RAND Summer Associate Cohort 2024

Since 1960, outstanding graduate students have been introduced to RAND through the Graduate Student Summer Associate Program. The program has recruited more than 1,400 students from more than 100 graduate programs across the United States and abroad. Summer associates have gone on to become thought leaders in government, the private sector, and academia—and many are currently employed at RAND.

We are pleased to welcome 62 summer associates with a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. To offer a more flexible and inclusive program, we continue to implement a hybrid model, with some summer associates working in RAND offices and others participating in the program remotely.

Alexandra Greco

Alexandra Greco

Alexandra (she/her) will work in Defense and Political Sciences (DPS) with Christopher Mouton on a project in the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD), and Matthew Sargent and Elizabeth Roer on a project in RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF). She is pursuing a Ph.D. in history at University of Georgia. Alexandra's research interests include technological innovation, business strategy, and public-private partnerships. Alexandra is a returning summer associate.

Alexandra (Ally) Lazar

Alexandra (Ally) Lazar

Ally (she/her) will work in DPS with Bryan Rooney and Alexandra Evans on a project in the Arroyo Center (RAND Army Research Division). She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science (international relations) at the University of California Davis. Ally's research interests include international security, political violence, and terrorism.

Ashley Dancer

Ashley Dancer

Ashley (she/her) will work in Economics, Sociology, and Statistics (ESS) with Carter Price on a project in RAND Education and Labor (E&L). She is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental science at at the University of Colorado Boulder, along with a certificate in data science statistics. Ashley's research interests include exploring possible economic and population growth futures and what these futures could mean for society, the environment, and geopolitics.

Ayanna Miller

Ayanna Miller

Ayanna (she/her) will work in Behavioral and Policy Sciences (BPS) with Jessica Paige and Dionne Barnes-Proby on a project in RAND Social and Economic Well-Being (SEW). She is pursuing a Ph.D. in criminology and justice policy at Northeastern University. Ayanna's research interests include racial justice, critical criminology, and criminal justice policy, with a focus on policing and police-community relations, utilizing mixed methods.

Ben Claremont

Ben Claremont

Ben (he/him) will work in DPS with Don Snyder and Kristin Lynch on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at University of St. Andrews. Ben's research interests include military history, military science, and strategic studies.

Brooke Staveland

Brooke Staveland

Brooke (she/her) will work in Engineering and Applied Sciences (EAS) with Cortney Weinbaum and Ben Boudreaux on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in life sciences at University of California Berkeley. Brooke's research interests include mental health disorders and treatment, neuroscience, and precision medicine.

Camerin (Cami) Rencken

Camerin (Cami) Rencken

Cami (she/her) will work in BPS with Rosanna Smart and Andrew Morral on a project in SEW. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Washington, Seattle. Cami's research interests include violence and injury epidemiology, using observational data for causal inference, community engaged research, and public policy evaluation.

Carolyn Steinle

Carolyn Steinle

Carolyn (she/her) will work in DPS with Daniel Egel and Sara Hughes on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at Univeristy of California, Los Angeles. Carolyn's research interests include conflict, African politics, and social networks.

Cheyenne Tretter

Cheyenne Tretter

Cheyenne (she/her) work in DPS with Jim Williams and Kristin Lynch on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at Columbia University. Cheyenne's research interests include nuclear weapons, arms races, and international security. Cheyenne is a returning summer associate.

Chih-Hua (Chris) Tseng

Chih-Hua (Chris) Tseng

Chris (he/him) will work in ESS with Matthew Sargent and Elizabeth Roer on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at University of California, Irvine. Chris' research interests include political economy and development, state-society relations, and citizenship.

Christina Freibott

Christina Freibott

Christina (she/her) will work in BPS with Peggy Chen and Catherine Cohen on a project in the RAND Homeland Security Research Division (HSRD). She is pursuing a Ph.D. in health services and policy research at Boston University School of Public Health. Christina's research interests include adolescent and young adult substance use, mental health, and opioid overdose prevention.

Christina Huber

Christina Huber

Christina (she/her) will work in BPS with Peter Mendel and Shira Fischer on a project in RAND Health Care. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Christina's research interests include health care education and training, organizational behavior, and social media.

Christopher Behrer

Christopher Behrer

Christopher (he/him) will work in BPS with Sebastian Linnemayr on a project in RAND Health Care. He is an M.D. student, and is also pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy and economics at Duke University. Christopher's research interests include hospital pricing, supply-side health economics, and global health.

Coral Flanagan

Coral Flanagan

Coral (she/her) will work in ESS with Jenna Kramer on a project in HSRD and Peter Nguyen on a project in E&L. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in education leadership and policy at Vanderbilt University. Coral's research interests include college access and success, career and technical education, and English language learners.

Curtis Smith IV

Curtis Smith IV

Curtis (he/him) will work in BPS with Stephanie Holliday and Laura Whitaker on a project in SEW. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychological science at University of California, Irvine. Curtis' research interests include criminal justice, positive youth development, antisocial behavior, and prosocial behavior.

Dana Golden

Dana Golden

Dana (she/her) will work in BPS with Kristin Van Abel and Thomas Light on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Stony Brook University. Dana's research interests include electricity markets, transmission, commodity markets, industrial organization, macroeconomics of renewable energy transition, applications of machine learning to economics, social networks in job search, and shareholder disagreement.

Dane Rivas-Koehl

Dane Rivas-Koehl

Dane (he/him) will work in BPS with Kyleanne Hunter on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in human development and family studies at the University of Illinois Urban-Champaign. Dane's research interests include LGBTQ+ families' and individuals' mental health outcomes and the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. He is also passionate about translating his research to be accessible to the general public.

Daniel Aum

Daniel Aum

Daniel (he/him) will work in DPS on projects in NSRD with Rich Girven and Heather Williams, Benjamin Miller, Trevor Johnston, and Daniel Egel. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at Georgia Institute of Technology. Daniel's research interests include grand strategy, innovation, and alliances.

Dennis Murphy

Dennis Murphy

Dennis (he/him) will work in DPS with Mary Lee and Matthew Sargent on a project in RAND Global and Emerging Risks (GER). He is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dennis' research interests include emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, international security, and strategic competition. Dennis is a returning summer associate.

Ellyn (Ellie) Terry

Ellyn (Ellie) Terry

Ellie (she/her) will work in ESS with Melanie Zaber and Jeffrey Wenger on a project in E&L. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy at University of Washington. Ellie's research interests include examining economic mobility and social assistance policies through economic and psychological lenses. Her dissertation focuses on child development accounts.

Eoin Power

Eoin Power

Eoin (he/him) will work in DPS with Stephanie Young and Beth Grill on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at University of Texas, Austin. Eoin's research interests include defense-industrial policy, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, maritime security, and field experiments.

Gabriella Gricius

Gabriella Gricius

Gabriella (she/her) will work in DPS with Bradley DeBlois and Dave Orletsky on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations, comparative politics, and environmental policy at Colorado State University. Gabriella's research interests include the Arctic, European security, and geopolitical competition.

Garrett Hinck

Garrett Hinck

Garrett (he/him) will work in DPS with Miranda Priebe on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at Columbia University. Garrett's research interests include nuclear deterrence and strategic stability, emerging technologies, and grand strategy.

Harriet Goers

Harriet Goers

Harriett (she/her) will work in DPS with Benjamin Miller, Trevor Johnson, and Daniel Egel on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at University of Maryland, College Park. Harriet's research interests include economic and security dependence between states, and foreign state support for rebel groups.

Herbert (Herbie) F. Tinsley

Herbert (Herbie) F. Tinsley

Herbie will work in DPS with Jan Osburg and Tracey Rissman on a project in HSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at University of Arizona. Herbie's research interests include extremist ideologies and primary source documents, jihadism, foreign fighters, terrorism in the context of new religious movements, apocalyptic millenarianism, the Islamic State and CBRN weapons, fidayin and fidayin-style attacks, and aviation security and insider threats.

Ido Levy

Ido Levy

Ido (he/him) will work in DPS with Adam Grissom and Chris Mouton on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at American University. Ido's research interests include terrorism and counterterrorism, civil war and insurgency, Middle East and North Africa, East Africa, jihadism, security force assistance, and military analysis.

Ivana Jordanovska

Ivana Jordanovska

Ivana (she/her) will work in DPS with Nicholas O'Donoughue and Dahlia Goldfeld on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at University of Southern California. Ivana's research interests include international security and political psychology, in particular looking at NATO decisionmaking and ally relations.

Jack Kappelman

Jack Kappelman

Jack (he/him) will work in DPS with Drake Warren and Ellen Pint on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at University of California, Los Angeles. Jack's research has centered on studying the politics of firearms in the United States, ranging from studies of firearm-based violence and suicide, analyses of policies to reduce gun violence, and papers exploring how firearms sales respond to the election of Democrats to executive office, political shocks, and other exogenous events.

Jeimee Estrada

Jeimee Estrada

Jeimee (she/her) will work in BPS with Susan Bush-Mecenas and Sy Doan on a project in E&L. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in public administration/public policy at University of Southern California. Jeimee's research interests include how public policies are formed and implemented with a specific focus on state- and local-level action, education policy, and educational equity issues.

Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor

Jessica (she/her) will work in DPS with Christopher Lynch and Kristin Lynch on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at Princeton University. Jessica's research interests include alliances, risk, and resilience.

Joshua Inwald

Joshua Inwald

Joshua (he/him) will work in BPS with Rich Girven and Brodi Kotila on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology at University of Southern California. Joshua's research interests include climate change, big-data methods, public policy and psychological decisionmaking.

Joshua McDuffie

Joshua McDuffie

Joshua (he/him) will work in EAS with Michelle Miro and Jason Campbell on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering at Vanderbilt University. Joshua's research interests include infrastructure and community resilience, emergency preparedness, risk literacy, and hazard mitigation strategies.

Julia Lejeune

Julia Lejeune

Julia (she/her) will work in BPS with Carrie Farmer and Rajeev Ramchand on a project in E&L. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at University of Illinois at Chicago. Julia's research interests include mental health services, suicide prevention, implementation science, and mixed methods analysis.

Julia Raven

Julia Raven

Julia (she/her) will work in DPS with Colby Steiner and Jim Leftwich on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at University of California Berkeley. Julia's research interests include military effectiveness, how militaries adapt to changing threats, and post-colonial military development.

Kang Lee

Kang Lee

Kang (he/him) will work in DPS with Chad Ohlandt and Emily Ellinger on a project in NSRD. They are pursuing a Ph.D. in international relations at Georgia Institute of Technology. Kang's research interests include cybersecurity, alliance politics, Indo-Pacific international relations, emerging tech, and political psychology.

Kathryn Dura

Kathryn Dura

Kathryn (she/her) will work in DPS with Christopher Mouton and Caleb Lucas on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kathryn's research interests include emerging technologies, perceptions, military operations, and weapon acquisition.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Kevin (he/him) will work in EAS with Nelson Lim and Alvin Moon on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in operations research at University of Michigan. Kevin's research interests include data-driven decisionmaking techniques with applications in health care, public health, and policymaking.

Khrystyna Pelchar

Khrystyna Pelchar

Khrystyna (she/her) will work in DPS with Michael Schwille and Todd Helmus on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at West Virginia University. Khrystyna's research interests include comparative politics, democratic governance, security, and cooperation. She co-authors publications in the journal Problems of Post Communism and a PONARS policy memo.

Kyle Trojahn

Kyle Trojahn

Kyle (he/him) will work in DPS with Rich Girven and Brodi Kotila on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in government with concentrations in American politics and methodology at The University of Texas at Austin. Kyle's research interests focus on local and urban politics, community displacement due to gentrification and climate risk, infrastructure public policy, geospatial analysis, and administrative municipal boundaries.

Lang (Eric) Sundby

Lang (Eric) Sundby

Eric will work in DPS with Sherrill Lingel and Alexander Hou on a project in PAF, and Lisa Saum-Manning and Jan Osburg on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in aerospace sciences at University of North Dakota, and an executive master of global management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. Eric's research interests include space policy, alliances, military strategy, natural resources policy, and emerging technology.

Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor

Lauren (she/her) will work in ESS with Kelly Atkinson and Miriam Matthews on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at Howard University, with a concentration in atmospheric science and public policy. Lauren's research interests include environmental justice, intersectional qualitative methodology, and medical sociology.

Leo Glikbarg

Leo Glikbarg

Leo (he/him) will work in EAS with Jonathan Roberts and Jason Mastbaum on a project in the Arroyo Center (RAND Army Research Division) and Brodi Kotila on a project in GER. He is pursuing a master's in computer science at Standford University. Leo's research interests include artificial intelligence policy, cybersecurity, space governance, and education technology.

Liudas Panavas

Liudas Panavas

Liudas (he/him) will work in EAS with Joshua Snoke on a project in SEW. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at Northeastern University. Liudas' research interests include explainable AI for object detection algorithms as well as visualization for differentially private data. His goal is to help everyday users evaluate and assess the utility of complicated model outputs.

Makai Ruffin

Makai Ruffin

Makai (she/her) will work in BPS with Kirsten Keller and Devon Hill on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology at Rice University. Makai's research interests include workforce training and development, work motivation, and individual differences.

Michelle Zhang

Michelle Zhang

Michelle (she/her) will work in DPS with Sean Mann and Jair Aguirre on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in security studies at Princeton University. Michelle's research interests include space security and space policy with a focus on the role of commercial space in conflict.

Nate Hutcherson

Nate Hutcherson

Nate (he/him) will work in BPS with Peter Nguyen, Susan Bush-Mecenas, and Becki Herman across two projects in E&L. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education at Boston College. Nate's research interests include the impact of law and policy on minoritized groups, and in particular students of color; the use of research evidence in legal determinations and policy formation; and the factors that influence educational leaders as they make policy decisions.

Nate Lavoy

Nate Lavoy

Nate (he/him) will work in EAS with Jeff Alstott and Emma Westerman on a project in GER. He is pursuing a master's degree in computer science at New York University. Nate's research interests include AI and emerging tech, cybersecurity, disinformation, and autonomous weapons.

Nathaniel Flemming

Nathaniel Flemming

Nathaniel (he/him) will work in DPS with Nelson Lim and Alvin Moon on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a dual Ph.D. in political science and social data analytics at The Pennsylvania State University. Nathaniel's research interests include metropolitan fragmentation, provision of public services, remedying inequality, and data science.

Nitheesha Nakka

Nitheesha Nakka

Nitheesha (she/her) will work in DPS with Kyleanne Hunter and Joslyn Fleming on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at Pennsylvania State University. Nitheesha's research interests include online discourse, racial and gender discrimination, state politics and applied computational methods, including natural language processing and machine learning.

Noah Gibson

Noah Gibson

Noah (he/him) will work in ESS with Thomas Trail and Andrea Richardson on a project in NSRD and Carra Sims (and Thomas Trail) on a project in the Arroyo Center (RAND Army Research Division). He is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in sociology and public policy at Duke University. Noah's research interests include food insecurity, social policy, spatial inequality, and social determinants of health.

Ojashwi (Oja) Pathak

Ojashwi (Oja) Pathak

Oja (she/her) will work in DPS with Kelly Hyde and Ray Conley on a project in PAF. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in government at University of Maryland College Park. Oja's research interests include electoral politics, identity politics, efficacy of remedial policies, and computational research methods.

Olajide (Jide) Olugbade

Olajide (Jide) Olugbade

Jide (he/him) will work in DPS with Angel O'Mahoney and Aaron Frank on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy at Georgia Institute of Technology. Jide's research interests include technology policy, global governance of AI, ethics and governance of emerging technologies, and geopolitics of innovation.

Oluwawairefunmi (Waire) Olawolu

Oluwawairefunmi (Waire) Olawolu

Waire (he/him) will work in EAS with Scott Savitz and Jeffrey Hornung on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering at Purdue University. Waire's research interests include sociotechnical systems transition, technology forecasting, and innovation science.

Patrick Bernhard

Patrick Bernhard

Patrick (he/him) will work in DPS with Anna Jean Wirth and Stephanie Young on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at University of California Davis. Patrick's research interests include leveraging machine learning and natural language processing techniques to investigate topics within international security and cooperation.

Peter Wostenberg

Peter Wostenberg

Peter (he/him) will work in DPS with Chad Heitzenrater and Quentin Hodgson on a project in the Arroyo Center (RAND Army Research Division). He is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at Baylor University. Peter's research interests include cyberspace operations, irregular warfare, and the just war tradition.

Raj Kiriti Velicheti

Raj Kiriti Velicheti

Raj Kiriti (he/him) will work in EAS with Henry Hargrove and Jonathan Roberts on a project in the Arroyo Center (RAND Army Research Division). They are pursuing a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Raj Kiriti's research interests include game theory, control theory, and artificial intelligence.

Robert (Rob) McDonald

Robert (Rob) McDonald

Rob will work in EAS with Brodi Kotila and Eric Landree on a project in the Arroyo Center (RAND Army Research Division). He is pursuing a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at the University of Oxford and is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard University. Robert's research interests include the mathematical and statistical modeling of complex systems. Rob studies multi-agent networks which evolve in physical space and across time, and he has previously applied novel mathematics to problems in energy distribution, transport infrastructure, and cancer growth.

Samuel (Sam) Morgan

Samuel (Sam) Morgan

Sam (he/him) will work in DPS with Kyleanne Hunter and Dave Stebbins on a project in NSRD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at University of California Irvine. Sam's research interests include alliance formation and cohesion, war powers, gender mainstreaming, NATO, and qualitative research methods.

Selena Cardona

Selena Cardona

Selena (she/her) will work in DPS with Charles Goldman and Tom Wingfield on a project in NSRD. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology and education at Columbia University Teacher's College. Selena's research interests include mixed methods research, higher education policy, workforce development, and community colleges.

Tanvi Shinkre

Tanvi Shinkre

Tanvi (she/her) will work in EAS with Denis Agniel and Rosanna Smart on a project in SEW and Lou Mariano and Zachary Wagner on a project in RAND Health Care. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics at University of California Los Angeles. Tanvi's research interests include causal inference for observational data, heterogeneous treatment effect estimation, and applications of causal methods in public health and sociology.

Titus Firmin

Titus Firmin

Titus (he/him) will work in DPS with Hilary Reininger and Tracy Kruegar on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in history at University of Kansas. Titus' research interests include national security, force structure, personnel policy, organizational culture, and civil-military relations.

Tyler Hoard

Tyler Hoard

Tyler (he/him) will work in EAS with Anna Jean Wirth and Stephanie Young on a project in PAF. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular biology at University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Tyler's research interests include science and technology in public policy, international relations, and the impact of policy on scientific research.