Scott Savitz

Photo of Scott Savitz
Senior Engineer
Washington Office


B.S. in chemical engineering, Yale University; M.S. in chemical engineering, University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D. in chemical engineering, University of Pennsylvania


Scott Savitz is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation.  Much of his research focuses on how to improve the effectiveness and resilience of operational forces, as well as the impact of reallocating resources among those forces.  He has developed a number of models and simulations in support of such analyses.

Recently, he has led analytical efforts on how emerging technologies can disrupt naval warfare, how to improve maritime domain awareness, how to measure the impact of efforts to counter hostile networks, and how the Coast Guard can prepare for future Arctic operations.  He developed a series of training workshops to enable individuals to better measure their organizations’ performance.  Savitz has also led studies on how the U.S. Navy can effectively use unmanned surface vehicles, how to counter maritime improvised explosive devices in U.S. ports, and how the Coast Guard can make more informed asset-allocation decisions.  At RAND, he has also analyzed historical insights regarding warship design, how to improve resilience in the face of attacks against bases, and many other subjects.

Previously, Savitz provided on-site analytical support for a series of naval commands, including the Navy's mine warfare command and the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.  He has led exercise-observation teams around the globe, and supported the Navy in Bahrain from 2001-2003, addressing political-military, counter-terrorism, and chemical/biological/radiological defense issues.

Savitz earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Yale University, as well as a master's degree and Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Selected Publications

Scott Savitz, "Rethink Mine Countermeasures," Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, 143(7), 2017

Scott Savitz, Miriam Matthews, and Sarah Weilant, Assessing Impact to Inform Decisions: A Toolkit on Measures for Policymakers, RAND (TL-263-OSD), 2017

Tingstad, Abbie.; Savitz, Scott.; Van Abel, Kristin.; Woods, Dulani.; Anania, Kate.; Ziegler, Michelle Darrah.; Davenport, Aaron.; Costello, Katherine., Identifying Potential Gaps in U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Capabilities, (RR-2310-DHS), 2018

Scott Savitz, Irv Blickstein, Peter Buryk, Robert W. Button, Paul DeLuca, James Dryden, Jason Mastbaum, Jan Osburg, Philip Padilla, Amy Potter, Carter C. Price, Lloyd Thrall, Susan K. Woodward, Roland J. Yardley, John M. Yurchak, U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), RAND (RR-384), 2013

Scott Savitz, Henry H. Willis, Aaron Davenport, Martina Melliand, William Sasser, Elizabeth Tencza, Dulani Woods, Enhancing U.S. Coast Guard Metrics, RAND (RR-1173), 2015

John F. Schank, Scott Savitz, Ken Munson, Brian Perkinson, James McGee, Jerry Sollinger, Designing Adaptable Ships: Modularity and Flexibility in Future Ship Designs, RAND (RR-696), 2016

Cynthia Dion-Schwarz, Sarah Evans, Edward Geist, Scott W. Harold, Vernon Ray Koym, Scott Savitz, Lloyd Thrall, Technological Lessons from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Accident, RAND (RR-857-OSD), 2016

Scott Savitz, "Psychology and the Mined: A Case Study in Psychological Barriers to the Use of Statistical Analysis," Military Operations Research, 13(1), 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Silver Medal for analysis, The RAND Corporation




  • Navy ships guard while a sea mine is destroyed at the Irben Strait in the Baltic sea, near Riga, Latvia, May 20, 2009

    Small States Can Use Naval Mines and Unmanned Vehicles to Deter Maritime Aggression

    Small coastal nations face potential threats from larger, more powerful adversaries. Their coastlines represent vulnerabilities that a foe may seek to exploit. But these nations can hinder and deter potential aggressors by using less expensive systems, such as naval mines and unmanned vehicles.

    Jul 16, 2018 RealClearDefense

  • Would-be emigrants launch a makeshift boat into the Straits of Florida towards the U.S., on the last day of the 1994 Cuban Exodus in Havana, September 13, 1994

    A Changing Cuba May Create Risks for Maritime Border Security

    A changing Cuba may contribute to less secure maritime borders for the United States. The U.S. should plan accordingly to stop mass movements of both drugs and people.

    Nov 5, 2016 U.S. News and World Report

  • Border fence between San Diego, California, U.S. and Tijuana, Mexico

    Would a Border Wall Be Effective?

    A wall along the U.S. border with Mexico would be a wasteful endeavor. Like many walls throughout history, it would probably be undermined by tunnels. And in general, fences and walls don't prevent people from crossing boundaries. They merely slow people down.

    Sep 26, 2016 Dallas Morning News

  • The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower approaches the Friendship Bridge as it transits the Suez Canal, July 8, 2016

    Egypt's Suez Canal: An Attenuated Lifeline

    The U.S. Navy has enjoyed the luxury of being able to transit the Suez Canal without hindrance for decades. However, the risk of losing access — perhaps quickly and unexpectedly — should inform Navy strategic and operational planning.

    Sep 14, 2016 The National Interest

  • Civilians walk past a damaged building in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria, October 28, 2015

    Will Syria's Civil War Turn Out Like Spain's Did?

    The similarities between the Syrian and Spanish civil wars, including foreign involvement and the level of brutality against civilians and captives, suggest that the Syrian war, like the Spanish one before it, could potentially foreshadow future conflicts.

    Dec 2, 2015 The Washington Post

  • A chlorine-tinged cloud of smoke rises from a bomb detonated by Iraqi army and Shi'ite fighters in the town of al-Alam in Salahuddin province, March 10, 2015

    ISIS Plus Chemical Weapons Does Not Equal Apocalypse

    The renewed use of chemical weapons on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria is a dangerous regional phenomenon, not an imminent global threat.

    Sep 11, 2015 Newsweek

  • Soldiers escort Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman at the Navy's airstrip in Mexico City, February 22, 2014

    El Chapo's Prison Escape Should Come as No Surprise

    Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel and similar criminal organizations have long used tunnels to literally undermine security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Jul 24, 2015 Fox News Channel

  • Palestinian fighters from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades inside an underground tunnel in Gaza

    The Gaza Conflict: Tunnel Warfare's Latest Chapter

    Despite its long history as an effective combat tool, tunneling rarely garners much attention, perhaps because it is inherently clandestine, tedious, and dirty. However, as the conflict in Gaza indicates, tunneling remains effective, and will likely persist as long as conflict itself.

    Sep 5, 2014 The RAND Blog