William Shelton

William Shelton
Acting Director, Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations Program, RAND Homeland Security Research Division; Senior Engineer
Washington Office


M.S. in aero/astro engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology; B.S. in aero/astro engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


William Shelton is the acting director of the Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations Program within the RAND Homeland Security Research Division, and a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation. His research has covered such topics as accelerating Air Force and Space Force acquisition programs, the reorganization of Air Force Material Command, and how to improve the Air Force's development and implementation of large scale Enterprise Resource Planning programs. Additionally he has conducted research for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, as well Science and Technology Directorate and Joint Requirements Council.

After retiring from the Air Force in 2007, he worked in industry and government prior to joining RAND. During his Air Force career he worked on tactical aircraft (F-16, F-22, Joint Strike Fighter), command and control (Link 16), and missile defense (C2 Battle Management and Communications). While on active duty, Shelton served in the Department of State in Defense Trade Controls as an expert on export controls and the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR). He also had Air Staff and intelligence tours as well as a RAND Air Force Fellowship.

He has a B.S. in aeronautics/astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Recent Projects

  • Early Indicators of Relative Contractor Performance Risk for Air Force Acquisition
  • Business Process Review of Mission Support Functions
  • Identifying Savings in the Conduct of AT&L Business Areas
  • Alternative Space Architectures: Better Leveraging Commercial Space and the Effect of Delayed New Starts
  • A Clean Sheet Approach to Space Acquisition in Light of the New Space Force

Selected Publications

Gilmore, J. Michael, William Shelton, and Sarah Harting, Estimating Potential Savings in Department of Defense Activities, RAND Corporation (RR-2329-OSD), 2019

Harting, Sarah, Shelton, William L., Anton, Philip S., Blickstein, Irv, Brauner, Marygail K., Lachman, Beth E., Moore, Nancy Y., Conley, Tim, Smith, Meagan L., Lewis, Austin, Unconstrained Ideas and Savings Initiatives for the Department of Defense in Three Areas: Acquisition and Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain, and Real Property Management, (RP-3621-OSD), 2018

Anton, Philip S., Conley, Tim, Blickstein, Irv, Lewis, Austin, Shelton, William L., Harting, Sarah, Baselining Defense Acquisition, (RP-3611-OSD), 2018

Snyder, Don, Bernard Fox, Kristin F. Lynch, Raymond E. Conley, John A. Ausink, Laura Werber, William Shelton, Sarah A. Nowak, Michael R. Thirtle, and Albert A. Robbert, Assessment of the Air Force Materiel Command Reorganization: Report for Congress, RAND Corporation (RR-389-AF), 2013

Riposo, Jessie, Guy Weichenberg, Chelsea Kaihoi, Bernard Fox, William Shelton, and Andreas Thorsen, Improving Air Force Enterprise Resource Planning-Enabled Business Transformation, RAND Corporation (RR-250-AF), 2013

Huber, Arthur, Philip Sauer, Joseph L. Hollett, Kenneth Keskel, William Shelton, and John T. Dillaplain, The Virtual Combat Air Staff: The Promise of Information Technologies, RAND Corporation (MR-759-AF), 1996

Shelton, William, Cynthia R. Cook, Charlie Barton, Frank Camm, Kelly Elizabeth Eusebi, Diana Gehlhaus, Moon Kim, Yool Kim, Megan McKernan, Sydne J. Newberry, and Colby P. Steiner, A Clean Sheet Approach to Space Acquisition in Light of the New Space Force, RAND Corporation (RR-A541-1), 2021

Honors & Awards

  • Bronze Medal, RAND Corporation