Elta Smith

Photo of Elta Smith
Research Group Director, Innovation, Health, and Science, RAND Europe
Cambridge Office


Ph.D. in public policy, Harvard University; B.A. in environmental science and policy, Barnard College, Columbia University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact RAND Europe Media Relations at +44 (1223) 353 329, x2560, or email europeanmedia@rand.org.

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Elta Smith is research group director of the Innovation, Health and Science research group at RAND Europe. She focuses on research, innovation, science and food policy. Smith has conducted research on the human and animal dimensions of antimicrobial resistance, use of novel and controversial technologies in the food supply chain, including genetically modified foods and animal cloning, and the role of open science practices in research. Her research interests include better regulation, food safety, food security, open science and the governance of science and technology.

Prior to joining RAND, she worked for ICF International, conducting policy analysis and evaluation for UK, EU and international bodies. Smith is the recipient of a US National Science Foundation Fellowship, and the SV Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowship in natural resource economics and political economy, University of California, Berkeley. Elta holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University and a B.A. in environmental science and policy from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of the EU AMR Action Plan (2011-2016)
  • Open Science: Monitoring Trends and Drivers
  • Assessing the Impact of Measures to Improve Transparency and Communication at the European Food Safety Authority
  • Evaluation of the European Medicines Agency fee system
  • Horizon Scanning for the Defense, Science and Technology Laboratory

Honors & Awards

  • Graduate Research Fellowship, US National Science Foundation
  • SV Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowship in natural resource economics and political economy, University of California, Berkeley


  • Three scientists working in a lab looking at petri dishes

    Can Open Science Help to Make Research More Accessible?

    The leading principle of open science is that anyone, whether they are part of the research community or the public, should be able to access scientific knowledge. Free circulation of knowledge, the sharing of research results, and transparency of methodology are core tenets of the scientific method.

    Oct 13, 2017 Observatory for a Connected Society app

  • MRSA bacteria or superbug bacteria

    Europe's Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

    The EC's AMR Action Plan included measures to ensure antimicrobials are used more appropriately in both humans and animals and measures to stimulate R&D of new antibiotics. One area that was not sufficiently covered was the environment.

    Nov 3, 2016 E!Sharp

  • Antibiotic syringe near a quail cage in partridge farm

    Why the United Nations General Assembly Session on Antimicrobial Resistance Matters

    Many common infections are becoming resistant to the antimicrobial medicines used to treat them, resulting in longer illnesses and more deaths. The fact that world leaders are using the UN as a forum for discussions about AMR is a promising move toward developing a coordinated global plan.

    Sep 19, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • Two scientists in protective gear working in a microbiology laboratory

    European and American Efforts to Tackle AMR: Great Minds Think Alike (Almost Always)

    The U.S. and the EU are committed to tackling antimicrobial resistance. Their efforts share objectives around key areas for improvement, such as the stewardship of existing antimicrobials, surveillance of their use, and development of new antimicrobials.

    Aug 19, 2016 The Health Care Blog

  • Ukraine's Olympic rowers training in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26, 2016

    The Rio Olympics Are the Site of a Battle Against 'Super Bacteria'

    Brazilian scientists detected drug-resistant bacteria growing off some of Rio de Janeiro's beaches, close to where it will host sailing and wind-surfing events, and in the lagoon where the rowing and canoeing events will take place.

    Jul 29, 2016 Medical Xpress

  • Hereford cattle eating at a trough

    The Global Economic Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance

    In addition to being a public health problem, antimicrobial resistance is also a major economic concern. It crosses sectoral boundaries, because resistant bugs can pass between animals and humans, and through food, agriculture, and the environment.

    May 20, 2016 Cultures Magazine

  • A world map shaped with pharmaceutical drugs

    The O'Neill Review: A Critical Step in Taking Global Action Against AMR

    The O'Neill Review aims to increase global knowledge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and generate international consensus about the nature of the problem and the necessary steps to tackle it. A RAND Europe analysis of the potential economic costs of AMR contributed to the Review.

    May 19, 2016 The RAND Blog