Eric Robinson

Eric Robinson
Associate Director, Research Programming Group; Senior 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 (he/him) is a senior research programmer and analyst at RAND based in Washington, D.C. His research focuses primarily on special operations forces, irregular warfare and gray zone challenges, and developing economies, with a frequent emphasis on employing statistical and computational methods to reduce uncertainty in complex environments. He leads research primarily for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and various components of U.S. Special Operations Command. He is also Associate Director of RAND's Research Programming Group – a team of data science, software engineering, and statistical analytics practitioners conducting data-driven analysis across RAND’s multidisciplinary research agenda. 

He previously served as a civil servant and policy advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC). In this role, he led a team focused on reorienting special operations forces towards China and Russia, and led the development and writing of the Irregular Warfare Annex to the 2018 National Defense Strategy. He previously served as an advisor to the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan (SOJTF-A) in Kabul, and as an advanced analytics consultant with IBM Federal in Washington, D.C.

He is the author of frequent research and commentary, and has been interviewed in the New York Times, the Times of London, and on public radio. He graduated with a Masters of Public Policy and an A.B in Economics with Honors from the College of William & Mary.

Previous Positions

Irregular Warfare Policy Team Chief, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Advisor, Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan

Recent Projects

  • The Future of Irregular Warfare
  • Analytic Support to Future Special Operations Force Design
  • Special Operations Roles and Priorities in Competition with China
  • A Net Assessment of U.S. and Chinese Approaches to Development as a Tool of Economic Statecraft

Honors & Awards

  • Medal for Exceptional Public Service, Office of the Secretary of Defense