Rhianna C. Rogers

Rhianna C. Rogers
Director, Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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.

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Rhianna C. Rogers is the director of the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy (CAREP), a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, and a professor of policy analysis at Pardee RAND Graduate School. Before RAND, Rogers 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. She has successfully built and implemented diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming for over a decade in higher education, private/public corporations, and NGOs. From 2010 to 2021, Rogers 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-wide and international partnerships, and cocreated Sustainable Progress and Equality Collective (SPEC) with advocates across the United States. This work led Rogers to be featured as an expert on participatory action research in the United Nations – Geneva Forum in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Rogers leads competency-based work in a variety of capacities, including running training for California's Law Enforcement Command College (2022–present), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)/German NATO DEU Air Command (2022), participanting in the White House - Year of Evidence in Action (2022) as well as sitting on the New York Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department Digital Equity Summits advisory group (2021), and the Kettering Foundation Deliberative Dialogue International Institute consulting team (2020–2021).

Before RAND, Rogers was most recently a tenured, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies (history and anthropology) and a program coordinator at the State University of New York (SUNY) - Empire State University (formerly Empire State College). At SUNY, Rogers held two system appointments, one as the Ernest Boyer Presidential Fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government (2019–2020) and the other as a SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence Fellow (2014–2021). Rogers was also a visiting professor of anthropology at the American University of Technology in Lebanon (2017–2018) and served two terms as the coordinator of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (2017–2019 and 2014–2017). Rogers holds a Ph.D. in comparative studies from Florida Atlantic University.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

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, 42(October 20), 2023

Rogers, R.C., Cascinelli, P., Jones, L. & Pellettiere Calix, L. "Creating an Impactful Virtual Exchange Experience – Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Case Studies from the Field," in T.C. Woodman, M. Whatley & C. R. Glass (Eds.), Digital Internationalization: Beyond Virtual Exchange., Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2023 (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