Pardee RAND Graduate School Findings Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2014

Findings Newsletter

Fall 2014

Message from the Dean

Susan L. Marquis

In This Issue

The end of a year is a time of reflection as well as a chance to start anew. December is a perfect time to step back and re-imagine the future of the Pardee RAND Graduate School - not only for 2015, but also for the next decade and beyond.

The RAND Graduate Institute – as our school was previously known – was established in 1970 to produce graduates ready to respond to the immense changes and challenges of the Cold War era.

Today’s Pardee RAND graduates are also entering into a rapidly changing and challenging world. Massive computing and communication capabilities, globalization, and new kinds of security instability prompt us to ask the following:

  • How should Pardee RAND best prepare our students for the changed, and changing, world? Graduates now enter the workforce with an interdisciplinary core curriculum, policy specialization, and on-the-job training; we need to make sure the unique elements of our graduate education continue to best serve our graduates.
  • What could and should the school bring to RAND that ensures RAND’s relevance, influence, and leadership in the future? The RAND and Pardee RAND relationship is synergetic and exciting – but we can do more.
  • How can Pardee RAND lead the needed changes in public policy graduate education in the U.S. and globally? We recognize that it is time to change to rise to new and emerging challenges, and want to invite other public policy graduate schools to do so, too.

In 2015, we will be conducting a series of workshops and discussions across the Pardee RAND and RAND community to address these questions. We’ll be supported in this effort by architect, writer, and educator Ann Pendleton-Jullian and Board of Governors member John Seely Brown. If you would like to participate, please let me know. We look forward to sharing with you what we learn in these discussions.

All the best for the upcoming holiday season,

Susan Marquis

Around Campus

New Pardee RAND Website

Pardee RAND launched its newly redesigned website in October. If you haven't come by in a while, please check out the new look and feel, updated sections on blog posts, career development, multimedia, and more! Find the Alumni section (see top right-hand corner) and stay connected with what your fellow alumni are up to and with ongoing activities at the school.

New Fresh Faces Arrive — Meet Cohort '14

Cohort '14

The 21 new students of the 2014 Cohort arrived earlier this fall. Learn more about them by browsing the Students page of our new website.

$1M Gift Establishes Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Scholarship

Resnick and scholars

A $1 million gift from philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick will help policy leaders of tomorrow receive exceptional training today to embark on careers in public service.

Dean Susan Marquis noted, “The new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Scholarship, representative of their considerable business acumen and commitment to the greater good, will benefit us all by supporting our deeply committed Ph.D. candidates as they master and then apply the rigorous research and analytic skills that are proven to advance public policy and decisionmaking.”

Read moreLearn more

Student Research: Prolific Student Publishing

Pardee RAND students have been busy collaborating on RAND reports and journal articles. Below is a sampling of recent releases; a full list of student-authored research is available online.

book cover
Kakha Bendukidze

Remembering Kakha Bendukidze

Kakha Bendukidze, a businessman, political reformer and statesman in the nation of Georgia, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, passed away on November 13, 2014. He was 58.

"We are deeply saddened and send our condolences to the family of this esteemed member of the Pardee RAND community," said Susan L. Marquis, Dean of the graduate school. "Kakha was a generous, brilliant, forward-thinker whose excellent counsel, good humor, and wide-ranging insights about our world and how it can be made better will be sorely missed."

Read moreLearn more

Read moreRead an appreciation in The New Yorker

Catching Up with Alumni

Hui Wang Joins Board of Governors

Hui Wang

We are delighted to introduce Hui Wang (cohort '88) as the alumni representative to the Pardee RAND Graduate School Board of Governors. Now President and CEO of First China Capital, Hui is a former RAND analyst and also served as Head of Quantitative Studies at the China National Economic Reform Institute in Beijing.

Hui has remained very involved with RAND and the school; he has participated in a number of events and continues to work with Charles Wolf and other RAND colleagues. He has authored several books, including Business Disputes and Economic Transformation and A Civilian Wage Index for Defense Manpower, as well as his Pardee RAND dissertation, The Gradual Revolution: China's Economic Reform Movement. Hui brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Board of Governors and is an exceptional ambassador for the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Inaugural Alumni Association Advisory Committee

Dean Marquis is pleased to announce the creation of the Pardee RAND Alumni Association Advisory Committee (AAAC). This committee comprises nine exceptional alumni who represent a variety of backgrounds and cohorts, and who provide a voice for Pardee RAND alumni on critical issues facing the school.

AAAC members will advise on important school decisions and provide a sounding board to the deans on important matters such as profile-raising, recruitment, career services, student mentorship, and fundraising initiatives.

We hope that this committee will help us to deepen and expand relationships with all alumni, and we look forward to seeing the impact that this initiative will have on Pardee RAND and our extraordinary alumni community. To share your thoughts and concerns with the committee and the deans, please email

Inaugural Alumni Association Advisory Committee Members

Samantha Ravich (cohort ’92), AAAC Chair

Yilmaz Argüden (cohort '80)
Diana Epstein (cohort '06)
Sam Loeb (cohort '01)
Mark Perry (cohort '92)

Larry Picus (cohort '84)
Alex Rohozynsky (cohort '00)
Anna-Marie Vilamovska, (cohort '05)
Joshua Weed (cohort '01)

New Job? Congratulations!

Dardia Munoz Tassot Thirtle





Michael Dardia (cohort '89) is now co-research director at the New York Citizens Budget Commission (CBC).

Jorge Muñoz (cohort '97) is now controller at the Central American Bank for Economic Integration in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Caroline Tassot (cohort '10) is now economist at the OECD’s Development Center in Paris.

Mike Thirtle (cohort '95) is now the president and CEO of Bethesda Lutheran Communities.

Caroline Tassot comments...
“Interestingly, part of the recruitment process was a written test, which in my case consisted of preparing a memo ... within 24 hours. Being able to go back to the Organizational Theory class and looking at the variety of memos was a great help and contributed to making this application successful.”

Alumni Visit Campus, Speak with Students

Joe Nation and students

Joe Nation speaks to students

Robert "Bobby" Dubois (cohort '85), chief science officer at the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) returned on October 15 to discuss with students careers in health care policy research. He also explained what the NPC is and what it does, and met with students who were interested in applying for the NPC-GWU Health Policy Fellowship. Dubois has more than 25 years of experience in health services research.

Joe Nation (cohort '85), returned on November 5 to participate in a Pardee RAND Career Talk entitled, "A Career Spanning the Public, Private and Academic Sectors." Nation shared his thoughts on why he chose Pardee RAND over a more traditional Ph.D. and how his Pardee RAND Ph.D. has influenced his life, career options, and path. Nation is professor at Stanford University in climate change, health care, and California state issues and director of the graduate student practicum in public policy. His current research is focused on public finance and public employee pensions. Along with his long research career, Nation was a former member of the California State Assembly and was named Legislator of the Year by the California County Boards of Education in 2005.

Alumni in the News

Our alumni have been even busier than usual the last few months — way to Be the Answer!

Our Newest Alumni

Abramzon Feng Maloney Midgette Oguz






Pierson Srinivasan Walters Warner Zhao






  • Shmuel Abramzon (cohort '10); dissertation: Strategies for Managing Sovereign Debt — A Robust Decision Making Approach. He is now senior researcher at Kohelet Policy Reform in Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Chaoling Feng (cohort '09); dissertation: Competition and Collaboration: A Comparison of U.S. and Chinese Energy Outward Direct Investment. She is now a visiting research fellow at Cornell University.
  • Shannon Maloney (cohort ’08); dissertation: Positive Youth Development in a School Based Setting: A Study of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet Program. She is now research manager and evaluation specialist at IMFR Lead in India.
  • Greg Midgette (cohort '09); dissertation: Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Moderate Sanctions to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crime: The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program. He is now an associate policy researcher at RAND.
  • Mustafa Oguz (cohort '09); dissertation: Improving Turkish-Iraqi Border Security — An Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation Approach. He is now a research associate, modeling and simulation, at Evidera, Ltd.
  • Ashley Pierson (cohort '09); dissertation: What Makes a Successful School Principal? Incorporating School Principal Background in State and District Policy. She is now a Harvard Strategic Data Fellow as a researcher and data strategist at Education Northwest in Portland, Oregon.
  • Sinduja Srinivasan (cohort ’09); dissertation: Essays on Family Welfare and Indian Development Policy. She is now an economics affairs officer at Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Jennifer Walters (cohort '11); dissertation: The Relationship Between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Enlisted Servicemember Career Outcomes in the U.S. Army. She is now a pilot trainee at the United States Air Force.
  • Eric Warner (cohort '10); dissertation: Patenting and Innovation in China: Incentives, Policy, and Outcomes.
  • Henu Zhao (cohort '07); dissertation: China's Health Insurance Reform and Disparities in Health Care Utitlization and Costs: A Longitudinal Analysis.

Congratulations and welcome to the Pardee RAND Alumni Association!

Share Your News!

For more Alumni news, visit the Pardee RAND Alumni News page.

You can also use the online form to submit your updates!

Recent Events

Alumni, Faculty, and Students Mingle at Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.


Claudia Diaz, Yasho Rana, Meg Blume-Kohout, Richard Bowman, and Gery Ryan at the Pardee RAND APPAM reception.

Aside from attending — and giving — many presentations, Pardee RAND students, alumni, and faculty also had the chance to mingle at a reception we hosted at this year's APPAM Fall Research Conference. It was wonderful to see so many people at our reception! Attendees included students Susan Burkhauser (cohort '09), Annie Boustead (cohort '11), Sung Bou Kim (cohort '09), Ervant Maksabedian (cohort '12), and Yasho Rana (cohort '09); alumni Meg Blume-Kohout (cohort '04), Richard Bowman (cohort '06), Claudia Diaz (cohort '06), Alison Jacknowitz (cohort '99), Bogdan Savych (cohort '02), Sinduja Srinivasan (cohort '09), and Robert Valdez (cohort '80); professors Jill Cannon, Rebecca Kilburn, and Beau Kilmer; and Associate Dean Rachel Swanger, Assistant Dean Gery Ryan, and Program Coordinator Kristina Wallace. Michael Shires (cohort '90) was also at the conference, but due to his roles as APPAM Chair of Institutional Representatives, member of the Policy Council, and participant in numerous panels, he was unable to attend the reception.

Lunches with the Dean

Dean Susan Marquis enjoyed meeting up with Ryan Keefe (cohort '04) and Bogdan Savych (cohort '02) in Boston on October 15. She also dined with David Apgar (cohort '80), Liz Brown (cohort '05), Diana Epstein (cohort '05), Brian Maue (cohort '03), Josh Weed (cohort '01), and Loren Yager (cohort '87) in Washington, D.C., on September 18.

Upcoming Events: Pardee RAND Holiday Gatherings!

December 12: Santa Monica

Please join us for a holiday reception with students, faculty, staff and alumni at Pardee RAND in Santa Monica from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!

December 18: Washington, D.C.

Dean Marquis will be hosting a holiday gathering for Pardee RAND Alumni in December. Keep your eyes out for more details, which will be in a forthcoming email.

For more information about either of these, please contact Evelyn Fees.

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