Shirley M. Ross

Photo of Shirley Ross
Senior Behavioral/Social Scientist
Washington Office


Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology, George Washington University; M. Phil in industrial/organizational psychology, George Washington University; B.A. in industrial/organizational psychology, University of Missouri at St. Louis


Shirley Ross is a senior behavioral scientist with the RAND Corporation.  She works primarily with DoD, having served as Principal Investigator for many projects supporting the Air Force and other service components. Her areas of deep expertise include the design and execution of human capital strategies, organization development/organization change strategies and processes, and the application of corporate/private sector best practices to DoD.

Prior to RAND, Ross was the Senior Advisor for Talent Management at the Air Staff, Pentagon. During this appointment, she worked closely with the Nuclear Enterprise and authored and led the execution of the first Human Capital Strategy/Three Year Plan (2010-2102) for the Nuclear Enterprise.

In her corporate career, Ross held positions across diverse industries, including Vice President of Executive Leadership, Learning, and Organizational Effectiveness for Raytheon Co., $22B defense and government electronics, space, and information technology corporation; Vice President of Talent Management and Organization Development for Merck & Co., a $20B leader in the pharmaceutical industry; and Vice President of Human Capital Strategy and Development for Williams-Sonoma, parent company of several leading retail brands. She also spent five years with the Anheuser-Busch Companies before moving into executive selection and talent-based consulting in the high-tech sector.

Ross is a former Air Force officer and served in both Intelligence and Behavioral Sciences. She has an M.Phil and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The George Washington University, and is a board-certified, licensed psychologist.