Karen M. Sudkamp

Karen M. Sudkamp
Associate Director, Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations Program, RAND Homeland Security Research Division; Management Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


B.S.F.S. in international politics, Georgetown University; M.A. in national security and strategic studies, Naval War College; M.A. in food studies, Chatham University; M.B.A. in business administration, Chatham University


Karen Sudkamp (she/her) is an associate director of the Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations (IISO) Program, part of the RAND Homeland Security Research Division (HSRD), a management scientist, and a professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research is split between critical homeland security and national security issues.

Sudkamp's research focuses on infrastructure security of the U.S. food system; migration and refugees; extremism, terrorism, and counterterrorism; disaster response and recovery; climate change as a national security issue; Middle Eastern politics and society; and a variety of Intelligence Community issues. Her recent research includes understanding the risks of disruption of the U.S. food system due to public health emergencies like COVID-19 and climate change, the impact of including gender perspectives in Department of Defense operations, and how to reduce both civilian harm during conflict and radicalization in refugee communities. She recently co-led research considering how climate change may impact not only the physical environment, but also the socio-economic and security environment of a region.

Sudkamp spent twelve years at the Defense Intelligence Agency as an all-source senior intelligence analyst for Middle East and counterterrorism issues. She provided intelligence support to all levels of the defense enterprise, including four deployments in support of active military operations to multiple positions on the Joint Staff.

Sudkamp received her B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, her M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and her MBA and M.A. in Food Studies from Chatham University.


  • Gaza Strip

    Learning from the War on Terror

    What's been happening in Gaza suggests that none of the lessons from 20 years of global counterterrorism conflicts were implemented there. In addition to the needless destruction and tragic loss of life in Gaza, from a military and intelligence perspective, all the hard-gained lessons from the global war on terror have been wasted.

    Mar 21, 2024

    War on the Rocks

  • Gaza Strip

    Sparing Civilian Lives in Gaza

    How do you protect innocent civilians while conducting effective urban military operations against an enemy who is integrated into the civilian population and entrenched in a location's infrastructure? Despite the ferocity of the Hamas attack and the Israeli response, the moral obligation to reduce civilian harm cannot be ignored.

    Oct 21, 2023

    USA Today