Director of RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD) and RAND Vice President

RAND Corporation
  • Location
    Pittsburgh, LA or Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jan 06

Position description

Creativity thrives where differences in viewpoints and experiences are welcome. At RAND, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusiveness enrich the content, accessibility, and practicality of our research and analysis. Multidisciplinary teams are a hallmark of RAND research, and we strive to create diverse teams to help ensure that our research incorporates many perspectives.


RAND employees and Pardee RAND graduate students hail from 50 countries and speak 80 different languages. Our diversity is also reflected in the global scope of our research, which aspires to improve the health, safety, security, and prosperity of individuals and communities throughout the world.


The RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD) is an international pacesetter in defense research and analysis. To help world leaders overcome seemingly intractable security challenges and manage complex defense institutions, NSRD builds teams who bring unique perspectives, extensive experience, and diverse skill sets. Our research is objective, fact-based, and data driven. Everything we produce stands up to the highest level of scrutiny, is carefully peer-reviewed, is technically sound, and provides useful, viable solutions.


We support the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), as well as several non-DoD entities in the United States and abroad. NSRD operates the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) whose sponsors include the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the defense agencies, and the Department of the Navy. NSRD's research and analysis also supports the governments of a number of U.S. allies and partners, a variety of foundations, and several non-DoD entities, including the U.S. intelligence community and the U.S. Department of State.


To cover the range of national security and defense issues faced by leaders around the globe, our research is divided into four topic-driven portfolios:


The Director and Vice President of RAND NSRD reports to the Senior Vice President, Research and Analysis. The NSRD Director oversees more than 400 active analytical projects at any given time, which generate annual revenue of approximately $70-75 million and involves approximately 500 full- and part-time researchers, and another 40- adjunct staff. As a member of the senior management team at RAND, the NSRD Director participates in corporate decisionmaking and collaborates across research divisions at RAND. Approximately eighty percent (80%) of this position will involve duties related to the management and oversight of the NSRD research division. The remaining twenty percent (20%) of the Director's time will involve corporate responsibilities and individual research pursuits, which may be in one or more areas of the NSRD portfolio or on other related RAND projects.


Specific management responsibilities include:

  • Developing close, day-to-day working relationships with the senior officials at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the defense agencies, and the Department of the Navy leading the development of strategic priorities

  • Developing, managing, and executing three-year RAND business plans

  • Ensuring timely, high-quality products are delivered on time and within budget and disseminated to federal national security leaders or other sponsors as appropriate

  • Working with NSRD program directors and the research quality assurance manager to oversee and evaluate research and its documentation to ensure that it meets RAND standards and client needs

  • Collaborating with senior management across RAND's divisions to create and advance opportunities for synergy through joint research

  • Providing intellectual and managerial leadership in selected research projects

  • Collaborating with RAND’s International organization to leverage non-U.S. business development opportunities, increase international impact, elevate the profile of RAND’s work, and ensure a coordinated approach to non-U.S. engagement and development efforts

  • Representing RAND to senior officials and dignitaries around the world, as a shared responsibility with other senior leaders, to enhance RAND’s reputation and impact

  • Supporting RAND’s Tomorrow Demand’s Today development campaign by holding events and engaging directly with prospective donors.



  • Substantial track record of leadership experience in academic, government, or policy research settings related to national security decisionmaking and including revenue and client management responsibilities

  • Demonstrated knowledge of current and developing national and international security issues

  • Demonstrated working knowledge of the entirety of the national security organizations and decisionmaking entities, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the defense agencies, the Department of the Navy, and several non-DOD entities including the US intelligence community, and the Department of State.

  • Experience overseeing contract research with US allies and partners, and philanthropic foundations.

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

  • Demonstrated business planning and execution skills

  • Proven research and analysis capabilities

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills


Education Requirements

Advanced degree in a National Security-related discipline, Policy Analysis, Engineering, Economics, Operations Research, Information Science, or related field. Master’s Degree required; PhD is a plus.



  • Ten plus (10+) years in a senior leadership position in a government, corporate or research environment.

  • Federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) experience is a plus.



Washington, DC; Santa Monica, CA; or Pittsburgh, PA; must be able to travel at least thirty percent (30%) of the time to visit clients and other RAND offices


Security Clearance:

Active Top-Secret Security Clearance is required; must be eligible for SCI

Application instructions

RAND is partnering with Heidrick & Struggles on the search. Please submit your resume and cover letter or refer a qualified candidate to [email protected].  Please do not apply to RAND directly.


Applicant Review

Application review will begin on January 21, 2022.

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