RAND Corporation ("research and development") is an American  nonprofit global policy think tank created in 1948 by  Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations,   universities and private individuals.  The company has grown to assist other governments, international organizations, private companies and foundations with a host of defense and non-defense issues, including healthcare. RAND aims for interdisciplinary and quantitative problem solving by translating  theoretical concepts from formal economics and the physical sciences into novel applications in other areas, using applied science and operations research.
RAND has approximately 1,850 employees. Its American locations include:
Santa Monica, California (headquarters); Arlington, Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the San Francisco Bay Area; and Boston, Massachusetts. The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute has an office in  New Orleans, Louisiana. RAND Europe is located in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Brussels, Belgium. RAND Australia is located in  Canberra, Australia.
RAND is home to the
Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, one of eight original graduate programs in public policy and the first to offer a PhD. The program aims to provide practical experience for its students, who work with RAND analysts on real-world problems. The campus is at RAND's Santa Monica research facility. The Pardee RAND School is the world's largest PhD-granting program in policy analysis. Unlike many other universities, all Pardee RAND Graduate School students receive fellowships to cover their education costs. This allows them to dedicate their time to engage in research projects and provides them on-the-job training.  RAND also offers a number of internship and fellowship programs allowing students and outsiders to assist in conducting research for RAND projects. Most of these projects are short-term and are worked on independently with the mentoring of a RAND staff member. 
RAND publishes the
, a RAND Journal of Economics peer-reviewed journal of economics.
Thirty-two recipients of the
Nobel Prize, primarily in the fields of economics and physics, have been associated with RAND at some point in their career. 
RAND was created after individuals in the
War Department, the Office of Scientific Research and Development, and industry began to discuss the need for a private organization to connect operational research with research and development decisions. On 1 October 1945, Project RAND was set up under special contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company and began operations in December 1945.   In May 1946, the  was released.
Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship
By late 1947, Douglas had expressed their concerns that their close relationship with RAND might create
conflict of interest problems on future hardware contracts. In February 1948, the chief of staff of the newly created United States Air Force approved the evolution of Project RAND into a nonprofit corporation, independent of Douglas.
On 14 May 1948, RAND was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the State of California and on 1 November 1948, the Project RAND contract was formally transferred from the Douglas to the RAND Corporation.
Initial capital for the spin-off was provided by the  Ford Foundation.
Since the 1950s, RAND research has helped inform United States policy decisions on a wide variety of issues, including the space race, the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms confrontation, the creation of the
Great Society social welfare programs, the digital revolution, and national health care. Its most visible contribution may be the doctrine of  nuclear deterrence by mutually assured destruction (MAD), developed under the guidance of then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and based upon their work with game theory. Chief strategist  Herman Kahn also posited the idea of a "winnable" nuclear exchange in his 1960 book . This led to Kahn being one of the models for the titular character of the film On Thermonuclear War , in which RAND is spoofed as the "BLAND Corporation". Dr. Strangelove 
Even in the late 1940s and early 1950s, long before Sputnik, the RAND project was secretly recommending to the US government a major effort to design a man-made satellite that would take photographs from space--and the rockets to put such a satellite in orbit.
RAND was incorporated as a non-profit organization to "further promote scientific, educational, and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare and security of the United States of America". Its self-declared mission is "to help improve policy and decision making through research and analysis", using its "core values of quality and objectivity".
The achievements of RAND stem from its development of
systems analysis. Important contributions are claimed in space systems and the United States' space program, in computing and in  artificial intelligence. RAND researchers developed many of the principles that were used to build the Internet. RAND also contributed to the development and use of  wargaming. 
Current areas of expertise include: child policy,
civil and criminal justice, education, health, international policy, labor markets, national security, infrastructure, energy, environment, corporate governance, economic development, intelligence policy, long-range planning, crisis management and disaster preparation, population and regional studies, science and technology, social welfare, terrorism, arts policy, and transportation.
RAND designed and conducted one of the largest and most important studies of health insurance between 1974 and 1982. The
RAND Health Insurance Experiment, funded by the then-U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, established an insurance corporation to compare demand for health services with their cost to the patient. 
According to the 2005 annual report, "about one-half of RAND's research involves national security issues". Many of the events in which RAND plays a part are based on assumptions which are hard to verify because of the lack of detail on RAND's highly classified work for defense and intelligence agencies. The RAND Corporation posts all of its unclassified reports in full on its website.
Henry H. "Hap" Arnold: General of the Air Force, United States Air Force
Kenneth Arrow: economist, won the Nobel Prize in Economics, developed the impossibility theorem in social choice theory
Bruno Augenstein: V.P., physicist, mathematician and space scientist
Robert Aumann: mathematician, game theorist, won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
J. Paul Austin: Chairman of the Board, 1972-1981
Paul Baran: one of the developers of packet switching which was used in Arpanet and later networks like the Internet
Richard Bellman: Mathematician known for his work on dynamic programming
Yoram Ben-Porat: economist and President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Barry Boehm: worked in interactive computer graphics with the RAND Corporation in the 1960s and had helped define the Arpanet in the early phases of that program 
Harold L. Brode: physicist, leading nuclear weapons effects expert
Bernard Brodie: Military strategist and nuclear architect
Samuel Cohen: inventor of the neutron bomb in 1958 
Franklin R. Collbohm: Aviation engineer, Douglas Aircraft Company, RAND founder and former director and trustee. 
Walter Cunningham: astronaut
George Dantzig: mathematician, creator of the simplex algorithm for linear programming
Linda Darling-Hammond: co-director, School Redesign Network Stephen H. Dole: Author of the book
Habitable Planets for Man  and head of Rand's Human Engineering Group  
Donald Wills Douglas, Sr.: President, Douglas Aircraft Company, RAND founder
Hubert Dreyfus: philosopher and critic of artificial intelligence
Karen Elliott House: Chairman of the Board, 2009-present, former publisher, The ; Former Senior Vice President, Wall Street Journal Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Daniel Ellsberg: economist and leaker of the Pentagon Papers
Alain Enthoven: economist, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1965, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis from 1965-1969
Stephen J. Flanagan, political scientist, National Security Council senior director
Francis Fukuyama: academic and author of The End of History and the Last Man
Horace Rowan Gaither: Chairman of the Board, 1949-1959, 1960-1961; known for the Gaither Report.
David Galula, French officer and scholar
James J. Gillogly: cryptographer and computer scientist
Paul Y. Hammond: political scientist and national security scholar, affiliated 1964-79, program director 1973-76 
Anthony C. Hearn: developed the REDUCE computer algebra system, the oldest such system still in active use; co-founded the  CSNET computer network
Fred Iklé: US nuclear policy researcher
Brian Michael Jenkins: terrorism expert, Senior Advisor to the President of the RAND Corporation, and author of Unconquerable Nation
Herman Kahn: theorist on nuclear war and one of the founders of scenario planning
Amrom Harry Katz
Konrad Kellen: research analyst and author, co-wrote open letter to U.S. government in 1969 recommending withdrawal from Vietnam war 
Zalmay Khalilzad: U.S. ambassador to United Nations
Henry Kissinger: United States Secretary of State (1973-1977); National Security Advisor (1969-1975); Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1973)
Ann McLaughlin Korologos: Chairman of the Board, April 2004 - 2009; Chairman Emeritus, The Aspen Institute
Lewis "Scooter" Libby: United States Vice-President Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff
Ray Mabus: Former ambassador, governor
Harry Markowitz: economist, greatly advanced financial portfolio theory by devising mean variance analysis, Nobel Prize in Economics
Andrew W. Marshall: military strategist, director of the U.S. DoD Office of Net Assessment
Margaret Mead: U.S. anthropologist
Douglas Merrill: former Google CIO & President of EMI's digital music division
Newton N. Minow: Chairman of the board, 1970-1972
Chuck Missler: Bible Teacher, Engineer, Chairman and CEO Western Digital
Lloyd N. Morrisett: Chairman of the board, 1986-1995
John Forbes Nash, Jr.: mathematician, won the Nobel Prize in Economics
John von Neumann: mathematician, pioneer of the modern digital computer
Allen Newell: artificial intelligence
Paul O'Neill: Chairman of the board, 1997-2000
Edmund Phelps: winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics
Arthur E. Raymond: Chief engineer, Douglas Aircraft Company, RAND founder
Condoleezza Rice: former intern, former trustee (1991-1997), and former Secretary of State for the United States
Michael D. Rich: RAND President and Chief Executive Officer, 1 November 2011-present
Leo Rosten: academic and humorist, helped set up the social sciences division of RAND 
Donald Rumsfeld: Chairman of board from 1981 to 1986; 1995-1996 and secretary of defense for the United States from 1975 to 1977 and 2001 to 2006.
Robert M. Salter: advocate of the vactrain maglev train concept
Paul Samuelson: economist, Nobel Prize in Economics
Thomas C. Schelling: economist, won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics
James Schlesinger: former secretary of defense and former secretary of energy
Dov Seidman: lawyer, businessman and CEO of LRN
Norman Shapiro: mathematician, co-author of the Rice-Shapiro theorem, MH Email and RAND-Abel co-designer
Lloyd Shapley: mathematician and game theorist, won the Nobel Prize in Economics
Cliff Shaw: inventor of the linked list and co-author of the first artificial intelligence program
Abram Shulsky: former Director of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans 
Herbert Simon: Political scientist, psychologist, won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics
James Steinberg: Deputy National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton
Ratan Tata: Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons
James Thomson: RAND president and CEO, 1989 - 31 October 2011
Willis Ware: JOHNNIAC co-designer, and early computer privacy pioneer
William H. Webster: Chairman of the Board, 1959-1960
Oliver Williamson: economist, won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics
Albert Wohlstetter: mathematician and Cold War strategist Roberta Wohlstetter: policy analyst and military historian
Over the last 60 years, more than 30
Nobel Prize winners have been involved or associated with the RAND Corporation at some point in their careers.
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