Eric Robinson is a research programmer and analyst at RAND Corporation based in Washington, DC. His research at RAND is focused on applying data-driven approaches to improve understanding of gray zone threats, insurgency, rebel governance, and special operations issues. He has conducted extensive field research for RAND, including work alongside special operations forces in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East.
From 2017 to 2020, he was detailed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Irregular Warfare Policy Chief, within the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC). In this role, he led the Department’s policy efforts to address gray zone and irregular challenges from nation-state competitors, and provided oversight of special operations forces in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. He also led the development of the Irregular Warfare Annex to the 2018 National Defense Strategy under Secretary Mattis.
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 from 2014 to 2015. Prior to joining RAND, he worked for IBM as an advanced analytics consultant. 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.