Thomas S. Szayna

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Senior Political Scientist
Off Site 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 at the RAND Corporation. He has over 30 years of experience in national security policy and defense analysis.

He was the director of RAND's Defense and Political Sciences Department in 2014–2020. From 1997 to 2011 he served as associate director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program in the RAND 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 an M.A. in international relations from Claremont Graduate School and a B.A. in history and philosophy from Villanova University.

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

Szayna, Thomas S., Eric V. Larson, Angela O'Mahony, Sean Robson, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Miriam Matthews, J Michael Polich, Lynsay Ayer, Derek Eaton, William Marcellino, Lisa Kraus, Marek N. Posard, James Syme, Zev Winkelman, Cameron Wright, Megan Zander Cotugno, and William Welser IV, Considerations for Integrating Women into Closed Occupations in U.S. Special Operations Forces, RAND Corporation (RR-1058), 2016

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

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

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

Larson, Eric V., Derek Eaton, Brian Nichiporuk, and Thomas S. Szayna, Assessing Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Intelligence Analysis, RAND Corporation (MG-668), 2008

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

Szayna, Thomas S., Paul Dreyer, Derek Eaton, and 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


  • Racial Discrimination

    Confederate Statues Symbolize Role of Racism in America

    Monuments are public art and symbols important to those who hold power. The renewed debate about monuments to historical figures associated with the Confederacy is part of the larger debate about the role of racism in the United States and the treatment of African Americans by institutions.

    Jul 16, 2020

    United Press International

  • Artificial Intelligence

    First, Manage Security Threats to Machine Learning

    Deception is as old as warfare itself. Until now, the targets of deception operations have been humans. But the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence opens up a whole new world of opportunities to deceive by targeting machines.

    Nov 4, 2019

    War on the Rocks