Colin D. Smith

Colin D. Smith
Senior International/Defense Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


M.A. in national security affairs, Naval Postgraduate School; B.S. in engineering, U. S. Naval Academy


Colin Smith is a senior international/defense researcher at RAND in the Washington, D.C. office and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects including supply chain dependency, Joint Cyber Weapon, impacts of individual augments on the Navy Reserve and maritime connectors. Prior to joining RAND he spent two years as a Deputy Director at the National Defense University for CAPSTONE, PME for newly promoted Generals and Admirals. A 28+ year veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, he has extensive operational and overseas experience specializing in Russia and Eastern European defense policy, national security, and U.S. security cooperation. He twice served as an attaché, first as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché (SDO/DATT) in Riga, Latvia, and second in Moscow, Russia, where he has the distinction of being diplomatically expelled. He also served in Thailand, as a UN observer in Georgia in 2008, and combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, he is a combat engineer operations expert, serving as the senior engineer at every level within the Marine Corps including command of 1st Combat Engineer Battalion.  

Smith has a BS in Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy; a MA in National Security Affairs (Russia and Former Soviet Union),Naval Postgraduate School; and a graduate of Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College (Non-Resident), the Defense Language Institute, and Top-Level School- as the Commandant of the Marine Corps Senior Fellow to the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).