Henry H. Willis

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Director, Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations Program, RAND Homeland Security Research Division; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in engineering and public policy, Carnegie Mellon University; M.A. in environmental engineering and science, University of Cincinnati; B.A. in chemistry and environmental sciences, University of Pennsylvania

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Henry H. Willis is the director, Infrastructure, Immigration, and Security Operations Program (IISO), part of the RAND Homeland Security Research Division. He is a senior operations researcher at the RAND Corporation, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is a recognized expert in homeland security risk management. Willis' recent work analyzes terrorism warning indicators; border security efforts; critical infrastructure resilience; and national preparedness to chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological attacks.

Willis is an active contributor to policy research and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Risk Sciences Committee of the Society for Risk Analysis. Through his work he testified before Congress; served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences; advised government agencies across the United States, Europe, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates; and published dozens of journal articles, reports, and op-eds on applying risk analysis to homeland and national security policy.

His work in homeland security policy evolved from his work on program evaluation at the White House Office of Management and Budget and infrastructure design as a water and wastewater engineer. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • Characterizing National Exposures to Infrastructure from Natural Disasters
  • Measuring the Resilience of Energy Distribution Systems
  • Enhancing U.S. Coast Guard Metrics
  • 2018 Homeland Security National Risk Characterization
  • Examining the Food-Energy-Water and Conflict Nexus

Selected Publications

Henry H. Willis, Mary Tighe, Andrew Lauland, Lissa Ecola, Shoshana Shelton, Megan Smith, John Rivers, Kristen Leuschner, Terry Marsh, Daniel G. Gerstein, Homeland Security National Risk Characterization: Risk Assessment Methodology, RAND Corporation (RR-2140-DHS), 2018

Michelle Abbott, Morgan Bazilian, Daniel Egel, a nd Henry H. Willis , "Examining the Food-Energy-Water and Conflict Nexus," Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 18(November), 2017

Russell Lundberg and Henry H. Willis, "Examining the effectiveness of risk elicitations: comparing a deliberative risk ranking to a nationally representative survey on homeland security risk," Journal of Risk Research, (January), 2019

Henry H. Willis, Anu Narayanan, Jordan R. Fischbach, Edmundo Molina-Perez, Charles Stelzner, Katie Loa, and Lauren Kendrick , Current and Future Exposure of Infrastructure in the United States to Natural Hazards, RAND Corporation (RR-1453-DHS), 2016

Scott Savitz, Henry Willis, Aaron Davenport, Martina Melliand, William Sasser, Elizabeth Tencza, adn Dulani Woods, Enhancing U.S. Coast Guard Metrics, RAND Corporation (RR-1173), 2015

Henry Willis and Katie Loa, Measuring the Resilience of Energy Distribution Systems, RAND Corporation (RR-883), 2015

Brian Jenkins, Andy Liepman, and Henry Willis, Identifying Enemies Among Us: Evolving Terrorist Threats and the Continuing Challenges of Domestic Intelligence Collection and Information Sharing, RAND Corporation (CF-317), 2014

Melissa Finucane, Noreen Clancy, Henry Willis, and Debra Knopman, The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force's Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines: An Initial Assessment of Implementation by Federal Agencies, RAND Corporation (RR-841), 2014

Honors & Awards

  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Member, Risk Sciences Committee, Society of Risk Analysis

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CBS Evening News; Charleston Post and Courier; Journal of Commerce; NPR; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Talk Media News; Voice of America; WRC-TV Online

Commentary: The Cipher Brief; Houston Chronicle; Los Angeles Business Journal; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; San Diego Union-Tribune; United Press International; USA Today; U.S. News & World Report