J.D. Williams

Photo of J.D. Williams
Senior International and Defense Policy Researcher
Washington Office


MS in strategic intelligence, National Intelligence University; BA in history, Cornell University


J.D. Williams is a senior defense policy researcher at RAND focusing on national security, intelligence, and military issues. His recent work encompasses investigation of new concepts for amphibious and naval warfare, Russian and Chinese military strategy, and intelligence tradecraft for employing publicly available information and conducting intelligence net assessments. He came to RAND from the National Intelligence Council where he served as the National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues, preparing national intelligence assessments on foreign military forces and strategies, ongoing conflicts, weapons systems, and future warfare.

Previously, he held senior positions in the intelligence community as the Research Director for the Defense Intelligence Agency's analytic directorate, the Chief of Intelligence Support for the Department of the Treasury, Director of Military Plans and Operations at the National Security Agency. He is also a retired Marine Corps colonel with 26 years of active duty as an intelligence and Russian Foreign Area Officer.

Previous Positions

National Intelligence Manager/National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues, National Intelligence Council; Research Director, Analysis Directorate, Defense Intelligence Agency

Selected Publications

Gene Germanovich, J.D. Williams, Stacie L. Pettyjohn, David A. Shlapak, Anthony Atler, Bradley Martin, NATO's Amphibious Forces Command and Control of a Multibrigade Alliance Task Force, RAND (RR-2928), 2019

Andrew Scobell, Edmund J. Burke, Cortez A. Cooper III, Sale Lilly, Chad J.R. Ohlandt, Eric Warner, J.D. Williams, China's Grand Strategy, (RR-2798-A), 2020

George Nacouzi, J.D. Williams, Brian Dolan, Anne Stickells, David Luckey, Colin Ludwig, Jia Xu, Yuliya Shokh, Daniel M. Gerstein, Michael H. Decker, Assessment of the Proliferation of Certain Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, RAND (RR-2369), 2018

LtCol JD Williams (Principal Author), Marine Corps Concept Paper: Sustained Operations Ashore, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, 1998

John Schmitt & LtCol JD Williams, Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 2: Intelligence, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, 1997

JD Williams, "Launch on Warning in Soviet Nuclear Strategy," Air University Review, 1986

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Graduate, Marine Corps War College




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    An Early Policy Victory for DNI Haines: Boost the Priority of Open Sources Information

    The quantity, quality, and accessibility of publicly available information has exploded over the past decades. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines has an opportunity to advance intelligence community mission activities on several key issues shaped by the digital information age, including the role of publicly available information.

    Mar 4, 2021 The Hill

  • President-elect Joe Biden stands with his nominees for his national security team at his transition headquarters in the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, November 24, 2020, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Biden and the U.S. Intelligence Community

    President-elect Biden faces a daunting domestic and foreign policy agenda. Choosing an experienced hand like former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines to be the next Director of National Intelligence could help restore the Intelligence Community's role in informing White House decisionmaking.

    Nov 25, 2020 The Hill