Jonathan P. Wong

Photo of Jonathan Wong
Associate Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in security studies, Georgetown University; B.A in poltical science, University of California San Diego; M.Phil in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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

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Jonathan Wong is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Wong's research focuses on organizational behaviors, particularly in the defense acquisition and innovation space. He also contributes to RAND's military logistics, manpower, intelligence policy and strategy portfolios.

Previously, Wong was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, adivsing corporate clients on strategic decision-making in the industrial goods and public sector spaces. He also served in the US Marine Corps an an enlisted infantryman, infantry officer, and manpower planner. Wong has operational experience in Iraq and across the Western Pacific.

Wong has a B.A. in political science from the University of California San Diego and an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Recent Projects

  • Analysis of Provisional Unit Equipment Management
  • Russia, European Security, and "Measures Short of War"
  • Key Considerations in Assessing the Impact of Integrating Women into Marine Corps Infantry Units
  • Value of Chinese Military Expenditures in Dollars and Renminbi
  • Structuring Open Source Intelligence in the U.S. Army

Selected Publications

Jonathan Wong, "Applying Rapid Acquisition Policy Lessons for Defense Innovation," Marine Corps University Journal, 8(2), 2017

Matthew E. Boyer, Michael Shurkin, Jonathan P. Wong, Ryan Schwankhart, Adam Albrich, Matthew W. Lewis, Christopher G. Pernin, Assessing Conventional Army Demands and Requirements for Ultra-Light Tactical Mobility, RAND (RR-718-A), 2015

Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Jennie W. Wenger, Jennifer Kavanagh, Jonathan P. Wong, Gillian Oak, Thomas E. Trail, Todd Nichols, Implications of Integrating Women into the Marine Corps Infantry, RAND (RR-1103-USMC), 2015

Jonathan Wong, "Poltics and Professionalism: A Cautionary Note," Marine Corps Gazette, 94(12), 2010

Honors & Awards

  • Hogaboom Leadership Writing Award, Marine Corps Association


  • Soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, January 24, 2016

    The Pentagon's New Chief Innovation Officer Should Tread Lightly

    The innovation efforts taking place in the Department of Defense are exciting and have much potential. But installing a chief innovation officer with centralized authority who may become just another bureaucratic player among many could spoil those efforts.

    Nov 3, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara visits Fort Bragg, North Carolina in October 1961

    In Defense of Defense Analysis

    Rather than characterize Robert McNamara's legacy as one of inefficiency, his economic, quantitative analysis of military problems should be portrayed as an innovative, if flawed, first adoption of more sophisticated methods for defense analysis.

    Sep 2, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • U.S. troops train Afghan soldiers to operate equipment in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, January 2014

    Don't Learn the Wrong Lessons from Rapid Acquisition

    Rapid acquisition practices that worked during recent wars may not easily translate to peacetime endeavors. Enthusiasm for rapid acquisition must be tempered by an understanding of the circumstances that made it work and the downsides that were accepted in wartime.

    Jun 23, 2016 Defense One

  • Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade training with NATO allies in Poland

    Rethinking U.S. Force Planning

    While the renewed interest in crisis response forces by the military services is welcome in these times of uncertainty, forces that are permanently assigned to a geographic combatant command and based in a region continue to offer distinct benefits. RAND research has shown that an overseas presence enhances contingency responsiveness in most cases.

    May 16, 2014 The RAND Blog