Patricia A. Stapleton

Patricia A. Stapleton
Associate Director, Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations Program, RAND Homeland Security Research Division; Senior Political Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. in political science, City University of New York - Graduate Center; M.Phil in political science, City University of New York - Graduate Center; M.A. in French Literature, Rutgers University; B.A. in French, Ursinus College


Patricia Stapleton is an associate director of the Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations (IISO) Program, part of the RAND Homeland Security Research Division (HSRD), a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research interests include science and technology policy, risk perception and regulation of emerging technologies, risk assessment and communication, and R&D management and coordination.

Stapleton's research often focuses on the adoption and regulation of emerging technologies in critical infrastructure sectors, including agricultural and food production and healthcare—with recent attention to CRISPR and human germline editing. She also investigates topics in food security, particularly in the context of climate change. She uses qualitative methods and an historical institutionalist approach to examine the factors impacting the development of risk regulation (i.e., timing, political and institutional contexts, and public opinion).

Before joining RAND, Stapleton was director of the Society, Technology, & Policy Program and an assistant professor of political science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in political science from the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as an M.A. in French literature from Rutgers University.

Selected Publications

Patricia A. Stapleton and Alessandra Torres Yabar, "Playing God? Media coverage of CRISPR in the United States," Public Understanding of Science, 32(4), 2023

Patricia Stapleton and Melissa Michaelson, "Disbanding the Old Boys’ Club: Strategies for Department Gender Equity ," PS: Political Science & Politics, 54(3), 2021

Patricia Stapleton and Daniel Skinner, "Cross-Border Reproductive Care: Two Lenses in Political Science," World Medical & Health Policy, 10(4), 2018

Patricia Stapleton, "Knowledge Surveys as an Assessment Tool of Simulation Course Outcomes," Journal of Political Science Education, 16(4), 2018

Patricia Stapleton, "From Mad Cows to GMOs: The Side Effects of Modernization," European Journal of Risk Regulation, 7(3), 2016

Patricia Stapleton and Daniel Skinner, "The Affordable Care Act and assisted reproductive technology use," Politics and the Life Sciences, 34(2), 2015

Patricia Stapleton and Andrew Byers, eds. , Biopolitics and Utopia: An Interdisciplinary Reader, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015




  • Food Insecurity

    Food Access: Challenges and Solutions Brought on by COVID-19

    For the 14.3 million American households already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic, shutdowns and restrictions have created new layers of hardship. Tremendous efforts are already underway to help. But the weeks to come will surely demand more creative solutions from the public and private sectors.

    Mar 31, 2020

    The RAND Blog