Remembering Greg Carter (Cohort '70)

August 28, 2018

Gregory Alan Carter, a member of the RAND Graduate Institute's original cohort of 1970 and the first to receive a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the School, passed away on July 28, 2018.

Carter first worked at RAND as a summer associate in 1962 while pursuing his M.S. in aeronautical engineering at Princeton University. After graduating, he joined RAND's Engineering Sciences Group in 1964, later transferring to the Aero-Astronautics Department.

Prior to RAND, Carter worked in the Space and Information Systems Division of North American Aviation and was a senior engineer in the Project Apollo Reentry Trajectories Group, where he led the team that designed an instrument to guide the capsule's reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.

seventies, grace carter

RAND Graduate Institute commencement in 1974, with (L-R) RAND president Don Rice; economist Charles Hitch; the school's first three graduates, Grace Carter, Greg Carter, and Morton Berman; and the school's founding dean, Charles Wolf

RAND archives

Carter's research at RAND included studies of non-nuclear warheads for surface-to-surface tactical missiles, the flight paths for satellite interception, air interdiction methods, air combat operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War (in addition to analyses and reports related to RAND's work in the region, including a user's guide to combat data), reconnaissance strike systems that were accurate against moving targets, early studies of the effectiveness of modern precision-guided munitions, and NATO's procurement of the Airborne Early Warning and Control System.

The final report from a study he led served as Carter's dissertation, Directed Licensing: An Evaluation of a Proposed Technique for Reducing the Cost of Aircraft​. The study found that the Air Force could see substantial savings in procuring aircraft with no loss in quality if it opened aircraft production contracts to competitive bidding instead of automatically contracting with the firm that designed the aircraft. Under this system, designing organization would receive royalties and other payments in exchange for transferring the intellectual property to the winning bidder.

After leaving RAND, Carter went on to work for Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. He also spent time in public service as an official in the Office of Management and Budget.

Throughout his career, Carter was a member of several professional associations and committees, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Defense Preparedness Association, and the National Academy of Sciences Ad Hoc Committee on Technology Transfer via the Technical Data Package.

Carter was a licensed pilot, and aviation remained one of his lifelong interests, along with football, golf, and travel. A memorial service was held on August 18 at the First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, Texas. ​