Pardee RAND Admissions Webinar: OJT and Working at RAND

Pardee RAND students meet during 2022 Bootcamp, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND

Diane Baldwin/RAND

Event Details


Thursday, November 30, 2023


12–12:45 p.m. PT
3–3:45 p.m. ET



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On-the-Job Training is a unique component of the Pardee RAND education for both M.Phil. and Ph.D. students, enabling them to develop expertise and a résumé conducting research, exploring technology, and working with communities—all while completing their degrees.

In this Admissions Webinar, Professor Kerry Reynolds, Pardee RAND's interim director for OJT, will be joined by Mo Ahmadi, Samer Atshan, Melissa Diliberti, Priya Gandhi, and Jim Mignano—students who serve as OJT "brokers," liaising with RAND research divisions to help their classmates find research opportunities. This interactive webinar will also be recorded and available to watch online.


Kerry Reynolds

Kerry Reynolds (she/her) is a senior behavioral/social scientist at RAND with mixed methods expertise in healthcare research; she is also a professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School and interim director of the school's On-the-Job Training program. Reynolds is an experienced leader of large implementation projects and is an experienced mentor and advisor. She holds a Ph.D. in health/social psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Mo Ahmadi

Mohammad Ahmadi (cohort '21) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Technology Applications and Implications Stream. He has an M.P.S.A. in policy analysis from Texas A&M University and a B.Eng. in civil engineering from the University of Herat. His research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Islamic terrorism and homeland security.

Samer Atshan

Samer Atshan (cohort '19) is a Ph.D. candidate whose research focuses on understanding social and psychiatric epidemiological outcomes relating to mental health, behavioral health, well-being, loneliness, and social isolation. His most recent work uses survey panels to understand changes in perceptions, behaviors, and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has an M.P.A. from the University of Texas, Austin, and a B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from the American University of Beirut.

Melissa Diliberti

Melissa Diliberti (cohort '19) is a Ph.D. candidate whose research interests include domestic and international education policy. Much of her RAND research analyzes data from RAND's American Educator Panels to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the U.S. education system. Diliberti has an M.P.P. from the George Washington University and a B.A. in political science and international studies from the University of Michigan.

Priya Gandhi

Priya Gandhi (cohort '20) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Community-Partnered Policy and Action Stream whose research interests include health and racial equity, the social determinants of health, health care access and quality, public health preparedness, and community resilience. She has an M.S. in health care policy and management and a B.S. in policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University, where she served as a Charpie Scholar, as well as a training certificate in public health from Johns Hopkins University.

Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano (cohort '20) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Technology Applications and Implications Stream whose research sits is at the intersection of cyber, finance, and international relations. His dissertation examines how financial innovation can improve the effectiveness of financial sanctions. He also conducts research on foreign investment review regimes, export controls, and the international arms trade. He specializes in social network analysis. He has an M.S. and B.S. in political science from Portland State University.

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