Alumni Impact Fund 2015: Winning Projects

RAND’s president and CEO, Michael Rich created the Alumni Impact Fund to provide resources to help RAND researchers boost the visibility and influence of their analyses. After putting out a call for projects that would have greater policy impact if awarded an infusion of post-research funding, donors who contributed to this year’s Alumni Impact Fund campaign were invited to select from among several projects. The votes have been tallied and the following two projects have been awarded Impact Fund support. Congratulations to the recipients, and thanks to all who supported the 2015 Alumni Impact Fund!

Soldiers and Civilian Jobs: Finding the Best Match

A line of soldiers parading.

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More than 2.8 million men and women have served in the military since 9/11. Fifty-three percent of those who serve face a period of unemployment upon separating. Alumni Impact Funds would help RAND extend the impact of a tool it created for the Army that recommends the highest-quality civilian-sector jobs to soldiers, based on the knowledge and skills they acquired during service. This tool has the capacity to reduce veteran unemployment, veterans' use of unemployment compensation benefits, and job turnover for veterans who do find jobs, and to allow potential employers to identify veterans with relevant skills for job openings. With the support of Alumni Impact Funds, RAND is working to extend the applicability of the tool and to share it with the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

UPDATE: In fall 2017, RAND’s military occupational specialties (MOS) to civilian occupational recommendations will be implemented by the national O*NET Consortium, which works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor – Veterans’ Employment and Training Service to help transitioning servicemembers translate their military experience into civilian job skills. The recommendations will be available to everyone who visits the Department of Labor-sponsored My Next Move for Veterans, a web-based interactive tool that helps veterans learn about their civilian careers options. RAND’s recommendations will also be incorporated into the curriculum of the job search assistance program for separating servicemembers—the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)—that relies on My Next Move.

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance

Drug capsules in blister packets

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The global community faces a public health crisis: Antibiotics no longer work, or work as well as they should, due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and no new classes of antibiotics have been brought to market for more than 25 years. Prior RAND research on antimicrobial resistance tallied its global costs if unabated, evaluated successes and failures of the European Union's AMR Action Plan, and assessed the effectiveness of education interventions targeting general populations. With Alumni Impact funding, RAND is evaluating new policy developments in this area and contributing evidence-based ideas for action.


In September 2016, world leaders met at a UN General Assembly session to discuss approaches to tackling the threat of AMR, where the General Assembly adopted a political declaration on AMR. Smith and Taylor spoke to a variety of news outlets about the significance of the UN declaration, including BBC News, Vox, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and WBEZ-FM. They published a commentary on the RAND blog explaining the significance of the session. Taylor attended an event accompanying the UN General Assembly, which featured results from RAND Europe research on the potential economic costs of drug-resistant infections and was attended by health and foreign ministers including the World Health Organization Executive Director. Smith and Taylor have also presented RAND research and participated in high-level policy discussions at a variety of AMR-related events in Europe and the U.S.

Smith and Taylor published additional op-eds on future action against AMR, global economic costs, and a comparison of efforts to combat AMR in the EU and United States. Additionally, they developed a dedicated webpage on AMR, which highlights all RAND research, commentaries, and expertise on the subject.