Jonathan William Welburn

Photo of Jonathan Welburn
Associate Operations Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in decision science & operations research, University of Wisconsin – Madison; BSc in industrial & systems engineering and economics, University of Wisconsin – Madison


Jonathan Welburn is an associate operations researcher at the RAND Corporation. His research sits at the intersection of Operations Research and Economics and employs methods from operations research, game theory, computational economics, and analytics. His past work has utilized this interdisciplinary approach to address international economic crises, systemic risks, and cyber security. Welburn received a Ph.D. in decision science & operations research within industrial & systems engineering and a BSc in industrial & systems engineering and economics, each from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His current research explores the systemic risk, the intersection of financial and cyber risks, and cyber deterrence.

Recent Projects

  • Strategic Deterrence in Cyberspace Through Game Theory
  • Systemic Cyber Risk

Selected Publications

Jonathan W. Welburn, Crises Beyond Belief: Findings on contagion, the role of beliefs, and the Eurozone debt crisis from a borrower lender game, RAND Labor & Population Working Paper Series (WR-1221), 2018

Aaron Davenport, Jonathan William. Welburn, Andrew Lauland, Annelise Pietenpol, Marc L. Robbins, Erin Rebhan, Patricia M. Boren, Kevin Jack Riley, An evaluation of the Department of Defense's excess property program, RAND Corporation (RR-2299), 2018

John S Davis, Benjamin Adam Boudreaux, Jonathan W. Welburn, Jair Aguirre, Cordaye Ogletree, Geoffrey McGovern, Michael Chase, Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace, RAND Corporation (RR-2081), 2017

Paul Dreyer,, Therese Jones, Kelly Klima, Jenny Oberholtzer, Aaron Strong, Jonathan W. Welburn, and Zev Winkelman, Estimating the Global Cost of Cyber Risk: Methodology and Examples, RAND Corporation (RR-2299), 2018

Jonathan W. Welburn and Kjell Hausken, "Game Theoretic Modeling of Economic Systems and the European Debt Crisis," Computational Economics, 49(2), 2017




  • World map with electronic circuits

    When Cyber Attacks Occur, Who Should Investigate?

    Data breaches and cyberattacks cross geopolitical boundaries, targeting individuals, corporations and governments. Creating a global body with a narrow focus on investigating and assigning responsibility for cyberattacks could be the first step to creating a digital world with accountability.

    Dec 6, 2018 United Press International

  • Financial video game

    Let's (Not) Play Games with Dodd-Frank

    Dodd-Frank, the 2010 financial reform law, is now itself the target of reform. Those involved with the overhaul could draw inspiration from an unlikely source: video games. A simulation game could help predict the effects of changes to regulations—and avoid high-stakes missteps.

    May 4, 2017 The Hill