The Pardee RAND Graduate School Alumni Newsletter — Spring-Summer 2020 | Web version

Spring-Summer 2020


Message from the Dean

Susan Marquis

As is the case for so many across the U.S. and globally, Pardee RAND students, faculty, and staff are saddened, horrified, and angered by the killing of Black men and women — George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and too many more — by individuals who are sworn to protect their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has further laid bare the disparities that are woven throughout the fabric of our society, and the unrelenting drumbeat of the killing of innocents brings a violent reality to this truth.

We have all been learning to live with the fear and uncertainty of a pandemic. At Pardee RAND, we have also recognized that, even if we are all “in this together,” the pandemic has hit hardest the poor and communities of color. Although we have discovered our resilience and learned together to rediscover our ability to move forward in this “new normal,” we also recognize that we must look out for each other as we find our way and rebuild.

We know that we are not alone in these feelings, but as a public policy school it is in our very nature to see not only the frustration and anger, but also signs of hope and opportunities for systemic change in these extraordinary times. Our hope begins with the massive calls for social justice in the streets of more than 650 cities and towns across America, reaching past our shores to the rest of the world. We need to listen to these calls for justice, we need to act to bring the change our history demands, and we need to persist in the pursuit of change. It is my fervent hope that our community will rise to the occasion and live up to our motto, Be the Answer.


Susan Marquis
Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean
Pardee RAND Graduate School

Read the Dean's statement on racial injustice »

School Pivots to Confront COVID-19 Pandemic

Diana Gehlhaus Carew prepares to defend her dissertation via videoconference

Diana Gehlhaus Carew prepares to defend her dissertation via videoconference

With stay-at-home orders in place starting in mid-March, virtually every aspect of our Ph.D. program has been affected. Through online courses, research, dissertation defenses, school-wide town halls, and even parties and trivia nights, Pardee RANDites have remained socially close if physically distant. Students, faculty, and staff have met the challenge with characteristic spirit. More »

Dean Susan Marquis and Morehouse President David Thomas

Morehouse College President Discusses Social Justice

To help the Pardee RAND community better examine and respond to racial injustice and inequity, Morehouse College president David Thomas engaged in a dialogue with Dean Susan Marquis on the topic “From Outrage to Action: Where do we go from here?” Open to all at RAND, more than 250 people participated. More »

LAUSD resources map

TNL Project Shares Resources for LAUSD Families

The Los Angeles Unified School District faces numerous challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pardee RAND Tech + Narrative Lab (TNL) has partnered with the district and Pepperdine University to share information about community resources available to parents and students. More »

Screenshot of interactive tool

Tool Lets States Explore Costs of COVID-19 Responses

Students Pedro Lima Cohort '19, Lawrence Baker '19, Keren Zhu '17, Michelle Priest '19, and Lynn Hu '19 helped Prof. Jeanne Ringel and others to develop an interactive, web-based tool to help leaders weigh both the public health and economic consequences of lifting different pandemic-response measures. More »

Summer reading recommendations

Policy Reading Circle Expands Summer Reading Discussion

Each year, the dean sends incoming students a summer reading list to set the stage for their academic experience. This year, we are opening the discussion through a virtual book club. Topics include inequality in America, racism and antiracism, and issues of pandemic response. More »

School Launches Scholarship Initiative

2019 Pardee RAND Scholarship Recognition Lunch

The response to Pardee RAND's new model for public policy education has been extraordinary, and our 2020 entering cohort is ready to get started. We've reimagined the field of policy analysis, and our students will drive solutions forward. But they need your support. More »

Student Research & Commentary


Critical care capacity tool

The pandemic is placing extraordinary strains on the U.S. medical system, especially hospitals. Karishma Patel Cohort '17 and Hamad Al Ibrahim Cohort '18 worked with Prof. Chris Nelson and RAND colleagues to develop an interactive tool that hospitals can use to estimate their current critical care capacity and rapidly explore strategies for increasing it.

Sangita Baxi Cohort '17 with Professors Krishna Kumar and Todd Richmond: "The Unintended Consequences of a Proposed Cure for COVID-19," a commentary in The Hill

Diana Gehlhaus Carew Cohort '15: Preserving Small Businesses: Small-Business Owners Speak About Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic, a RAND perspective

Melissa Diliberti Cohort '19: COVID-19 and the State of K–12 Schools: Results and Technical Documentation from the Spring 2020 American Educator Panels COVID-19 Surveys, a RAND research report

Tim McDonald Cohort '16 with Professor Chris Nelson: "Don't Waste This Crisis: How America Can Begin Building a System of Health," a commentary in the RAND Blog

Diana Myers Cohort '19 and alum Bruce Bennett '75: "North Korea: Denying COVID-19," a commentary in The National Interest

Other Topics

Emily Haskel Cohort '16 and alum Shira Efron '11: Chinese Investment in Israeli Technology and Infrastructure: Security Implications for Israel and the United States, a RAND research report

Moon Kim Cohort '18 with alum Bonnie Triezenberg Cohort '14: Assessing the Impact of U.S. Air Force National Security Space Launch Acquisition Decisions, a RAND research report

Bilyana Lilly Cohort '16: Tracking and Disrupting the Illicit Antiquities Trade with Open Source Data , a RAND research report

Rachel Perera Cohort '16: Time for Change? Educators' Perceptions of Discipline Reform in Their Schools, a RAND research report

Stephanie Tanverakul Cohort '18: Modeling the Impact of Border-Enforcement Measures, a RAND research report

Ashley Woo Cohort '18: Digital Instructional Materials: What Are Teachers Using and What Barriers Exist? a RAND data note

Explore all student publications and blog posts.

Alumni News

Richard Bowman

Bowman Honored as NM 40 Under Forty

As chief information and strategy officer for Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico's largest school district, alum Richard Bowman Cohort '06 is quite busy these days. But the recipient of a 2020 "New Mexico 40 Under Forty" award was happy to make some time for an interview. More »

Yuna Wong

The Serious Side of Gaming: Q&A

Yuna Wong Cohort '00, codirector of RAND's Center for Gaming, didn't expect to make gaming a focus of her career. In a RAND Review interview, she discusses what drew her to the field, what makes a good wargame, and her latest research on the dangers of putting too much trust in artificial intelligence. More »

Peter deLeon

Peter deLeon at his 1978 graduation from the RAND Graduate Institute

In Remembrance: Peter deLeon

Peter deLeon Cohort '71, author of Advice and Consent and The Foundations of Policy Analysis, passed away May 20, 2020. He was a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor and an emeritus professor in their School of Public Affairs. More »

on your new job or career milestone

Gursel Aliyev

Gursel Aliyev
Cohort '13

Gursel is now an adjunct professor of business administration at Pepperdine University.

Tatiana Andreyeva

Tania Andreyeva
Cohort '01

Tania is now a tenured professor at the University of Connecticut.

Janice Blanchard

Janice Blanchard
Cohort '98

Janice is now a full professor at George Washington University as well as a practicing emergency medicine physician at GWU Hospital.

Maya Buenaventura

Maya Buenaventura
Cohort '14

Maya is now a research manager at the California Policy Lab at UCLA.

Lopamudra Das

Lopamudra Das
Cohort '08

Lopa is now a senior staff scientist for global market access, health economics and policy, with DH Diagnostics LLC.

John Fei

John Fei
Cohort '04

John is now a research officer with the Center for International Private Enterprise.

Chaoling Feng

Chaoling Feng
Cohort '09

Chaoling is now an associate director for health effectiveness and outcomes research (HEOR) at Kite Pharma.

Sarah Gaillot

Sarah Gaillot
Cohort '05

Sarah is now acting deputy director of the Division of Consumer Assessment and Plan Performance at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Eric Gons

Eric Gons
Cohort '05

Eric is now vice president of Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

Qian Gu

Qian Gu
Cohort '04

Qian is now a senior manager/director at KPMG.

Share your news!

Email or send us your updates using our online form.

Alumni Research & Commentary


Ruopeng An Cohort '08 authored "Projecting the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on childhood obesity in the U.S.: A microsimulation model" in the Journal of Sport and Health Science. An is an assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Geoffrey Anderson Cohort '83 was the lead author of "Using socioeconomics to counter health disparities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic" in the BMJ. Anderson is a professor at the University of Toronto's Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation.

Janice Blanchard Cohort '98 also wrote "Coronavirus is like a war — but not in the way Trump thinks," an commentary on Blanchard is a professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University Hospital and studies racial disparities in U.S. healthcare.

Ted Harshberger Cohort '86 coauthored "Defense Budget Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic," a commentary in RealClearDefense. Harshberger is a RAND Vice President and head of Project AIR FORCE.

Angela Hawken Cohort '98 was interviewed about her report, "Recommendations for Rapid Release and Reentry During the COVID-19 Pandemic," by Washington Square News. Hawken is director of NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Management.

Jakub Hlavka Cohort '14 examined "International Travel Restrictions During a COVID-19 Pandemic," an essay in USC's The Evidence Base blog. Hlavka is a research professor in health policy and management at USC.

David Manheim Cohort '12 was the lead author of "Review of potential high-leverage and inexpensive mitigations for reducing risk in epidemics and pandemics," in the Journal of Global Health Reports.

Leo Morales Cohort '95 was interviewed for "The curious case of Latinos and Covid-19" by NPR station KUOW. Morales is co-director of the Latino Center for Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Matt Solomon Cohort '98 was the lead author of "The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Incidence of Acute Myocardial Infarction," in the New England Journal of Medicine. Solomon is a cardiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.

Mike Thirtle Cohort '95 was featured in "The rewards, challenges of taking firm stance on COVID-19," in the Milwaukee Business Times. Thirtle is CEO of Bethesda Lutheran Communities.

Michele Zanini Cohort '96 shared "Lessons from Italy’s Response to Coronavirus," in Harvard Business Review. Zanini is managing director of the Management Lab.

Other Topics

Stephanie Chan Cohort '07 was the lead author of "Pre-exposure prophylaxis for preventing acquisition of HIV," published in PLOS Medicine.

Shira Efron Cohort '11 presented "Seven Outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," a summary of her report In Search of a Viable Option, in an Israel Policy Forum Briefing.

Jack Riley Cohort '88 coauthored "How to Address Concerns About ‘Militarization of Police’," a commentary in the Wall Street Journal based on the findings of his 2018 report, An Evaluation of the Department of Defense's Excess Property Program.

Lu Shi Cohort '03 coauthored "Longitudinal Evidence on Grandparenting and Cognitive Function in Older Adults in China" in the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships.

Bonnie Triezenberg Cohort '14 authored "Protecting the U.S. Supply on Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles," published in The RAND Blog.

Read more Alumni news, research, and commentary online!

Newest Alumni

Ellie Bartels

Elizabeth Bartels
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Building Better Games for National Security Policy Analysis: Towards a Social Scientific Approach. Ellie is now an associate policy researcher at RAND.

Diana Gehlhaus Carew

Diana Gehlhaus Carew
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Youth Information Networks and Propensity to Serve in the Military.

Steven Davenport

Steven Davenport
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Public Health and Safety Consequences of Liberalizing Drug Laws: Insights from Cannabis Legalization. Steven is the founder of Aperture Research, which examines cannabis markets, regulations, and health effects. He is also a researcher and product manager with the COVID Alliance, and he remains an advisor to BOTEC Analysis LLC.

Melissa Felician

Melissa Felician
Cohort '13

Dissertation: Not All Housing Is Created Equal: A Mixed Methods Analysis of the Well-being of Adults in Permanent Supportive Housing in Los Angeles County. Melissa is a Monitoring and Results Specialist with the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados.

Carlos Ignacio Gutierrez

Carlos Ignacio Gutierrez
Cohort '13

Dissertation: The Unforeseen Consequences of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Society: A Systematic Review of Regulatory Gaps Generated by AI in the U.S. Carlos is now a Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fellow at the Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Jesse Lastunen

Jesse Lastunen
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Technological Change and the Skill Premium: 21st Century Evidence. Jesse is a research associate with the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research in Finland, simulating tax and benefit policies for development.

Etienne Rosas

Etienne Rosas
Cohort '14

Dissertation: Fulfilling Clandestiny: Reframing the 'Crime-Terror Nexus' by Exploring Conditions of Insurgent and Criminal Organizations' Origins, Incentives, and Strategic Pivots.

Show Your Pardee RAND Spirit

Teespring store

To commemorate Pardee RAND's 50th anniversary, David Catt '16, and Tim McDonald '16 developed an online swag store. Whether you prefer the palm tree logo or want to celebrate a half-century of public policy graduate education, you can choose from shirts, tanks, hoodies, mugs, totes, and even car window stickers. Shop now »

Recent Events

Michael Mata

Community-Partnered Residency... Online

The community-partnered stream's inaugural practitioner-in-residence, the Rev. Michael Mata arrived on campus on March 11. His four-week "residency" soon flipped, with many successful online events. More »

Alexandra Mendoza leads a seminar on Dedoose for fellow students

Activities Go Virtual

Proving the resilience and creativity of Pardee RAND students and staff, activities this quarter included a lecture on leveraging optimism, chair yoga, several Career Services talks, a Dedoose tutorial, and virtual happy hours and trivia nights.

Pardee RAND Events

Commencement and Alumni Weekend have been moved to June 11-12, 2021 and will include a special "50th + 1" Anniversary Dinner.

View all Pardee RAND events »

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