Katharine Sieck

Photo of Katharine Sieck
Behavioral/Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in anthropology, Emory University; M.A. in anthropology, University of London; B.A. in anthropology, University of Chicago


Katharine Sieck is an anthropologist at RAND who leads business intelligence on behalf of the organization. She is also a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She specializes in system dynamics.

Sieck has led projects in diverse fields including education, health, cybersecurity, juvenile welfare, and finance. Her work has improved policy design and implementation by proactively identifying points of conflict, disagreement and opportunity among those who lead and are impacted by programs.

Prior to RAND, Sieck spent six years in marketing and consulting blending quantitative and qualitative methods to provide more detailed insight into motivation and action. This work resulted in new techniques for tracking behavioral data, visual documentary data, and narrative analysis. Additionally, she led multiple efforts to better synthesize qualitative and quantitative analyses and repurpose massive datasets to generate more actionable findings. Specifically, she designed a highly successful segmentation platform structured on known drivers of human behavior (versus more traditional demographic markers).

She has presented keynote addresses in diverse settings including the American Psychological Association and NASCAR. While her core research site has been the United States, she has lived and worked in Zambia, India, South Korea and England. She has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Emory University and has taught at Stanford, Emory, and the University of Minnesota.