The Pardee RAND Graduate School Alumni Newsletter — Commencement 2022 | Web version

Commencement 2022

Findings

Message from the Dean

Nancy Staudt

It's hard to believe Commencement was one month ago today. I'm still basking in the memories of this amazing event, which you can read all about in this special Commencement issue of Findings.

Of course, we can’t celebrate Commencement without acknowledging our gratitude to Fred Pardee, our foundational supporter. Fred passed away in late June, but his incredible life leaves an indelible mark on our students, our alumni, and our school.

As we remember Fred, we are also thrilled to welcome our new president and CEO, Jason Matheny. Jason is an economist, technologist, national security expert, and longtime civil servant, and I’m so excited to see what incredible things we will accomplish together as a unified RAND community.

Wishing everyone a fantastic summer!

Nancy Staudt

Nancy Staudt
Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Vice President, Innovation, RAND Corporation

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Welcoming RAND’s New President and CEO

Jason Matheny

Jason Matheny, an economist, technologist, national security expert, and longtime civil servant, joined RAND as its sixth president and chief executive officer, succeeding Michael Rich, who had led RAND since 2011. We are delighted to welcome Matheny as an ex officio member of Pardee RAND’s Board of Governors. More »

Dr. Wanda Austin speaks at Commencement

Austin: ‘Chart your own journey’

Dr. Wanda Austin remarked in her keynote address, "You are the leaders we need to define the future, to develop solutions for public policy challenges facing our society, and to determine the future of our planet." More »

Claire O'Hanlon and Luke Irwin present the graduate address, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

‘Poet Laureates’ Share Graduate Address

In a poetic tribute to their fellow graduates, Luke Irwin, Cohort '16, and Claire O'Hanlon, '13, confirmed once more, “No matter the question, we can Be the Answer!” More »

Nancy Staudt moderates a discussion featuring Rose Gottemoeller, Michael Rich, and Eric Schlosser

Chat Explores Threat of Disinformation

To kick off Commencement Weekend, Dean Nancy Staudt moderated an in-person “fireside chat” on the threat of disinformation to national security, featuring honorary degree recipients Rose Gottemoeller, Michael Rich, and Eric Schlosser. More »

Michael Leiter presents Michael Rich with an Honorary Degree, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Michael Rich Receives Honorary Degree

"Pardee RAND has truly been a part of my RAND life since my very first days," said Michael Rich upon accepting an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the school. "Some of my longest RAND friendships are with people I first met when they were students at our graduate school." More »

Remembering Fred Pardee

Fred Pardee at a Board of Governors meeting, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Shortly after Commencement, we received the sad news that Frederick S. Pardee — former RAND researcher, longtime RAND supporter, and the graduate school’s namesake — passed away. "He inspired countless researchers and students to help make the world a better place," said Dean Nancy Staudt. More »

Student Research & Commentary

Joan Chang, Cohort '18, Sangita Baxi, '17, Dung Huynh, '16, Hamad Al-Ibrahim, '18, along with alum Christine Chen, '15, and RAND colleagues: Burnout: Definition, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Interventions Literature Reviews, a RAND research report

Nihar Chhatiwala, Cohort '20, coauthored two commentaries for The Hill with RAND colleagues: Investor Incentives to Decarbonize the Economy and Rebuilding Ukraine for a Changing Climate

Swaptik Chowdhury, Cohort '20, and Prof. Tim Marler wrote a commentary, The Metaverse: What It Is and Is Not, for Inside Sources

Lisa Berdie, Cohort '20, Lucas Greer, '20, Rebecca Wolfe, '20, Ashley Woo, '18, and several RAND colleagues: Restoring Teacher and Principal Well-Being Is an Essential Step for Rebuilding Schools, a RAND research report. Greer and Woo also coauthored the report State of the American Teacher and State of the American Principal Surveys.

Eugeniu Han, Cohort '15, and Krystyna Marcinek, '17, alum Bilyana Lilly, '16, and RAND colleagues: Russian Military Forecasting and Analysis: The Military-Political Situation and Military Potential in Strategic Planning, a RAND research report

Christine LaCoste, Cohort '19, and alum Jonathan Wong, '12: Improving Defense Acquisition: Insights from Three Decades of RAND Research, a RAND research report

Nabeel Qureshi, Cohort '18, and alum Jodi Liu, '12: Trends In Hospital Prices Paid by Private Health Plans Varied Substantially Across the US, an article in Health Affairs

Explore all student publications and blog posts.

Alumni News

School Honors Five Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Alumni Award winners

At the Commencement Weekend Celebratory Dinner, Dean Nancy Staudt presented Gordon Bitko, Sai Ma, Jack Riley, and Nick Ramphal with Distinguished Alumni Awards, and Jennifer Walters received the inaugural Rising Star Award. Each alum shared thoughts on the importance of their Pardee RAND education. More »

Congratulations
on your new job or career milestone

Ricardo Basurto Davila

Ricardo Basurto Davila
Cohort '03

Ricardo is now chief evaluation officer and leader of the Office of Evaluation, Performance, and Analytics for the County of San Diego, California.

Jakub Hlavka

Jakub Hlavka
Cohort '14

Jakub was named a 2022 Health Fellow at the Aspen Institute, in addition to being executive director of the Healthcare Markets Initiative at USC's Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Florencia Jaureguiberry

Florencia Jaureguiberry
Cohort '02

Flo is now an assistant professor and dean of the School of Economic and Business Studies at the Universidad Nacional de Rio Negro in Argentina.

Bilyana Lilly

Bilyana Lilly
Cohort '16

Bilyana is now a head of geostrategic risk at Krebs Stamos Group LLC.

Leslie Mullins

Leslie Mullins
Cohort '12

Leslie is now senior manager of housing stability at Enterprise Community Partners.

Claire O'Hanlon

Claire O'Hanlon
Cohort '13

Claire is now a health policy researcher at RAND.

Jim Vernon

Jim Vernon
Cohort '84

Jim is now the academic dean, Business and Technology, for Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado.

Joshua Weed

Joshua Weed
Cohort '01

Josh was appointed by Virginia's governor to be a member of the State Treasury Board.

Alumni Research & Commentary

Sohaela Amiri, Cohort '16, coauthored the RAND report The Foreign Service and American Public Opinion: Dynamics and Prospects.

Ruopeng An, Cohort '08, coauthored Parenting Styles in Relation to Childhood Obesity, Smoking and Drinking: A Gene‐Environment Interaction Study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Charles Bennett, Cohort '87, coauthored Medicare Spending on Drugs With Accelerated Approval in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ashlesha Datar, Cohort '99, coauthored Association of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 With Body Mass Trajectories of Children in Low-Income Families in JAMA Network Open.

Shira Efron, Cohort '11, was a featured panelist in the Israel Policy Forum webinar From Jerusalem to Jeddah: Biden's Middle East Trip.

Jordan Fischbach, Cohort '04, was a featured panelist in the RAND discussion Climate Change and Implications for Disasters in the United States: Examples from the Arctic, Caribbean, Northeast, and Gulf States.

Read more Alumni news, research, and commentary online!

Newest Alumni

Hannah Acheson-Field

Hannah Acheson-Field
Cohort '18

Dissertation: Three Papers to Evaluate the Maine Educational Opportunity Tax Credit. Hannah is a senior policy analyst with Abt Associates.

Gabriela Armenta

Gabriela Armenta
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Essays on the Mental Health of Three Vulnerable Populations in Latin America.

Jarrett Catlin

Jarrett Catlin
Cohort '18

Dissertation: Responding to Urban Innovation: The Case of E-Scooters in Los Angeles County. Jarrett is a vice president at Tusk Strategies in Los Angeles.

David Catt

David Catt
Cohort '16

Dissertation: Assessing the Governance of Water Utility Financial and Infrastructure Management: A Mixed Methods Case Study of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s Economic Regulation of Water Utilities. David is a senior associate at EY Infrastructure Advisors.

Juliana Chen-Peraza

Juliana Chen-Peraza
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Factors that Influence Parental Investments and their Effects on Children: Evidence from Mexico, South Korea, and the United States. Juliana is an economist at the World Bank.

Lauren Davis

Lauren Davis
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Multidimensional Poverty, Intersectional Households, and Differential Access to the Social Safety Net: An Examination of Disparate Impacts of State SNAP Generosity.

Michael Gaines

Michael Gaines
Cohort '17

Dissertation: Wither the Liberal International Order? Does an Attenuated Liberal International Order Affect the Propensity, Incidence, and Intensity of Conflict?

Mahlet Gizaw

Mahlet Gizaw
Cohort '17

Dissertation: Assessing Program Sustainability for Public Health in Low-Resource Settings. Mahlet is a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Kun Gu

Kun Gu
Cohort '11

Dissertation: Demystifying the Effects of Social Networks on Agricultural Technology Adoption: Turning a Black Box into a Policy Tool. Kun is a senior manager in data science and research at Workday.

J. Luke Irwin

J. Luke Irwin
Cohort '16

Dissertation: Leveraging Local Workforce Systems to Better Serve Workers and Improve Job Quality: A Case Study and Complex Systems Analysis. Luke is a senior consultant at Imaginative Futures.

Max Izenberg

Max Izenberg
Cohort '18

Dissertation: Combating Solace in a Stalemate: A Case Study in Landslide Insurance (Un)Availability. Max is trust and safety consumer insights manager at Match Group.

Alexandra Mendoza-Graf

Alexandra Mendoza-Graf
Cohort '16

Dissertation: Health and Educational Outcomes Associated with Gentrification. Alex is an associate policy researcher at RAND in Santa Monica.

Rachel Perera

Rachel Perera
Cohort '16

Dissertation: A Promise Unfulfilled? Three Essays on Racial Equity, School Discipline, and Contemporary Civil Rights Enforcement. Rachel is a Governance Studies fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Nima Shahidinia

Nima Shahidinia
Cohort '16

Dissertation: Gaps Between Medical Cannabis Research and Policy. Nima is a contractor at BOTEC Analysis.

Sara Turner

Sara Turner
Cohort '15

Dissertation: Beliefs, Needs, and Participation: Aligning Risk Governance and Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty Methods. Sara is a contractor at the World Bank.

Congratulations and welcome to the Pardee RAND Alumni Association!

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