Obaid Younossi

Photo of Obaid Younossi
Director, Defense and Political Sciences Department; Senior Policy Researcher
Washington Office


Ph.D. and M.Phil. in public policy, The George Washington University; M.A. in international affairs, George Mason University; B.S. in mechanical engineering, University of Pittsburgh

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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Obaid Younossi is director of the Defense and Political Sciences Department and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. He is responsible for the hiring, professional growth, and support of about 200 regular professional researchers and over 100 adjunct staff located in four major offices and in offsite locations. Between June 2015 and March 2020, he was the director of the Resource Management Program in RAND Project AIR FORCE, where he was responsible for directing and managing a portfolio of projects to analyze critical policy implications of technology development process and their life cycle management issues. From July 2011 to December 2013, he was the director of the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute (RQPI). From 2009 until his appointment as director of RQPI, Younossi was the associate director of RQPI. Prior to joining RQPI in 2008, he was the associate director of the Resource Management Program in RAND Project AIR FORCE.  Since joining RAND in 1998, Younossi has led and worked on a wide range of studies for the U.S. Air Force, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Navy, the UK Ministry of Defence, Government of Qatar, Government of Oman, and the Australian Department of Defence. Younossi holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil in public policy from The George Washington University, an M.A. in international affairs from George Mason University, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Recent Projects

  • Acquisition Performance Improvement and Affordability
  • Research Performance Management
  • Base Resiliency

Selected Publications

Philip Anton et al., Strategies for Acquisition Agility: Approaches for Speeding Delivery of Defense Capabilities, RAND (RR-4193)

John Birkler et al., Australia's Shipbuilding Enterprise: Preparing for the 21st Century, RAND Corporation (RR-1093), 2015

Nidhi Kalra, Obaid Younossi et al., Recommended Research Priorities for the Qatar Foundation's Energy and Environment Research Institute, RAND (MG-1106-Qatar), 2011

Obaid Younossi et al., Ending F-22A Production: Costs and Industrial Base Implications of Alternative Options, RAND (MG-797-AF), 2010

Matt Bassford et al., Sustaining Key Skills in the UK Military Aircraft Industry, RAND Europe (MG-1023-MOD), 2010

Obaid Younossi, Peter Dahl Thruelsen, et al., The Long March: Building an Afghan National Army, RAND Corporation (MG-845), 2009

Somi Seong, Obaid Younossi et al., Titanium: Industrial Base, Price Trends, and Technology Initiatives., RAND Corporation (MG-789), 2009

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: BBC, NPR

Commentary: Breaking Defense; Defense News; Fox New Channel; International Herald Tribune; Providence Journal; United Press International


  • A 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief marshals a B-2A Spirit bomber during an orientation flight at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., May 27, 2015

    Inside the Fish Bowl: High Stakes Acquisition Protests

    The Boeing-Lockheed Martin team filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office asserting that the U.S. Air Force's selection of Northrop Grumman to build the Long Range Strike-Bomber was fundamentally flawed. Work on the program, valued at approximately $80 billion, is now paused.

    Dec 3, 2015 Defense News

  • The KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft takes off on its maiden flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, December 28, 2014

    Lessons from the Past for the Future of the KC-46A

    Analysis suggests that fixed-price contracts have not successfully reduced costs to the DoD associated with developing complex weapon systems. This has implications for the Air Force, given the importance of the ongoing KC-46A program.

    Sep 16, 2015 Breaking Defense

  • A Syrian refugee carries his sleeping daughter as they walk toward Greece's border with Macedonia, September 14, 2015

    Putting a Human Face on the Refugee Crisis

    By welcoming and accepting refugees, the West can send their oppressors a message about what it means to be a free democratic society.

    Sep 15, 2015 Fox News Channel

  • Afghan Progress Spotty but Hopeful

    As NATO's role in Afghanistan was debated in Bucharest recently, the bad headlines continued rolling in. And yet, on the ground, there is equally compelling evidence that the efforts of the international community are making a difference and conditions are improving, write Obaid Younossi and Peter Dahl Thruelsen.

    Apr 29, 2008 Providence Journal

  • Afghanistan Needs Help

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Afghanistan Needs Help, in United Press International.

    Dec 19, 2006 United Press International

  • A Brain Drain Threatens Afghanistan's Future

    Published commentary by RAND staff: A Brain Drain Threatens Afghanistan's Future, in the International Herald Tribune.

    Feb 9, 2006 International Herald Tribune