Jennie W. Wenger

Jennie W. Wenger
Director, Economics, Sociology, and Statistics Department; Senior Economist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of North Carolina

Media Resources

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Jennie W. Wenger (she/her) is director of the Economics, Sociology, and Statistics Department  and a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, where she studies education and training, military compensation, and recruiting. Over the last 15 years, she has been the principal investigator of a series of studies examining the effectiveness of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program, a DoD-sponsored program for high school dropouts. Wenger has led and contributed to other recent projects examining options for retaining the Army's cyber expertise, the ways in which the Post–9/11 GI Bill influences military recruiting and retention, the implications of integrating women into combat arms occupations, changes in diversity in the military over time, balancing quality of life with mission tempo on Coast Guard cutters, and factors that influence the decision to transition to the Reserve Components. Before joining RAND, she was a senior research scientist and project manager at CNA, where she authored a series of reports examining the relationship between body fat and performance in the enlisted military and served as the co-PI on a study documenting many aspects of military dependents' educational experiences. Wenger received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 

Selected Publications

Wenger, Jennie W., Louay Constant, Linda Cottrell, Jenna W. Kramer, and Stephani L. Wrabel, National Guard Youth ChalleNGe: Program Progress in 2019–2020, RAND Corporation (RR-A882-1), 2021

Wenger, Jennie W., Maria C. Lytell, Kimberly Curry Hall, and Michael L. Hansen, Balancing Quality of Life with Mission Requirements: An Analysis of Personnel Tempo on U.S. Coast Guard Major Cutters, RAND Corporation (RR-2731-DHS), 2019

Wenger, Jennie W., Louay Constant, Linda Cottrell, Thomas E. Trail, Michael J. D. Vermeer, and Stephani L. Wrabel, National Guard Youth ChalleNGe: Program Progress in 2015–2016, RAND Corporation (RR-1848-OSD), 2017

Wenger, Jennie W., Caolionn O'Connell, and Maria C. Lytell, Retaining the Army's Cyber Expertise, RAND Corporation (RR-1978-A), 2017

Wenger, Jennie W., Caolionn O'Connell, and Linda Cottrell, Examination of Recent Deployment Experience Across the Services and Components, RAND Corporation (RR-1928-A), 2018

Wenger, Jennie W., Trey Miller, Matthew D. Baird, Peter Buryk, Lindsay Daugherty, Marlon Graf, Simon Hollands, Salar Jahedi, and Douglas Yeung, Are Current Military Education Benefits Efficient and Effective for the Services?RAND Corporation (RR-1766-OSD), 2017

Salar Jahedi, Jennie W. Wenger, and Douglas Yeung, Searching for Information Online: Using Big Data to Identify Concerns of Potential Army Recruits, RAND (RR-1197-A), 2016

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Silver Medal Award, 2016