Agnes Gereben Schaefer

Photo of Agnes Schaefer
Senior Political Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in political science, Syracuse University; M.A. in political science, Florida International University; B.A. in international relations/environmental studies, Florida International 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

More Experts


Agnes Gereben Schaefer is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research specializations include issues related to national security strategy, emerging threats, U.S. military personnel policy, reserve component issues, and homeland security/homeland defense issues. Since joining RAND in 2005, Schaefer has conducted more than 50 studies for senior civilian and military leaders, including: an assessment of the implications of allowing transgender military personnel to serve openly; integrating women into the USMC infantry and Special Operations Forces (SOF); assessments of the implications of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military; a Congressionally-mandated review of the provision of employment services for reserve component members; the development of a Defense Sector Assessment Rating Tool, as assessment of the security situation in Mexico and several other studies related to national security strategy. She has published articles in a range of journals, and has been interviewed by various media outlets including: the Associated Press, BBC, CBS News, CNN, The Economist, Fox News, The New York Times, PBS News Hour, Reuters, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today. Schaefer received her Ph.D. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Before joining RAND, Schaefer was a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Previous Positions

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Associate in Politics and Public Policy, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Recent Projects

  • Key Considerations in Assessing the Impact of Integrating Women into Marine Corps
  • Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly
  • Officer Career Management: Steps Toward Modernization in the 2018 and 2019 National Defense Authorization Acts
  • The U.S. Army and the Battle for Baghdad: Lessons Learned-and Still to Be Learned

Selected Publications

Agnes Schaefer et al, Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly, RAND Corporation (RR-1530-OSD), 2016

Thomas S. Szayna et al, Considerations for Integrating Women into Closed Occupations in the U.S. Special Operations Forces, RAND (RR-1058-OSD), 2015

Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Jennie Wenger, Jennifer Kavanagh, Jonathan Wong, Gillian Oak, Thomas Trail, Todd Nichols, Implications of Integrating Women into the Marine Corps Infantry, RAND Corporation (RR-1103-USMC), 2015

David E. Johnson, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Brenna Allen, Raphael S. Cohen, Gian Gentile, James P, Hoobler, Michael Schwille, Jerry M. Sollinger, Sean M. Zeiger, The U.S. Army and the Battle for Baghdad: Lessons Learned-and Still to Be Learned, RAND Corporation (RR-3076-A), 2019

Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Andrew M. Naber, Darrell Jones, Thomas Goughnour, Nelson Lim, An Assessment of Options for Increasing Gender-Integrated Training in Air Force Basic Military Training, RAND Corporation (RR-1795-AF), 2018

Albert A. Robbert, Katherine L. Kidder, Caitlin Lee, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, William H. Waggy III, Officer Career Management: Steps Toward Modernization in the 2018 and 2019 National Defense Authorization Acts, RAND Corporation (RR-2875-OSD), 2019

Honors & Awards

  • 2016 Silver Medal Award, RAND
  • 2017 Silver Medal Award, RAND




  • Silhouetted soldiers on patrol at sunset

    On RAND's Research Findings Regarding Transgender Military Personnel Policy

    In September 2015, the Department of Defense asked RAND to initiate a study on the implications of allowing transgender personnel to serve openly. Since its publication, the research has been widely viewed as the most comprehensive and authoritative analysis on this topic. RAND stands by the study's research approach, analysis, and findings.

    Mar 27, 2018 The RAND Blog

  • Mexico border

    If U.S.-Mexico Get Security Right, Other Good Policy Will Follow

    Obama and Peña Nieto emphasized economic cooperation at their summit not because security issues have gone away, but because the new rules of the game in this nascent relationship between the two leaders are evolving, writes Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    May 29, 2013 Houston Chronicle

  • Sydney Maxwell looks for his belongings in his apartment destroyed in April 27's deadly tornados in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, May 2, 2011, photo by Lee Celano/Reuters

    Follow the Money

    If the U.S. does not improve its ability to track federal spending and develop reliable measures of effectiveness, precious federal disaster aid will continue to be at risk of being squandered, writes Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    Jul 14, 2011 The Montgomery Advertiser

  • A Month After the Earthquake: Opportunities Slipping Away

    Previous efforts by the international community to stabilize Haiti have met with little or only short-term success. This time, following the earthquake, the U.S. response could actually leverage the response and recovery opportunities into a broader international plan, write Agnes Gereben Schaefer and Anita Chandra.

    Feb 24, 2010 and

  • Assessing Mexico's Narco-Violence

    Drug-related violence in Mexico has more than doubled over the past 18 months, with a sharp increase in crimes that can only be understood as atrocities. The executions, assassinations, and decapitations may all seem wanton and senseless. But this violence actually has a purpose, write Benjamin Bahney and Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    May 14, 2009 The San Diego Union-Tribune