Researcher Spotlights

Here, we highlight researchers who are making a positive impact on the world—whether in the area of public safety, health, disaster-preparedness, the Middle East, or technology—because of generous donor support.

David Knapp

David Knapp is an associate economist at RAND whose research focuses on worker recruitment, retention, and retirement and their effects on households, employers, and workers. He recently analyzed the relationship between compensation, including retirement benefits, and retention over the length of the careers of public school teachers in Chicago.

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Sina Beaghley

Sina Beaghley, a senior international/defense policy analyst, spent more than a decade in government service where she developed and implemented national security and counterterrorism policies. At RAND, her research is deepening key policymakers' understanding of intelligence and information security challenges. Thanks to unrestricted donor support that RAND receives, she recently was able to quickly mobilize a research team to analyze the effects of a widespread data breach of more than 20 million U.S. government personnel and security files.

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Ian Coulter

Ian Coulter is a senior health policy researcher at RAND who studies the intersection of mainstream medicine with so-called complementary and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and chiropractic. He holds the RAND/Samueli Institute Chair in Policy for Integrative Medicine and is working to develop a research center at RAND to focus on the challenges still facing such fully integrated health care.

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Shelly Culbertson

Shelly Culbertson is a policy analyst at RAND whose research focus includes international development, education, innovation policy, and the Middle East. She explains how she became interested in the education of Syrian refugee children, as well as the policy implications of her findings.

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Shira Efron

Shira Efron — As a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Shira Efron examined how the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS; also known as UAVs or drones) might aid farmers in keeping pests like the tsetse fly and red-billed quelea bird at bay in sub-Saharan Africa. With support from the Frederick S. Pardee Global Human Progress Initiative, she was able to travel to Kenya to explore the opportunities for such a program.

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Lois Davis

Lois Davis — Senior policy researcher Lois Davis has spent much of her career examining the intersection between public health and public safety. Her work has not only garnered praise and awards, but it has also effected significant policy change. Her research found that for every $1 invested in correctional education, $5 would be saved from reduced recidivism. Zwick Impact Funds allowed Davis to do extensive outreach to policymakers and the media.

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Christine Eibner

Christine Eibner — Her expertise in both economic modeling and health care policy has made senior economist Christine Eibner a valuable resource for those interested in and actively developing policy related to the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to the Alumni Impact Fund, she is currently leveraging different platforms to reach policymakers and the public and to inform them about how the upcoming Supreme Court King v. Burwell decision might affect the health care market.

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Anita Chandra

Anita Chandra — Whether it's a hurricane, tornado, oil spill, wildfire, school shooting, or act of terrorism, these events take their tolls on individuals and communities—and bouncing back is hard. Senior policy researcher Anita Chandra is concerned not only with efforts to prepare for emergencies but also with ways to foster community resilience.

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Elizabeth Bodine-Baron and Angel O'Mahony

Elizabeth Bodine-Baron & Angel O'Mahony — Elizabeth Bodine-Baron is an engineer who specializes in complex networks and systems. Angel O'Mahony is a political scientist whose research has focused on how international and political ties affect policymaking. Together, they are studying the potential of social media to improve lives and solve big problems.

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Beau Kilmer

Beau Kilmer — Throughout the United States, the debate on marijuana legalization is heating up. Voters are being asked to consider propositions concerning legalization of marijuana for commercial production and sale for general—not just medical—purposes. Beau Kilmer, codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, has been studying and weighing in on the impacts of legalization for more than a decade.

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