RAND Experts Available to Discuss Coronavirus and COVID-19 Pandemic

March 12, 2020

RAND has experts available to answer questions from journalists about the COVID-19 pandemic, including the effects of U.S. outbreaks on hospitals and health care systems, schools, borders and travel policies and community preparedness. RAND experts can also comment on outbreaks in other parts of the world and their ramifications for international policy and national security.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at +1-(703) 414-4795 or +1-(310) 451-6913. Or, send an email to media@rand.org.

U.S. Hospitals and Health Care Systems

Dr. Courtney Gidengil

Dr. Gidengil is a senior physician policy researcher who is board-certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases.

Recent media: South China Morning Post and CIDRAP News

Recent paper: “Does the United States Need to Strengthen the System of Care for Infectious Diseases?”

Dr. Mahshid Abir

Dr. Abir is a senior physician policy researcher whose research focuses on hospital surge capacity and the effects of overcrowding at medical facilities. She is also an emergency room physician and an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Recent media: NPR's All Things Considered

Lori Uscher-Pines

Uscher-Pines is a senior policy researcher whose work focuses on health care delivery via telemedicine, as well as emergency preparedness and response and social distancing.

Recent media: Wired and Food & Wine

Andrew Mulcahy

Mulcahy is a senior policy researcher who studies health care management and economics. He also researches prescription drug policies and drug supply chains.

Education and Schools

Dr. Laura Faherty

Dr. Faherty is a physician policy researcher at RAND and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine who can address epidemic and pandemic preparedness in schools.

Recent media: Crosscut/ KCTS 9

Laura S. Hamilton

Hamilton is a senior behavioral scientist and director of the RAND Center on Social and Emotional Learning Research. She can discuss issues related to instructional quality and provision of social and emotional supports to students while schools are closed, as well as ways to promote the wellbeing of students and school staff more generally.

Elizabeth Steiner

Steiner is an associate policy researcher with expertise in K-12 education policy. She can discuss issues related to personalized and technology-based learning, including the role social and emotional competencies can play in successful online learning.

John Pane

Pane is a senior scientist with expertise in the use of technology in education. He also studied how lost school time affected students after the 2005 hurricanes in Louisiana.

Heather Schwartz

Schwartz is the director of the RAND Pre-K to 12 educational systems program. She can address the effects of long-term school closures.

Emergency Preparation and Response

Christopher Nelson

Nelson is a political scientist with expertise in health system preparedness, community resilience and emergency decisionmaking. He has helped U.S. and EU agencies assess state/local capacity to respond to bioterrorism attacks, infectious disease outbreaks, and other health emergencies.

Patrick Roberts

Roberts is a political scientist who can speak about disaster risk and emergency management.

Recent media: Washington Post op-ed

Anita Chandra

Vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being, Chandra can address disaster preparedness, community resilience, and long-term disaster recovery.

Recent media: Vox


Krishna B. Kumar

Kumar holds the Distinguished Chair in International Economic Policy at RAND, with expertise in global and macro economics. He can speak to economic policies to combat the crisis.

Howard Shatz

Shatz is a senior economist who specializes in international economics and development. He can speak to international economic consequences.

Jonathan Welburn

Welburn is a researcher specializing in operations research and computational economics. His research focuses on systemic risk, economic crises, and the propagation of risk through complex systems.

Recent publication: “Systemic Risk: It's Not Just in the Financial Sector” (2020)

Benjamin Miller

Miller is an economist that can speak to federal investment in infrastructure—particularly airports—as well as disaster insurance and financial aspects of disaster recovery.

Kathryn A. Edwards

Edwards is a labor economist who studies the labor force participation and outcomes of vulnerable populations. She can speak to employment and unemployment policy, wages, and many large federal programs.

Rafiq Dossani

Dossani, an economist, is director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy. He can speak to global stock markets and Asian economies.

Disaster Response

Andrew Lauland

Lauland is a senior policy researcher who previously served as the director of Homeland Security and Homeland Security Advisor (HSA) for the State of Maryland. His research focuses on disaster recovery operations, emergency and public health preparedness, and federal emergency management (FEMA).

Henry Willis

Associate director of the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, Willis works on homeland security risk management and preparedness, including border security efforts.

Christine Wormuth

Wormuth, director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center, was previously the U.S. Defense Department's Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. She has expertise in homeland security and homeland defense, including defense support to civil authorities and National Guard and reserve issues.

Risk Perception and Misinformation

Jennifer Kavanagh

Kavanagh is a senior political scientist who leads RAND's Countering Truth Decay initiative, a portfolio of projects exploring the diminishing reliance on facts and analysis in U.S. political and civil discourse.

Recent media: C-SPAN; Connecticut Public Radio; It's All Journalism; Newsy; WhoWhatWhy; Zócalo Public Square

Publications: Profiles of News Consumption, News in a Digital Age and Truth Decay.

Elizabeth Petrun Sayers

Petrun Sayers is a behavioral and social scientist who researches how traditional and new media shape risk perceptions and health behaviors, as well as community resilience.

Christopher Paul

Paul is a senior social scientist who has studied online misinformation campaigns.

Katherine Carman

Director of the RAND Center for Financial and Economic Decision Making, Carman's research focuses on how individuals make choices related to health and how peers, family members, and broader networks influence choices.

Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases

Dr. Jennifer Bouey

The Tang Chair in China Policy Studies at RAND, Dr. Bouey is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on global health strategies and the social determinants of health. She recently testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation on COVID-19.

Recent media: Bloomberg television, South China Morning Post, CNBC.

Kathryn Bouskill

The associate director of the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security, Bouskill is an anthropologist with an M.P.H. in epidemiology. She studies a range of sociocultural- and health-related issues such as health disparities and global health security issues.

Recent paper: “Global Health and Security: Threats and Opportunities” (2019)

Transmission Simulation Models

Raffaele Vardavas

Vardavas is a mathematician with expertise in constructing and analyzing simulation models of health care. His primary research focuses on coupling behavioral models of social contagion with models describing the transmission of infectious disease.

International Affairs

Bruce Bennett

Bennet is a senior international/defense researcher and can address the coronavirus in North Korea and South Korea and its potential military implications.

Recent media: Daily Beast and Voice of America

Soo Kim

Kim is a policy analyst who can address impacts on North Korean political and economic systems.

Recent media: Bloomberg, Radio Free Asia, Newsy


To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations:
(703) 414-4795 or
(310) 451-6913, or
send an email to media@rand.org.

About the RAND Corporation

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