Don Snyder

Photo of Don Snyder
Senior Physical Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in geology, University of California, Berkeley; B.A. in geology, Franklin and Marshall College; B.A. in mathematics, Franklin and Marshall College

Media Resources

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Don Snyder is a senior physical scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He specializes in mathematical modeling and the development and maintenance of robust, complex systems.

His recent policy areas of focus have been nuclear operations and cybersecurity. He also has extensive experience and numerous peer-reviewed publications in mathematical modeling in the physical sciences, including the mechanics of buoyant plumes, low-Reynold's number fluid mechanics, radiative heat transfer, equilibrium and nonequilibrium chemical thermodynamics, and experimental in situ micro-Raman spectroscopy at high temperatures and pressures. Snyder has mixed theoretical and experimental approaches in all of these areas of research. He has served as an ad hoc member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

Snyder received a B.A. in mathematics and B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Previous Positions

Maítre de Conférences, associé, Université de Paris VII; Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan

Recent Projects

  • Measures of Effectiveness for the Cybersecurity and Resiliency of Weapon Systems
  • Cyber Mission Assurance in Weapon System Acquisition
  • Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Gap Analysis
  • Assessing and mitigating vulnerabilities in networked systems
  • Reinvigorating the Air Force nuclear enterprise

Selected Publications

Don Snyder et al., Robust and Resilient Logistics Operations in a Degraded Information Environment, RAND (RR-2015), 2017

Don Snyder et al., Improving the Cybersecurity of U.S. Air Force Military Systems Throughout Their Life Cycles, RAND Corporation (RR-1007), 2015

Don Snyder et al., Ensuring U.S. Air Force Operations During Cyber Attacks Against Combat Support Systems: Guidance for Where to Focus Mitigation Efforts, RAND Corporation (RR-620), 2015

Don Snyder et al., Assessment of the Air Force Materiel Command Reorganization: Report for Congress, RAND Corporation (RR-389), 2013

Don Snyder et al., Sustaining the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Mission, RAND Corporation (TR-1240), 2013

Don Snyder et al., Improving Air Force Depot Programming by Linking Resources to Capabilities, RAND Corporation (TR-905), 2012

Don Snyder et al., Assessing Capabilities and Risks in Air Force Programming: Framework, Metrics, and Methods, RAND Corporation (MG-815), 2009

Honors & Awards

  • Spotlight Award, February 2016, RAND
  • Bronze Merit Bonus Award, June 2015, RAND
  • Bronze Merit Bonus Award, June 2014, RAND




  • The Security Operation Centre for Telstra, Australia's biggest telecoms firm, which is used to monitor, detect and respond to security incidents, including cyber attacks, in Sydney, Australia, August 24, 2017

    Financial Frameworks for Cybersecurity Are Failing

    Cybersecurity has become a team sport. But all participants on the field are playing without clear rules, without a team approach, and without knowing when to pass the ball or to whom.

    Oct 25, 2018 The RAND Blog