About the Center

Globe The RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition was established in 2001 through a generous $5 million pledge from RAND alumnus Frederick S. Pardee. The RAND Pardee Center aims to enhance the overall future quality and condition of human life by aggressively disseminating and applying new methods for long-term policy analysis in a wide variety of policy areas where they are needed most.

The pledge for this Center is consistent with the donor's longtime commitment to philanthropy. Mr. Pardee's vision of investing today to enhance the quality of life tomorrow is supported by an equally ardent belief that progress in this endeavor will come only with serious, sustained effort. There has been no dearth of attempts to think globally about the human condition or the long-range future. What has been missing, however, is a means of tying those efforts systematically and analytically to today's policy decisions. This is the gap that the RAND Pardee Center seeks to address.

Our Vision

Pardee Center Plans We live at a time of rapid, transformative change. While our society has significant ability to shape the future to our liking, we often act as poor stewards of the future human condition. Too often we make decisions overly focused on the short-term, missing promising and much-needed opportunities to improve our long-term prospects.

Over the last few years, a large body of research in the policy and decision sciences has coalesced into a new set of methods and tools that can help decision-makers more effectively and systematically identify where and how our society can successfully approach our long-term goals consistent with the needs of the present. At a time when the need for effective long-term policy seems particularly pressing, our capability for long-term analysis has significantly improved. But to help our society become better stewards of the long-term, these new approaches must become much more widely used.

As a central concept the Center will help policy makers and the public practice proper due diligence for the long-term future. In many cases, our long-term goals may have little influence on our choice of near-term actions. Given today’s opportunities, constraints, uncertainty, competing values, and the fact that future generations will make their own choices, merely meeting our near-term goals may frequently provide sufficient stewardship for the long-term. But in some cases, choosing one set of near-term actions over another may prove decisive to humanity’s long-term future condition.

Many factors discourage effective due diligence, from people’s psychological tendency to misestimate novel risks to political and institutional pressures that favor short-term results. Long-term policy analysis, however, can help overcome these barriers by identifying these key actions, communicating their importance to diverse audiences, and suggesting the policies and incentives needed to encourage these actions and sustain them over time. In its first six years, the Pardee Center played an important role in advancing the state of the art for such long-term analysis. In its next phase, the Center aims to play a central role in disseminating these tools into widespread practice.

The Pardee Center will organize its activities around two main themes:

  1. Conducting long-term policy analysis that helps organizations implement better long-range policy and
  2. Developing and disseminating approaches that will help make proper due diligence for the future more commonly practiced.

The Center will focus its core funds on crystallizing key concepts with small amounts of targeted research, on disseminating the Center’s findings, and on seeding projects to improve long-term policy in specific policy areas. The Center will seek additional funding for projects to improve long-term policy in areas such as development, energy/environment, public goods, governance/international institutions, and globalization. Applying the due diligence concept will help us target early efforts where long-term policy analysis may have the largest impact. We envision that most client projects will be conducted in partnership with other RAND units, other research institutions, and policy-making partners. These core activities will be supported by and will contribute to on-going methodology development at RAND.

Over the coming years, the Center’s success can be measured by the extent to which its studies help inform specific long-term policies in areas such as development and the extent to which due diligence for the future becomes a widely known concept.

The Donor's Vision

Frederick Pardee ardently believes that enhancing the quality of life for future generations on a global level requires an immediate, serious, and dedicated effort to chart new ground. Mr. Pardee first became involved with long-range technological and economic projections, quality-of-life issues, and their policy implications while working as a RAND systems analyst from 1957 to 1971. He has pledged $5 million toward the establishment of The RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition, as well as the Frederick S. Pardee Professorship of Long-Term Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS).

The Director

Robert Lempert is a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research helps policy makers more effectively address climate change in the face of deep scientific and economic uncertainties and the inevitability of surprise. Currently, Dr. Lempert’s research team assists the California Department of Water Resources, the California Energy Commission, and several Southern California water resource agencies in their efforts to include climate change in their long-range plans. Dr. Lempert is principal investigator for a major National Science Foundation funded effort developing and evaluating better approaches for addressing uncertainty in climate change decision support and leads a project examining the implications of alternative greenhouse regulatory frameworks on investments in energy technologies, effectiveness of regulatory systems, and public support for continued greenhouse gas mitigation. A Professor of Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Dr. Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis.

Prof. Lempert earned his B.A.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Climate Research Committee, an advisory body overseeing U.S. climate change research; and a contributing author to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.