Colin D. Smith

Colin D. Smith

Senior International/Defense Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Colin Smith is a Senior International/Defense Researcher at RAND’s Washington, D.C. Office. Since joining RAND he has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects within NSRD and Arroyo. Areas include analyzing the war between Russia and Ukraine, rightsizing Army medical for large scale conflict, USMC logistics connector concerns, USMC cyber acquisition and Space, Navy individual augment issues, and scenario development, to hit a few. Prior to joining RAND, Colin was Deputy Director of the CAPSTONE course for newly promoted Generals and Admirals at the National Defense University. A 28+ year veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, he is a combat engineer operations expert having served as the senior engineer at every level within the Corps, as well as in senior logistician billets. He also 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. In addition, he served two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was a U/N observer in Georgia.

Colin has an MA in National Security Affairs (Russia and Former Soviet Union), Naval Postgraduate School; BS in Engineering, US Naval Academy; 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).


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



Selected Work

  • Smith, Colin D., Stephen Webber, Connector Survivability in the Current Operating Environment, RAND Corporation (RR-A1922-1), 2023
  • McKernan, Megan, Ryan Consaul, Bradley Wilson, John Yurchak, Colin D. Smith, Michael J. D. Vermeer, Geoffrey McGovern, Thomas Goughnour, Devin Tierney, and Hansell Perez, Building a Joint Cyber Weapons Acquisition Program in the Marine Corps: Software Acquisition Pathway Lessons Learned, RAND Corporation (RR-A1888-1), 2023
  • Joslyn Fleming, Katherine Guthrie, and Colin Smith, "WHY THE MARINES MATTER," War on The Rocks, 2023
  • Martin, Bradley, Michael Nixon, Natalia Henriquez Sanchez, and Colin D. Smith, Impact of Individual Augmentation Policy on Navy Reserve Force Readiness, RAND Corporation (RR-A1889-1), 2023
  • Martin, Bradley, Laura H. Baldwin, Paul DeLuca, Natalia Henriquez Sanchez, Mark Hvizda, Colin D. Smith, and N. Peter Whitehead, Supply Chain Interdependence and Geopolitical Vulnerability: The Case of Taiwan and High-End Semiconductors, RAND Corporation (RR-A2354-1), 2023

Authored by Colin D. Smith

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