Thomas S. Szayna

Photo of Thomas Szayna
Director, Defense and Political Sciences Department; Senior Political Scientist
Santa Monica Office


M.A. in international relations, Claremont Graduate School; B.A. in history and philosophy, Villanova University

Media Resources

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Thomas S. Szayna is a senior political scientist and director of the Defense and Political Sciences Department at the RAND Corporation. He has over 30 years of experience in national security policy and defense analysis.

From 1997 to 2011 he served as associate director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program in RAND's Army Research Division. His research has focused on aspects of strategic planning for the U.S. armed forces, post-conflict stability and reconstruction operations, and coalition interoperability. He has given testimony for the U.S. House of Representatives and has been a keynote speaker at a number of defense conferences.

Szayna received a B.A. in history and philosophy from Villanova University and an M.A. in international relations from Claremont Graduate School.

Recent Projects

  • Aftermath of Troop Withdrawal
  • Impact of U.S. Military Posture and Operations on the Incidence of Conflict
  • Conflict Trends and Propensity for U.S. Intervention
  • Designing and Implementing the Global Landpower Network Concept
  • Enabling an Efficient and Effective Global SOF Network

Selected Publications

Thomas S. Szayna, Eric V. Larson, Angela O'Mahony, Sean Robson, Agnes Gereben Schaefer,, Considerations for integrating women into closed occupations in the U.S. Special Operations Forces, RAND Corporation (RR-1058), 2016

Michael J. McNerney, Angela O'Mahony, Thomas S. Szayna, Derek Eaton, Caroline Baxter, Colin P. Clarke, Emma Cutrufello, Michael McGee, Heather Peterson, Leslie Payne, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, Assessing Security Cooperation as a Preventive Tool, RAND Corporation (RR-350), 2014

Elvira N. Loredo, John E. Peters, Karlyn D. Stanley, Matthew E. Boyer, William Welser, Thomas S. Szayna, Authorities and Options for Funding USSOCOM Operations, RAND Corporation (RR-360), 2014

Thomas S. Szayna, William Welser, Developing and Assessing Options for the Global SOF Network, RAND Corporation (RR-340), 2013

Eric V. Larson, Derek Eaton, Brian Nichiporuk, Thomas S. Szayna, Assessing Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Intelligence Analysis, RAND Corporation (MG-668), 2009

Thomas S. Szayna, Kevin F. McCarthy, Jerry M. Sollinger, Linda J. Demaine, Jefferson P. Marquis, Brett D. Steele, The Civil-Military Gap in the United States: Does It Exist, Why, and Does It Matter?RAND Corporation (MG-379), 2007

Thomas S. Szayna, Paul Dreyer, Derek Eaton, Lisa Saum-Manning, Army Global Basing Posture: an Analytic Framework for Maximizing Responsiveness and Effectiveness, RAND Corporation (RR-158), 2015

Honors & Awards

  • President's Choice Silver Award, 2013, RAND Corporation
  • President's Choice Gold Award, 2005, RAND Corporation