RANDites Move on to High-Ranking Government Roles

Over the past few months, the U.S. government has tapped the expertise of a record number of RAND staff, who are now serving in high-level positions in a range of federal agencies. The research experience and subject-matter expertise of RAND staff are in high demand as these agencies prepare to address complex policy challenges.

The following staff recently left RAND to take on new roles:

  • Michael Chase, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China
  • Rebecca Haffajee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and acting Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Maynard Holliday, director of defense research and engineering for modernization, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
  • Kimberly Jackson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness
  • Laura Kupe, special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Governance
  • Blas Nuñez-Neto, chief operating officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Tisamarie Sherry, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Terri Tanielian, special assistant to the President for veterans' affairs
  • Christine Wormuth, Secretary of the Army.

In addition, several former RAND staff have recently been appointed to senior U.S. government roles:

  • Radha Iyengar Plumb, who worked at RAND from 2015 to 2017, is chief of staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Ely Ratner, who worked at RAND from 2009 to 2011, is the special assistant to the Secretary of Defense on China matters and nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs
  • Ariane Tabatabai, who worked at RAND from 2018 to 2020, is a senior adviser to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
  • Rebecca Zimmerman, who worked at RAND from 2007 to 2019, is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.

Finally, former RAND trustee Vivek Murthy, who co-chaired the Biden administration transition team's COVID-19 task force, has reassumed the role of U.S. Surgeon General, a position he held from 2015 to 2017.