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RAND Corporation
Type Global policy think tank
Founded 1948
Founder(s) Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Donald Wills Douglas, Sr.
Origins United States Army Air Forces, Project RAND
Key people Michael D. Rich
Area served Predominantly United States of America
Focus(es) Policy Analysis
Revenue $252.87 million (FY11)[1]
Employees 1,700
Motto "To help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis."
Website www.rand.org

RAND Corporation (Research ANd Development[2]) is a nonprofit global policy think tank formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces by Douglas Aircraft Company. It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment,[3] corporations[4] including the health care industry, universities[5] and private individuals.[6] The organization has expanded to work with other governments, private foundations, international organizations, and commercial organizations on a host of non-defense issues. RAND aims for interdisciplinary and quantitative problem solving via translating theoretical concepts from formal economics and the physical sciences into novel applications in other areas, that is, via applied science and operations research. Michael D. Rich is president and chief executive officer of the RAND Corporation.

RAND has approximately 1,700 employees and three principal American locations: Santa Monica, California (headquarters); Arlington, Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute has offices in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi.[7] RAND Europe is located in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Brussels, Belgium.[8] The RAND-Qatar Policy Institute[9] is in Doha, Qatar. RAND's newest office is in Boston, Massachusetts.

RAND is home to the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, one of the eight original graduate programs in public policy and the first to offer a Ph.D. The program aims to have practical value in that students work with RAND analysts on real-world problems. The campus is at RAND's Santa Monica research facility. The Pardee RAND School is the world's largest Ph.D.-granting program in policy analysis. Upon completion of their education, students receive an M.Phil. in public policy analysis - equivalent to a master's degree in public policy.[10] Unlike many other universities, all Pardee RAND Graduate School students receive fellowships to cover their education costs. This allows them to dedicate their time to engage in research projects and provides them on-the-job training. [11] RAND also offers a number of internship and fellowship programs allowing students and outsiders to assist in conducting research for RAND projects. Most of these projects are short-term and are worked on independently with the mentoring of a RAND staff member. [12]

RAND publishes the RAND Journal of Economics, a peer-reviewed journal of economics.

Thirty-two recipients of the Nobel Prize, primarily in the fields of economics and physics, have been involved or associated with RAND at some point in their career.[2][13][14]

Project RAND[edit]

General Henry H. Arnold, commander of the United States Army Air Forces, established Project RAND with the objective of looking into long-range planning of future weapons.[15][15][16] In March 1946 Douglas Aircraft Company was granted the contract to research on intercontinental warfare by adopting operations research.[15] In May 1946 the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship was released. In May 1948, Project RAND separated from Douglas and became an independent non-profit organization as Douglas Aircraft feared it would create conflicts of interest jeopardizing future hardware contracts.[15] Initial capital for the split was provided by the Ford Foundation.


Since the 1950s, RAND research has helped inform United States policy decisions on a wide variety of issues, including the space race, the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms confrontation, the creation of the Great Society social welfare programs, the digital revolution, and national health care.[17] Its most visible contribution may be the doctrine of nuclear deterrence by mutually assured destruction (MAD), developed under the guidance of then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and based upon their work with game theory.[18] Chief strategist Herman Kahn also posited the idea of a "winnable" nuclear exchange in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War. This led to Kahn being one of the models for the titular character of the film Dr. Strangelove.[19][20]

Mission statement[edit]

RAND was incorporated as a non-profit organization to "further promote scientific, educational, and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare and security of the United States of America". Its self-declared mission is "to help improve policy and decision making through research and analysis", using its "core values of quality and objectivity".[2]

Achievements and expertise[edit]

RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The achievements of RAND stem from its development of systems analysis. Important contributions are claimed in space systems and the United States' space program, in computing and in artificial intelligence. RAND researchers developed many of the principles that were used to build the Internet. RAND also contributed to the development and use of wargaming.

Current areas of expertise include: child policy, civil and criminal justice, education, health, international policy, labor markets, national security, infrastructure, energy, environment, corporate governance, economic development, intelligence policy, long-range planning, crisis management and disaster preparation, population and regional studies, science and technology, social welfare, terrorism, arts policy, and transportation.

RAND designed and conducted one of the largest and most important studies of health insurance between 1974 and 1982. The RAND Health Insurance Experiment, funded by the then-U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, established an insurance corporation to compare demand for health services with their cost to the patient.

According to the 2005 annual report, "about one-half of RAND's research involves national security issues". Many of the events in which RAND plays a part are based on assumptions which are hard to verify because of the lack of detail on RAND's highly classified work for defense and intelligence agencies. The RAND Corporation posts all of its unclassified reports in full on its website.

Notable participants[edit]

John von Neumann, consultant to the RAND Corporation.[21]

Over the last 60 years, more than 30 Nobel Prize winners have been involved or associated with the RAND Corporation at some point in their careers.[2]


In 1958 Democratic Senator Stuart Symington accused the RAND Corporation of defeatism for studying how the United States might strategically surrender to an enemy power. This led to the passage of a prohibition on the spending of tax dollars on the study of defeat or surrender of any kind. However, the senator had apparently misunderstood, as the report was a survey of past cases in which the United States had demanded unconditional surrender of its enemies, asking whether or not this had been a more favorable outcome to U.S. interests than an earlier, negotiated surrender would have been.[34] In any case, research continued, except RAND carefully avoided using the word "surrender". [35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About the RAND Corporation — RAND at a Glance, retrieved 2012-06-06 
  2. ^ a b c d The Rand Corporation. "History and Mission". RAND Corporation. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  3. ^ RAND's private endowment
  4. ^ Corporate contributors on RAND's website
  5. ^ Major Clients and Grantors of RAND Research | RAND
  6. ^ for RAND's individual contributions see Finance
  7. ^ RAND Gulf States Policy Institute website
  8. ^ RAND Europe website
  9. ^ RAND-Qatar Policy Institute website
  10. ^ PRGS at a Glance | Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prgs.edu. Retrieved on 2014-02-21.
  11. ^ PRGS at a Glance | Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prgs.edu. Retrieved on 2014-02-21.
  12. ^ at a Glance. RAND (2013-12-31). Retrieved on 2014-02-21.
  13. ^ Brigette Sarabi, "Oregon: The Rand Report on Measure 11 is Finally Available", Partnership for Safety and Justice (formerly Western Prison Project), January 1, 2005. Retrieved on April 15, 2008.
  14. ^ Harvard University Institute of Politics. "Guide for Political Internships". Harvard University. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  15. ^ a b c d Johnson, Stephen B. (2002). The United States Air Force and the Culture of Innovation 1945–1965. Diane Publishing Co. p. 32. ISBN 978-0756739966. 
  16. ^ RAND History and Mission. Accessed 13 April 2009.
  17. ^ Jardini, David R. (2013). Thinking Through the Cold War: RAND, National Security and Domestic Policy, 1945-1975. p. 10. 
  18. ^ Twing, Steven W. (1998). Myths, models & U.S. foreign policy. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 1-55587-766-4. 
  19. ^ Hanks, Robert (19 December 2007). "The Week In Radio: The think tank for unthinkable thoughts". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  20. ^ Kaplan, Fred (10 October 2004). "Truth Stranger Than 'Strangelove'". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  21. ^ Life Magazine, 25 February 1957, "Passing of a Great Mind", by Clay Bair JR. pages 89–104
  22. ^ Alex Roland and Philip Shiman, Strategic Computing: DARPA and the Quest for Machine Intelligence, 1983–1993, The MIT Press, 2002, p. 302
  23. ^ Nina Tannenwald, The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Since 1945, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK), 2007, p. 138-139
  24. ^ APPublished: February 14, 1990 (1990-02-14). "F. R. Collbohm, 83, Ex-Head of Rand, Dies - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  25. ^ By WILLIAM J. BROADPublished: January 21, 1991 (1991-01-21). "WAR IN THE GULF: HIGH TECH; War Hero Status Possible for the Computer Chip - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  26. ^ "stephen+h.+dole"
  27. ^ "Habitable Planets for man (6.4 MB PDF)". RAND Corporation (free PDFs). 
  28. ^ Noland, Claire (April 12, 2007). "Konrad Kellen, 93; Rand researcher studied Vietnam War and urged withdrawal of troops". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Wizards of Armageddon - Fred M. Kaplan - Google Boeken". Books.google.nl. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  30. ^ Seymour M. Hersh (12 May 2003). "Selective Intelligence — Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable?". The New Yorker. 
  31. ^ "RAND and the Information Evolution: A History in Essays and Vignettes - Willis H. Ware, Peter Chalk, Richard Warnes, Lindsay Clutterbuck, Aidan Kirby Winn, Sheila Nataraj Kirby - Google Boeken". Books.google.nl. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  32. ^ Jennifer S. Light, From Warfare to Welfare: Defense Intellectuals and Urban Problems in Cold War America, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, p. 69-70
  33. ^ Ratan Tata is chairman emeritus of Tata Sons - The Times of India. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  34. ^ Poundstone, W. (1992). Prisoner's Dilemma. Doubleday. 
  35. ^ Wired 9.03: Founding Father. Wired.com. Retrieved on 2014-02-21.

Further reading[edit]



  • Clifford, Peggy, ed. "RAND and The City: Part One". Santa Monica Mirror, October 27, 1999 – November 2, 1999. Five-part series includes: 1; 2; 3; 4; & 5. Accessed 15 April 2008.
  • Specht, R.D. "Rand: A Personal View of Its History," Operations Research, vol. 8, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1960), pp. 825-839. In JSTOR

External links[edit]

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