Eric Robinson

Photo of Eric Robinson
Research Programmer & Analyst
Washington Office


M.P.P. in public policy, College of William & Mary; B.A. in economics, government, College of William & Mary


Eric Robinson is a research programmer and analyst at RAND Corporation based in Washington, DC. He is currently detailed from RAND to the Department of Defense as a policy advisor for irregular and hybrid warfare in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (OASD SO/LIC).

His research at RAND is focused on empirical studies related to special operations, rebel governance, and developing economies across the Middle East, Eurasia, and Southeast Asia. He specializes in the use of mixed methods research to leverage geospatial data, survey research, and structured qualitative data to better understand conflict and economic conditions in remote or denied areas. He has conducted extensive field research for RAND, including work in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East.

Previously, he served in Kabul with the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan (SOJTF-A) as an analyst and advisor to the commander of US and NATO special operations. Prior to joining RAND, he worked for IBM as an advanced analytics consultant specializing in modeling large datasets. He graduated with his Masters of Public Policy from the College of William & Mary, and an A.B. in Economics with Honors also from William & Mary.

Selected Publications

Eric Robinson, Daniel Egel, Patrick B. Johnston, Sean Mann, Alexander D. Rothenberg, David Stebbins, When the Islamic State Comes to Town: The Economic Impact of Islamic State Governance in Iraq and Syria, RAND Corporation (RR-1970), 2017

Eric Robinson, P. Kathleen Frier, Kim Cragin, Melissa A. Bradley, Daniel Egel, Bryce Loidolt, Paul S. Steinberg, What Factors Cause Individuals to Reject Violent Extremism in Yemen?RAND Corporation (RR-1727), 2017

Seth G. Jones, James Dobbins, Daniel Byman, Christopher S. Chivvis, Ben Connable, Jeffrey Martini, Eric Robinson, Nathan Chandler, Rolling Back the Islamic State, RAND Corporation (RR-1912), 2017

Daniel Egel, Charles P. Ries, Ben Connable, Todd C. Helmus, Eric Robinson, Isaac Baruffi, Melissa A. Bradley, Kurt Card, Kathleen Loa, Sean Mann, Fernando Sedano, Stephan B. Seabrook, Robert Stewart, Investing in the Fight: Assessing the Use of the Commander's Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan, RAND Corporation (RR-1508), 2016

Honors & Awards

  • Spotlight Award (2014, 2016, 2017), RAND Corporation


  • Artificial intelligence concept with face, photo by kentoh/Getty Images

    AI and Irregular Warfare: An Evolution, Not a Revolution

    How will artificial intelligence change the way wars are fought? The answer, of course, depends. And it mainly depends on what type of wars are being fought. And how will AI affect the type of wars that the United States is most likely to fight?

    Oct 31, 2019 War on the Rocks

  • Smoke rises after airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in a village east of Mosul, Iraq, May 29, 2016

    Cutting the Islamic State's Money Supply

    Airstrikes have hit ISIL tanker trucks, oil fields, refineries, and banks, but it would be a mistake to view the group as a poor man's version of its old self. New steps are needed to counter its multi-million dollar taxation and extortion machine.

    Jul 21, 2016 The National Interest