Lara Schmidt is director of the Strategy, Policy, and Operations Program within the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), the Department of Homeland Security’s Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) at the RAND Corporation. As such, she manages a research portfolio for DHS covering topics such as workforce management, strategic planning, operational process improvement, and many other types of operational analysis.
Schmidt has previously held leadership positions within RAND Project AIR FORCE, the Air Force’s FFRDC for studies and analysis, and has led research for the Air Force, Army, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Joint Staff. Her research focuses on national security issues including: cybersecurity; cyber effects estimation; integration of cyber operations into campaign plans; organizational and workforce issues in cybersecurity; threats to military missions and the associated risk to the warfighter; operational effects estimation; target development practices; approaches to resilient space operations; Air Force special operations and irregular warfare; and formalizing data collection to support planning for cyber operations.
Schmidt serves on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and as a referee for several technical journals. She has held leadership positions with the American Statistical Association, including serving as the chair of the Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics and a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics.