Sean Robson

Sean Robson
Senior Behavioral/Social Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology, University of Tulsa; B.S. in psychology, James Madison University


Sean Robson is a senior behavioral and policy scientist at RAND who works on manpower, personnel, and training issues, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. As an expert on issues related to the scientific validation of tests and standards, he has been leading efforts to establish the scientific basis for assessment and selection programs and occupationally relevant physical fitness tests, which may be used to ensure the physical readiness of military personnel.  Specifically, he has led research projects to identify physical fitness requirements in Air Force Battlefield Airmen as well as entry level physical strength requirements and tests for physically demanding occupational specialties in the Air Force. He has also had significant roles on projects examining stress inoculation training, resilience, diversity, leadership, competency modeling, and workforce development. Robson has a B.S. from James Madison University, and a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa.

Selected Publications

Krueger, Tracy C., Sean Robson, Joshua Snoke, Matthew Walsh, Matt Strawn, Anthony Atler, Jason H. Campbell, Isabel Leamon, Ryan Haberman, and Barbara Bicksler, Assessment and Selection for U.S. Air Force Special Warfare: Vol. 1, Defining Attributes and Designing Rater Training, RAND Corporation (RR-A549-1), 2022

Robson, Sean, Maria C. Lytell, Matthew Walsh, Kimberly Curry Hall, Kirsten M. Keller, Vikram Kilambi, Joshua Snoke, Jonathan W. Welburn, Patrick S. Roberts, Owen Hall, and Louis T. Mariano, U.S. Air Force Enlisted Classification and Reclassification: Potential Improvements Using Machine Learning and Optimization Models, RAND Corporation (RR-A284-1), 2022

Robson, Sean, Isabel Leamon, Maria C. Lytell, Miriam Matthews, and Margaret Chamberlin, A Review of the Air Force Fitness Assessment, RAND Corporation (RR-A762-1), 2021

Robson, Sean, Maria C. Lytell, Anthony Atler, Jason H. Campbell, and Carra S. Sims, Physical Task Simulations: Performance Measures for the Validation of Physical Tests and Standards for Battlefield Airmen, RAND Corporation (RR-1595-AF), 2020

Lytell, Maria C., Sean Robson, David Schulker, Tracy C. Krueger, Miriam Matthews, Louis T. Mariano, and Albert A. Robbert, Training Success for U.S. Air Force Special Operations and Combat Support Specialties: An Analysis of Recruiting, Screening, and Development Processes, RAND Corporation (RR-2002-AF), 2018