Michelle Woods Named Vice President of RAND Homeland Security Research Division

For Release

May 10, 2024

Michelle Woods

Michelle Woods

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND

Homeland security policy expert Michelle Woods has been named vice president and director of the RAND Homeland Security Research Division (HSRD), announced RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny.

For the past two years, Woods has served as the associate director of HSRD, which operates the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), a federally funded research and development center. She also serves as a senior policy researcher at RAND, focusing on election security, border security technologies, cybersecurity, emergency preparedness, community resilience, and critical infrastructure protection.

“Michelle has been instrumental in helping HSRD grow while simultaneously strengthening our relationship with government sponsors and enhancing the experience of our researchers,” Matheny said. “Her expertise across the homeland security enterprise will be key as we look to grow our wider homeland security portfolio.”

Prior to RAND, Woods most recently served as the program director for homeland security in the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices, where she directed major homeland security policy initiatives. She also served as the director for homeland security and senior policy advisor for the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, worked at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and served as a special assistant to the Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Woods has a master's degree in public administration from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor's degree in political science and communications from Western Kentucky University. She is based in RAND's Washington office.

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