Rhianna C. Rogers

Rhianna C. Rogers
Director, Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy; Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in comparative area studies, Florida Atlantic University; M.A. in history, Florida Atlantic University; B.A. in social and behavioral sciences, Florida Atlantic University; Certificate in ethnic studies, Florida Atlantic University

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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Rhianna C. Rogers is director of the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy and a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Before RAND, she held administrative/teaching appointments in higher education and tribal government (2002–2021). Rogers is an expert on cultural and ethnic studies, intercultural competencies and diversity education, cultural mediation, and virtual exchange programming. She has successfully built and implemented Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programming for over a decade in higher education, private/public corporations, and NGOs. She created and ran the Buffalo Project, a longitudinal participatory action research project focused on using cultural data as the baseline for programmatic development and implementation. With numerous awards, Rogers grew the program, forming state and international partnerships, which led Rogers to be featured as part of the United Nations – Geneva Forum in 2020 and 2021. Rogers has supported DEI in a variety of capacities, including leading for Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)/German NATO DEU Air Command DEI training (2022), participating in the White House - Year of Evidence in Action Forums (2022), and sitting on the New York State Digital Equity Summits advisory group (2021); the Lumen Circles/Gates Foundation DEI consulting group (2021), and the Kettering Foundation Deliberative Dialogue consulting team (2020–2021). Before RAND, Rogers was a professor of interdisciplinary studies (history and anthropology) at the State University of New York (SUNY), Empire State College. At SUNY, Rogers held systems appointments as the Ernest Boyer Presidential Fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government (2019–2020) and SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence Fellow (2014–2021). She holds a Ph.D. in comparative area studies, an M.A. in history, and a B.A. in social and behavioral sciences from Florida Atlantic University.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct, SUNY Empire State College; Instructor, California's Law Enforcement Command College

Selected Publications

Angiel, D., Cabreros, I., Damberg, C., Elliott, M. & Rogers, R, "A formal framework for incorporating equity into quality measurement," Health Affairs Journal, 2022 (forthcoming)

Drury, S. & Rogers, R. , "Creating Inclusive Conversations: Introducing the Equity Centered - Deliberative Conversations (ECDC) Conceptual Framework," eJournal of Public Affairs, 2022 (forthcoming)

Jones, L. S., Rogers, R. C., & Abendroth, M. , "Analyzing Student Learning in Sustainability: An International Exchange Case Study," Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, 16(3), 2021

Rogers, R. C., Schuetz, J. W., & Cauldwell, R. , ¡ El Yunque se levanta! Interdisciplinarity and activism at the La Mina petroglyph site, British Archeological Reports, 2021

Rogers, R. , From Ichcanzihoo to Mérida: Documenting Cultural Transition Through Contact Archaeology in Tíhoo, Mérida, Yucatán., Archaeopress/British Archeological Reports, 2011

Honors & Awards

  • 2021 and 2015 James William and Mary Elizabeth Hall Endowed Award for Innovation, SUNY Empire State College
  • 2018 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, State University of New York
  • 2018 SUNY Explorations in Diversity & Academic Excellence Award (EDAE), State University of New York


English; Spanish; German


  • Workforce Diversity

    Seven Ways to Build a Truly Equitable DEI Strategy

    Despite growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roles worldwide, not much has changed with the power structure in DEI spaces, which still center on the C-suite and tend to be populated with groups that are less knowledgeable on research in DEI. Here are seven strategies for building a more-equitable DEI program.

    Aug 1, 2022

    Fast Company

  • Racial Equity

    Segregation and Racism—Buffalo's Ignored History

    To move policy forward, public policy research will need to take a joint, nonpartisan look at diverse perspectives while, at the same time, giving space to voices that have been historically underrepresented. Changing or challenging fundamental assumptions in racial equity discourse requires a better understanding of the importance of cultural data, the longstanding impacts of systemic -isms on lived experiences, and a push for real-time policy solutions.

    Jul 25, 2022

    The Buffalo News

  • Racial Equity

    Resolutions and Optimism from the Santa Monica Community Going into the New Year

    Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy director Rhianna Rogers reflects on her 2022 resolution: Draw together folks from different cultural perspectives to speak with and learn from one another, and work together to find ways to make the world better for all.

    Jan 3, 2022

    Santa Monica Daily Press