Rachel Slama

Rachel Slama
Director, Labor and Workforce Development Program; Senior Policy Researcher


Ed.D in education policy, leadership, and instructional practice, Harvard University; Ed.M in international education policy, Harvard University; M.S. in bilingual childhood education, Pace University; B.A., Emory University


Rachel Slama is the director of the labor and workforce development program and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Slama previously served as co-director of the Teaching Systems Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a research and design lab comprised of learning scientists, engineers, and STEM education and simulation experts. Slama’s research is at the nexus of emerging technology, adult learning, and cross-sector partnerships. She develops, deploys, and evaluates interactive tools for learning at scale. 

Slama has worked with partners in education, military, and healthcare with a range of learning goals including upskilling, building resilience to misinformation online, and STEM workforce development. She recently led a multi-institutional project as part of the National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator program to build trust and authenticity in communication systems. In this capacity, Slama worked in close coordination with multiple federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Health and Human Services. She has also developed training materials to build local resilience to disinformation by state actors. 

Slama’s motivation for leading education and workforce development projects stems from her experience as a bilingual paraprofessional in the Atlanta Public Schools, a bilingual teacher in New York City, and her family’s access to education and upskilling as immigrants. Slama received a doctorate from Harvard University in education policy analysis where she was a Gordon M. Ambach Fellow, an opportunity designed to promote innovation and learning in state education agencies. 

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Research Affiliate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Working Group Member, Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society, Harvard University

Selected Publications

Tripodi, F., Marrero, A., Reich, J., Slama, R., "Libraries combating disinformation: From the frontline to the long game.," Library Quarterly, Special Issue on Role of Librarians in Combating Misinformation in a Pandemic, 93(1), 2023

Thompson, M., Leonard, G., Mikeska, J. N., Lottero-Perdue, P. S., Maltese, A. V., Pereira, G., Hillaire, G., Waldron, R., Slama, R., & Reich, J., "Eliciting learner knowledge: Enabling focused practice through an open-source online tool. ," Behavioral Sciences, 12(9), 2022

Littenberg-Tobias, J., & Slama, R., "Large-scale Learning for Local Change: The Challenge of Massive Open Online Courses as Educator Professional Learning," Frontiers in Education, 2022

Slama, R., Moussapour, R, Benoit, G., Anderson, N., and Reich, J. , The Future of Math Teacher Professional Learning, Report prepared for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. https://edarxiv.org/kncs9 , 2021

Thompson, M., Owho-Ovuakporie, K., Robinson, K., Kim, Y.J., Slama, R. & Justin Reich, "Teacher Moments: A Digital Simulation for Preservice Teachers to Approximate Parent–Teacher Conversations," Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 35(3), 2019

Ruipérez-Valiente, J. A., Halawa, S., Slama, R., & Reich, J., "Using multi-platform learning analytics to compare regional and global MOOC learning in the Arab world," Computers & Education, 2020

Slama, R.B., "Investigating whether and when English learners are reclassified into mainstream classrooms in the United States: A discrete-time survival analysis," American Educational Research Journal, 51(2), 2014

Slama, R.B., "A longitudinal analysis of academic English proficiency outcomes for adolescent English language learners in the United States," Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 2012


Spanish; French