Will Shumate

Photo of Will Shumate
Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.I.A. in China, University of California, San Diego; B.A. in political science, California State University, Northridge


Will Shumate is a Ph.D. student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. He studies China and the nexus of technology, security, and development in strategic competition. His research includes Sino-American competion in 5G, desiging a space law simulation, and interviewing Mayors about managerial practices.  He is interested in linking technology experts with public policy analysts to create better policy surrounding core emerging technologies. 

Prior to joining Pardee RAND, he was a research analyst for TechPolis where he helped with multiple technology-related projects, including a lobbying campaign for 5G rollout. He also worked as graduate student researcher at multiple institutions at U.C. San Diego, including the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, and the U.S. Mayors and City Managers project.  He also has experience with drug policy and California state government.

Shumate has a Master in International Affairs from U.C. San Diego and a B.A. in political science from Cal State Northridge. 




  • People wearing virtual reality headsets watch films at a newly opened VR cinema by Er Dong Pictures in Beijing, China, March 27, 2019, photo by Lin Hui/Beijing Youth Daily/Reuters

    China Is Organizing the VR Industry. The United States Could Do the Same

    Given the potential value of virtual reality as a tool—and the increasing competition from China—the United States could focus more energy on advancing VR in a coordinated fashion. Otherwise, America risks missing an opportunity to excel internationally with a valuable and broadly applicable emerging technology.

    Aug 23, 2021 The National Interest