Benjamin J. Sacks

Photo of Benjamin Sacks
Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Boston Office


Ph.D. in history, Princeton University; M.A. in history, Princeton University; B.A. in history, Tufts University


Benjamin Sacks is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor of political geography at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. At RAND, Sacks employs mixed-method approaches to examine the history, political geography, public diplomacy, and networks of major power competition, defense acquisition, and contested spaces. He has also led a study examining international radio broadcast strategy. He has briefed the Joint Staff J-7 Directorate and Congressional staffers. Outside of RAND, he has published articles or chapters in Journal of Cold War Studies (forthcoming), History of Cartography (forthcoming), History of Military Cartography, Oxford Handbook on the History of Consumption, Companion to World History, and New England Quarterly. Sacks completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for History and Economics, his Ph.D. and M.A. at Princeton University, and his B.A. at Tufts University. He is a permanent elected fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a 2009 Beinecke Scholar.  

Selected Publications

Benjamin J. Sacks, Scott R. Stephenson, Stephanie Pezard, Abbie Tingstad, and Camilla T. N. Sørensen, Exploring Gaps in Arctic Governance: Identifying Potential Sources of Conflict and Mitigating Measures, RAND Corporation (RR-A1007-1), 2021

Benjamin J. Sacks, "Negotiating the Infrastructure of British International Broadcasting: Operation Beryl and the Genesis of the Modern BBC Global Relay Network, 1953–1963," Journal of Cold War Studies, 2022 (forthcoming)

Benjamin J. Sacks, "Whose Islands? The Cartographic Politics of the Falklands, 1763–1982,," in Elri Liebenberg, Imre Demhardt, and Soetkin Vervust, eds., History of Military Cartography: 5th ICA Symposium on the History of Cartography, Springer, 2015

Honors & Awards

  • 2017 Alfred Rubin Prize, Tufts Institute for Global Leadership
  • 2009 National Beinecke Scholarship, Sperry Fund


  • USCGC Richard Snyder takes part in Operation Nanook to enhance collective abilities to respond to safety and security issues in the High North, in the Davis Strait, August 13, 2021, photo by USCGC Richard Snyder/U.S. Coast Guard

    Putin's Actions in Ukraine Are Spilling North

    The decision of seven Arctic countries to suspend collaborative work with Russia in the Arctic is by far the most severe and consequential break in cooperation the region has ever seen. This breakdown of Arctic diplomacy could have several important impacts on the region and could potentially threaten the United States as well as its allies.

    Mar 30, 2022 The Hill

  • Radio dial showing shortwave, medium wave, and FM frequencies, photo by Photonavor/Getty Images

    Why the BBC World Service's New Ukrainian Shortwave Service Matters

    Despite its age, shortwave remains an enduring tool in the global fight against disinformation. It can travel vast distances, cannot be hacked, and is notoriously difficult to jam. Perhaps it's time for the United States to consider whether it should follow the BBC's lead in restarting shortwave services to Ukraine and southeastern Russia.

    Mar 25, 2022 United Press International