Karen M. Sudkamp

Karen M. Sudkamp
Management Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


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 M. Sudkamp (she/her) is a Management Scientist in the Pittsburgh office. Her main areas of interest are Middle East and North Africa politics and society; terrorism, deradicalization, and counterinsurgency; migration and refugees; and national security implications of climate change (primarily food security).

Prior to coming to RAND, Sudkamp spent twelve years at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as an all-source senior intelligence analyst for Middle East and counterterrorism issues. Her primary areas of focus were Iraq, Iran, the Levant, al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, and the Islamic State. During this time, she provided intelligence support to all levels of the defense enterprise, from deploying four times in support of active military operations (including three supporting Special Operations Forces counterterrorism operations) to multiple positions in support of the Joint Staff. After leaving DIA, Sudkamp explored the systemic issues facing the United States’ food system, due to the lack of a cohesive food policy while researching solutions to allow equitable access to healthy and nutritious food for all Americans. Her current research centers on methods to encourage deradicalization, security cooperation, and food security as a national security issue.

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.

Recent Projects

  • Understanding Civilian Harm in Raqqa and Its Implications for Future Conflicts
  • U.S. Department of Defense Civilian Casualty Policies and Procedures: An Independent Assessment
  • Assessing Risk to the National Critical Functions as a Result of Climate Change
  • Improving Intelligence Support to the Future Warfighter: Acquisition for the Contested Environment