Director, RAND Economics and National Security Initiative

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RAND Corporation

Director, RAND Economics and National Security Initiative 2

Position description

The RAND Economics and National Security Initiative (ENSI) provides research and analysis at the intersection of economics and national security. The initiative works with the U.S. government and private sector partners to advance U.S. economic competitiveness and U.S. national security. The initiative provides evidence-based analysis to inform effective decisionmaking amid increasing questions and tensions around the challenges and opportunities of global economic interdependence.


Position Description

The Director, working closely with the VP of Social and Economic Well-Being Division and the VP of National Security Research Division, will oversee ENSI, providing strategic direction, supporting the development and dissemination of research and analysis, and building the portfolio of work.


This position is a 2-year non-renewable term, with an option to extend upon management approval. The role of Director will cover 80% time, allowing the Director to contribute to research projects for the remaining 20%.


Major responsibilities include:

  • Strategic leadership.  Craft and implement the strategic vision for RAND’s economic and national security agenda to ensure RAND is focused on the highest-leverage policy questions.

  • Business Development.  Support ongoing efforts to build ENSI’s portfolio of work with the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Defense and private sector (e.g., business, philanthropy).

  • Research leadership. Initiate innovative and rigorous analysis projects that align with ENSI strategic goals.

  • Collaborative Engagement. Work alongside RAND leadership to promote interdisciplinary approaches and leverage the full breadth of RAND’s expertise and to foster an environment of innovation and rigor.

  • Community Building.  Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders in the policy, technology, and security communities to ensure ENSI’s research is both influential and informed by real-world needs.

  • Dissemination.  Create an effective dissemination strategy for ENSI research findings to public and private sector officials.


  • Evidence of intellectual leadership related to economic policy research development, including a record of impactful analyses.

  • Evidence of successful business development in the public and/or private sectors.

  • Strong leadership and collaboration skills, with a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive research environment.

  • Exceptional analytical and strategic thinking skills, with the ability to synthesize complex information and craft coherent, strategic research agendas.

  • Experience with and interest in mentoring and developing early career research staff.

  • Demonstrated leadership skills including commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to include developing diverse teams and creating an inclusive work environment.

  • Excellent communication skills, capable of engaging effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.

  • Deep commitment to the quality assurance process and experience in managing research accuracy and integrity.

Education Requirements

Master’s or Doctorate degree in fields such as economics, security studies, public policy, political science, business, international relations, or a related field.


Minimum of 10 years of experience in policy research, analysis, or development, with a strong emphasis on topics at the intersection of economics and national security.

Prior government experience, preferred.

Security Clearance

Eligibility for a Top-Secret clearance.


Washington, DC; Santa Monica, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Boston, MA. This position is a flex role, which provides the opportunity for work from home and the office, with at least 50% of days worked on-site at one of the RAND offices required.

Application instructions

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