in honor of Tora Bikson, held February 22, 2013.

    Mar 8, 2013

  • Brochure

    Eulogy for Gus Shubert

    This paper contains the eulogy delivered by Michael Rich, Executive Vice President of RAND, at a memorial service in honor of Gus Shubert, held December 20, 2008.

    Feb 11, 2013

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 3, Winter 2012-2013

    Stories discuss the promotion of tolerance and critical thinking in the Arab world through children's media, the challenges faced by the United States in an era of fiscal austerity, and promising models for measuring teacher performance.

    Feb 5, 2013

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 2, Fall 2012

    The cover story focuses on nine key issues in the 2012 U.S. presidential election: income inequality, health care costs, immigration reform, energy options, education, al Qaeda, Iraq, democratization in the Middle East, and China.

    Sep 21, 2012

  • Brochure

    2011 Year in Review

    In the context of the RAND Corporation's mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis, the Year in Review offers an assessment of RAND's achievements in 2011.

    Jul 23, 2012

  • Brochure

    Remarks at the G20 Foreign Policy Think Tank Summit

    RAND president and CEO Michael Rich discusses RAND's history and mission, the major organizational challenges faced by RAND today, and the major policy challenges faced by society that RAND and other

    Jun 13, 2012

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2012

    Stories cover Iran's nuclear threat, social security in Mexico, programs for veterans, crime costs, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, the health insurance mandate, legal defense, marijuana legalization, global education, and Louisiana's coastal planning.

    May 11, 2012

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: Vol. 35, No. 3, Winter 2011-2012

    Stories discuss world demographic trends, Afghan peace prospects, U.S. health care spending, California prisoner reentry, Latin American inequalities, global health, veterans' mental health, highway investments, teacher bonuses, and charter schools.

    Jan 13, 2012

  • Brochure

    Remarks at the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills

    In September 2010, Michael Rich, RAND's executive vice president, delivered a speech to the Beverly Hills Rotary Club questioning how objective, nonpartisan research can contribute to policymaking in an increasingly polarized political climate.

    Oct 4, 2011

  • Brochure

    Catastrophe Risk Management in the Public Sector

    Presents RAND Corporation executive vice president Michael Rich's speech commemorating the establishment of the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

    Feb 19, 2010

  • Brochure

    Eulogy for Mary Anderson

    This paper contains the eulogy delivered by Michael Rich, Executive Vice President of RAND, at a memorial service in honor of Mary E. Anderson, held January 16, 2010.

    Feb 3, 2010

  • Report

    Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan

    Reports on a conference held to identify practical ideas for those involved in the drafting of Afghanistan's new constitution.

    2003

  • Report

    Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan

    Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan

    2003

  • Report

    RAND: How Think Tanks Interact with the Military

    Think tanks are now being called upon to help the military address the new challenges of terrorism and homeland security.

    2003

  • Report

    Al Williams: A Eulogy

    This paper contains the eulogy delivered by Michael Rich, Executive Vice President of RAND, at a memorial service in honor of Albert P. Williams, held at RAND, on November 19, 2000.

    2002

  • Report

    Guy Pauker: A Eulogy

    This paper contains the eulogy delivered by Michael Rich, Executive Vice President of RAND, at a memorial service in honor of Guy Pauker, held at the Bel Air Bay Club, on September 21, 2002.

    2002

  • Report

    RAND's Role in the CORONA Program: Remarks on the 35th Anniversary of the First Successful Mission

    This paper contains remarks made at an August 18, 1995 ceremony commemorating the 35th anniversary of the first successful film recovery from the CORONA satellite, the United State's first space reconnaissance system.

    1998

  • Report

    Formulating Strategies for International Collaboration in Developing and Producing Defense Systems

    Outlines a strategy that generates new concepts to perform needed tasks, forces the involvement of multiple nations, maintains competitive forces, and has equitable financial structuring, minimizing the inevitable penalties of collaboration.

    1997

  • Report

    National Security in the 1990s

    This paper is the text of a speech given at a luncheon co-sponsored by Town Hall of California and the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists, in Los Angeles, on February 19, 1991.

    1991

  • Report

    When Should We Start High-Rate Production of the B-2? An Analysis Based on Flight Test Results

    Over the past decade, government commissions and Congress have urged the Department of Defense to devote more attention to testing activities during the weapons acquisition process. This paper, the text of a statement made before the United States Se...

    1991

  • Report

    Evolution of the U.S. Defense Industry

    This paper presents the text of the keynote address at the Electronic Industries Association Symposium on Balancing National Security with Realities of the 1990s: Ten-Year Forecast of Defense Needs, at Coronado, California, October 16, 1990.

    1990

  • Report

    Recent Progress in Assessing the Readiness and Sustainability of Combat Forces

    This report is based on testimony given by Michael Rich to the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness in February 1986.

    1987

  • Report

    Thoughts on Reforming the Military Acquisition Process

    Outlines an approach to reforming the defense acquisition process and describes a prescription for reform based on RAND research results.

    1987

  • Report

    Improving the Military Acquisition Process: Lessons From Rand Research

    This report identifies trends that will affect future acquisition activity, and recommends improvements in the acquisition process to meet future challenges.

    Feb 1, 1986

  • Report

    Security Issues in East Asia

    The economic and technological dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region over the past decade has occurred in a time of comparative political stability.

    1986

  • Report

    Cost and Schedule Implications of Multinational Coproduction

    This paper examines the cost, schedule, and program management implications of multinational coproduction--international collaboration during weapon system production.

    1984

  • Report

    Improving U.S. Air Force Readiness and Sustainability

    This report seeks to promote discussion of the way the Air Force develops its weapon systems, manages its support resources, and conducts its wartime logistics operations.

    1984

  • Report

    An Integrated View on Improving Combat Readiness

    This Note describes a new approach for identifying and meeting the need to improve combat readiness.

    1982

  • Report

    Multiyear Contracting for the Production of Defense Systems: A Primer

    The Note discusses basic funding-contracting modes, changes in multiyear contracting and advanced procurement, and issues of choice in applying the opportunities for multiyear procurement provided by the Department of Defense authorization act, 1982.

    1982

  • Report

    Multinational Coproduction of Military Aerospace Systems

    Assesses cost and schedule implications of acquiring weapon systems using multinational coproduction by examining experiences accumulated in a large and diverse set of aerospace development and production programs.

    1981

  • Report

    The Use of Prototypes in Weapon System Development

    This study examines the role of prototypes in the contemporary environment of weapon system acquisition.

    1981

  • Report

    A New Look at Warranties in Defense Contracts

    This paper explores the reliability improvement warranty (RIW) concept by evaluating commercial analogs, past DOD warranty experience, and the current tri-service RIW trial.

    1978

  • Report

    Congress and Competition

    Examines greater competition in the acquisition of major weapons systems from perspective of Congress.

    1977

  • Report

    Reliability Improvement Warranties for Military Procurement

    Examines the Reliability Improvement Warranty (RIW).

    1977

  • Report

    Competition in the Acquisition of Major Weapon Systems: Legislative Perspectives

    Examines the prospect of promoting greater competition in the acquisition of major weapons systems from the perspective of the Congress.

    1976