Sierra Smucker

Photo of Sierra Smucker
Associate Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in public policy, Duke University; M.Sc. in social policy, London School of Economics


Sierra Smucker is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her previous research focused on firearms regulation, with an emphasis on finding ways to diffuse partisan divisions over gun policy and enhance the fractious debate with evidence. Smucker served as a graduate fellow for the Scholar Strategy Network at Sanford and a visiting researcher at the London School of Economics. She co-directed a new, London-based program called the Duke Atlantic Partnership. Smucker received financial support for her work from multiple fellowships and institutions, including: the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Doctoral Fellowship Philanthropy, Media and Democracy, Duke University's Domestic Dissertation Research Travel Fellowship, the Aleane Webb Research Fellowship, Duke's Center for Philanthropy and Volunteerism Doctoral Fellowship, Duke's Innovation and Impact Grant, and the Kenan Institute of Ethics Award. Smucker has written for a variety of academic and media outlets and is passionate about presenting her research to a range of audiences. A chapter of her dissertation published in the Journal of Urban Health was later featured in an article in Newsweek. Another chapter of her dissertation will appear in an upcoming, edited volume about guns and identity. Smucker also regularly publishes policy briefs for the Scholar Strategy Network and has been featured in the American Prospect. Smucker holds a degree in American history from Occidental College and an M.Sc. in social policy from the London School of Economics. She earned her Ph.D. from Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy.

Selected Publications

Sierra Smucker, Rose E. Kerber, Philip J. Cook , "Suicide and Additional Homicides Associated with Intimate Partner Homicide: North Carolina 2004–2013," Journal of Urban Health, 2018


  • Sacramento Capitol Building, California, USA


    RAND State Firearm Law Database

    Part of RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative, the RAND State Firearm Law Database is a longitudinal data set of state firearm laws that is free to the public to support improved analysis and understanding of the effects of various laws.

    Oct 10, 2019