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RAND Corporation

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RAND Corporation
TypeGlobal policy think tank
HeadquartersSanta Monica, California
OriginsUnited States Army Air Forces, Project RAND
Key peopleMichael D. Rich
Area servedPredominantly United States of America
FocusPolicy Analysis
Revenue$252.87 million (FY11)[1]
Motto"To help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis."

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit global policy think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces.[2] The RAND was started in 1946 inside the Douglas Aircraft Company. It was set up as an independent corporation in 1948.[3] The name was taken from R&D (research and development), though in fact it did no development.[3]

Since the 1950s, RAND research has helped form United States policy decisions on many issues: 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.[4] It was best known for the doctrine of nuclear deterrence by mutually assured destruction (MAD), based upon their work with game theory.[5] Chief strategist Herman Kahn discussed the idea of a "winnable" nuclear exchange in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War. This led to Kahn being one of the models for "Dr Strangelove" in Dr. Strangelove. In the movie, RAND is spoofed as the "BLAND Corporation".[6][7]

The RAND is now financed by the U.S. government and private endowment,[8] corporations,[9] the healthcare industry, universities,[10] and private individuals.[11]

The organization now works with other governments, private foundations, international organizations, and commercial organizations on a host of non-defence issues. RAND techniques were based on operations research (O.R.) which started in World War II. O.R. is the interdisciplinary application of scientific thinking to problem-solving. It relies mostly on the hard sciences like physics and mathematics, and economics.[12] However, some famous biologists and social scientists have worked with RAND at times, and the importance of social ideas and thinking is more important than ever today.

RAND has about 1,700 employees and three principal North 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.[13] RAND Europe is located in Cambridge, England, and Brussels, Belgium.[14] The RAND-Qatar Policy Institute is in Doha, Qatar.[15] RAND's newest office is in Boston, Massachusetts.

RAND is also home to the Pardee RAND School, which is the world's largest Ph.D.-granting program in policy analysis. Unlike many other universities, all PARDEE RAND Graduate School students receive fellowships in order to cover their education costs. 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 members.[16]

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

To date, 32 winners of a Nobel Prize, mainly in economics and physics, have been associated with the RAND at some point in their career.[2][17][18]


[change | change source]
  1. About the RAND Corporation — RAND at a Glance, retrieved 2012-06-06
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Rand Corporation. "History and Mission". RAND Corporation. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dickson, Paul 1971. Think tanks. New York: Atheneum, p23–28.
  4. Jardini, David R. (2013). Thinking Through the Cold War: RAND, National Security and Domestic Policy, 1945-1975. p. 10.
  5. Twing, Steven W. (1998). Myths, models & U.S. foreign policy. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 1-55587-766-4.
  6. Hanks, Robert (19 December 2007). "The Week In Radio: The think tank for unthinkable thoughts". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  7. Kaplan, Fred (10 October 2004). "Truth Stranger Than 'Strangelove'". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  8. RAND's private endowment
  9. Corporate contributors on RAND's website
  10. Major Clients and Grantors of RAND Research | RAND
  11. for RAND's individual contributions see Finance
  12. Quade, Edward S. (ed) 1966. Analysis for military decisions. Chicago:Rand McNally.
  13. RAND Gulf States Policy Institute website
  14. RAND Europe website
  15. RAND-Qatar Policy Institute website
  16. "RAND at a Glance".
  17. Brigette Sarabi, "Oregon: The Rand Report on Measure 11 is finally available" Archived 2009-01-15 at the Wayback Machine, Partnership for Safety and Justice (formerly Western Prison Project), January 1, 2005. Retrieved on April 15, 2008.
  18. Harvard University Institute of Politics. "Guide for Political Internships". Harvard University. Retrieved 2008-04-18.