Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Warren Robak

RAND Joins the War on Terror With Half a Billion Dollar Federal Grant

RAND Corp. Chosen to Operate New Research Center for U.S. Department of Homeland Security


October 8, 2016

RAND's Santa Monica campus offers expansive ocean views to its researchers adn employees.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has selected the RAND Corporation to operate the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, which will conduct technical and operational research and analysis to aid the department, officials announced today.

The new center is a federally funded research and development center, and is funded under a five-year contract worth as much as $494.7 million. RAND is a nonprofit research organization.

"RAND is honored and excited to be selected by DHS to assist with its important work," said Michael D. Rich, president and CEO of RAND. "The new center provides another opportunity for RAND to serve the public and apply its expertise on issues such as terrorism, border security and other topics critical to protecting the U.S. homeland."

The Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, also known as the HSOAC, will conduct analyses and make recommendations to strengthen DHS across its full set of missions to prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage U.S. borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, and strengthen national preparedness and resiliency.

The inaugural director of the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center will be Terrence K. Kelly, a RAND senior operations researcher. Henry H. Willis, who has headed RAND's ongoing portfolio of homeland security research, will serve as associate director.

The center is expected to focus on seven areas: acquisition studies, homeland security threat and opportunity studies, organizational studies, regulatory doctrine and policy studies, operational studies, research and development studies, and innovation and technology acceleration.

Federally funded research and development centers, known as FFRDCs, are unique organizations sponsored by federal agencies to assist with research and development, study and analysis, systems engineering and integration. RAND now operates four federally funded research and development centers and contributes to a fifth.

Press release ends here.

RAND is the last federal installation in Santa Monica, and is a holdover from the time when Douglas Aircraft was headquartered at the Santa Monica airport, i.e. before 1972. The Soviets used to refer to it derisively as "the institution for research on death and dying."

RAND Corporation (Research AND Development) is an American nonprofit global policy think tank originally formed by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces.

It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations including the health care industry, universities and private individuals. 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. Its American locations include: Santa Monica, California (headquarters); Arlington, Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Boston, Massachusetts. The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute has an office in New Orleans, Louisiana. RAND Europe is located in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Brussels, Belgium. RAND Australia is located in Canberra, the capitol.

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.

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.

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.


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