Shawn Smith

Photo of Shawn Smith
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


B.S. in applied mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles


Shawn Smith is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D. student at Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has a B.S. in applied mathematics with a minor in complex systems from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Prior to joining Pardee RAND, Smith worked in the private sector, using analytics and modeling to optimize business performance and customer acquisition. His experience includes founding his own startup, running a private consultancy, and working in both large scale as well as startup organizations.

His transition to policy was largely motivated by RAND's ongoing work on Truth Decay, the examination of the diminishing role of facts and data in American public life. Since joining RAND he has become a member of the Truth Decay project. In addition he has become a contributing member of projects related to online disinformation, the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the opioid epidemic, and countering violent extremism online.