Brent Thomas

Brent Thomas
Adjunct Operations Researcher
Off Site Office


M.S. and Ph.D. in water resources, University of California, Los Angeles; M.S. in environmental engineering, University of Texas; B.S. in chemical engineering, classical languages, and mathematics, Vanderbilt University


Brent Thomas is an optimization specialist whose analysis focuses on improving the quality of the U.S. military's casualty care in austere and contested operating conditions. More broadly, Thomas' work focuses on evaluating policy options for shaping expeditionary medical care and base resiliency in high-intensity conflict environments. His current portfolio includes explorations of mechanisms to improve medical support under surge combat conditions, means to enhance resiliency in the military community's blood supply chain, fragility in the supply chain of medical supplies needed to support combat casualties, the potential to leverage unmanned systems for medical resupply, and ways to improve the interoperability of partner nation medical capabilities with those of U.S. forces during contingency operations. In addition to his research activities, he is a professor in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prior to joining RAND, Thomas worked as an engineer in optimizing fuel blend stock selection and as an environmental consultant in water quality modeling.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating DoD's Authorities and Processes for Supporting Large-Scale Patient Movement in CONUS
  • Opportunities to Better Align the Military Health System with the National Defense Strategy
  • Assessing the Composition of Autonomous UAV Fleets for Medical Resupply
  • Assessing the Resilience of Defense Industrial Base Capabilities Against Economic Shocks
  • Logistics and Sustainment Support for Joint Distributed Operations in a Contested Environment

Selected Publications

Thomas, Brent, Preparing for the Future of Combat Casualty Care: Opportunities to Refine the Military Health System's Alignment with the National Defense Strategy, RAND Corporation (RR-A713-1), 2021

Hastings Roer, Elizabeth, Brent Thomas, Grant Johnson, Sean McKenna, Nathaniel Edenfield, and Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Modeling and Measuring the Effects of Economic Shocks on a Defense Industrial Base, RAND Corporation (RR-A475-1), 2022

Gilmore, Christopher K., Michael Chaykowsky, and Brent Thomas, Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Blood Delivery: A UAV Fleet Design Tool and Case Study, RAND Corporation (RR-3047-OSD), 2019

Brent Thomas, Katherine Anania, Anthony DeCicco, John A. Hamm, Toward Resiliency in the Joint Blood Supply Chain, RAND (RR-2482), 2018

Brent Thomas, Mahyar A. Amouzegar, Rachel Costello, Robert A. Guffey, Andrew Karode, Christopher Lynch, Kristin F. Lynch, Ken Munson, Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Daniel M. Romano, Ricardo Sanchez, Robert S. Tripp, Joseph V. Vesely, Project AIR FORCE Modeling Capabilities for Support of Combat Operations in Denied Environments, RAND (RR-427), 2015

McGarvey, Ronald; Light, Thomas; Thomas, Brent; Sanchez, Ricardo, Commercial intratheater airlift: cost-effectiveness analysis of use in U.S. central command in 2009, RAND (TR-1313), 2013

Roo, Ben D. van.; Carrillo, Manuel; Drew, John; Lang, Thomas.; Maletic, Amy L.; Massey, Hugh; Masters, James; McGarvey, Ronald; Sollinger, Jerry; Thomas, Brent; Tripp, Robert, Analysis of the Air Force logistics enterprise: evaluation of global repair network options for supporting the C-130, RAND (TR-813), 2011

McGarvey, Ronald; Carrillo, Manuel; Cato, Douglas C.; Drew, John; Lang, Thomas.; Lynch, Kristin; Maletic, Amy L.; Massey, Hugh; Masters, James; Pyles, Raymond; Sanchez, Ricardo; Sollinger, Jerry; Thomas, Brent; Tripp, Robert; Roo, Ben D. van., Analysis of the Air Force logistics enterprise: evaluation of global repair network options for supporting the F-16 and KC-135, RAND (MG-872), 2009

Honors & Awards

  • Gold Medal Award for policy advances in combat casualty care, RAND Corporation, 2019
  • Silver Medal Award for shaping strategies to support operational resiliency in high-intensity conflict environments, RAND Corporation, 2015
  • Silver Medal Award for developing investment models for operational resiliency, RAND Corporation, 2014