RAND Announces Leadership of New Research Unit for Infrastructure, Safety and Environment

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August 30, 2004

Debra Knopman has been appointed director and Jack Riley has been appointed associate director of the RAND Corporation’s new Infrastructure, Safety and Environment research unit, RAND President and CEO James A. Thomson announced today.

The new unit consolidates the work of three RAND research units: Public Safety and Justice, Science and Technology, and the Homeland Security Center.

“Debra Knopman has a background in scientific research, science policy and public service that makes her exceptionally qualified to oversee the new unit’s diverse research portfolio,” Thomson said. “Jack Riley has deep experience in homeland security, domestic terrorism, criminal justice, drug policy and public safety.”

Knopman said that the unit will conduct research and analysis in homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, public and occupational safety, the environment, energy, economic development, transportation, space and telecommunications – all areas in which RAND has a long track record and deep reservoirs of expertise.

Debra Knopman joined RAND in 2001 and became associate director of RAND Science and Technology in 2002. She has led a diverse set of projects including the design a national research fund for Qatar, the effect of unexploded ordnance on the Army base closure process, and case studies of organizational innovation relevant to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Before joining RAND, Knopman worked as director of the Center for Innovation and Environment at the Progressive Policy Institute; deputy assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Department of the Interior; chief of the branch of systems analysis at the U.S. geological survey; staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; and legislative assistant for energy and environmental issues to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.

Knopman holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Jack Riley has served as director of RAND Public Safety and Justice since 1999, and has been director of RAND’s Homeland Security Center since 2003. As co-director of RAND's Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy, Riley is currently leading a national assessment of terrorism preparedness. Other projects included assessing the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks on policing missions, developing a terrorism legislative agenda for the state of the California, and examining lessons for policing in post-conflict situations for the former Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. From 1995 to 1999, Riley worked with the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice.

Riley holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and Russian from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

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