Ben Senator

Ben Senator
Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School, and Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND


M.Sc. in social policy and research, University College London; B.A. in geography, University of Birmingham


Ben Senator is a Ph.D. candidate at Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, and formerly a research assistant at RAND Europe. His research interests lie in the public health, social, and criminal justice impacts of regulatory approaches to legal and illicit substances. Senator has supported multiple projects with the RAND Drug Policy Research Center in the areas of non-medical cannabis regulation and drug decriminalisation policies in North American and European contexts. His current work concerns de jure non-medical cannabis policy developments, the effectiveness of policy responses to the U.S. opioid epidemic, and veteran suicide prevention strategies.

Senator is proficient in both qualitative and quantitative analysis, with interests in applications of quasi-experimental techniques, machine learning, and geospatial analysis in drug policy research. He has supported a number of quantitative analyses, including estimating the impacts of supply-side policy changes to the Dutch nonmedical cannabis market, the effectiveness of education-based randomized controlled trials, gender differences in financial decisionmaking, and societal costs of hate crime. He has additionally supported systematic literature reviews and qualitative research projects that utilize stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic methods.

Prior to joining RAND, Senator worked as a research assistant with University College London whilst studying for his M.Sc. in social policy and social research. He holds a B.A. in geography from the University of Birmingham.