Welcome to Findings, the online newsletter for PRGS/RGS/RGI alums. Findings is published quarterly and sent by email to all PRGS alumnae and alumni. If you do not wish to be contacted, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue...
In with the New, Part 1: Graham Deanship Begins March 1, 2006
RAND President James Thomson and Executive Vice President Michael Rich announced that John D. Graham will join RAND on March 1, 2006, as third dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS) and holder of the new Chair in Policy Analysis recently endowed anonymously by a RAND trustee.
Although he does not officialy start as Dean until next spring, Graham is already becoming familiar to the PRGS community. During a recent visit to Santa Monica to attend the joint Board of Governors/RAND Trustees Meeting, he took the opportunity to meet with current PRGS fellows. In early January, he will meet with DC area alumni in an event hosted by Mark Albrecht '78.
The Graham Dossier
Graham comes to RAND with a distinguished track record of achievements in teaching, research, research management, and government service. Since 2001, Graham has been Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President. In this position, he has been responsible for oversight of regulatory, statistical, and information policies for the federal government, directing a staff of 50 career policy analysts with backgrounds in science, engineering, economics, statistics, and law.
Graham's most recent academic appointment was as Professor of Policy and Decision Sciences in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He had been on the faculty at Harvard from 1985 until President Bush nominated him and the U.S. Senate confirmed him for his current position at OMB.
Graham has been the author or coauthor of nearly 200 books, articles, and reports on a broad array of issues related to risk estimation and management in such policy areas as health, safety, environment, and energy. In addition to serving as the deputy chairman of the Department of Health Policy and Management, he was the founding director of the Center for Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1989 to 2001. He created the center with programs in automotive safety, environmental health, and medical technology, raising more than $10 million in governmental and private support for new faculty positions, new course development, and research support for numerous Harvard faculty and doctoral students.
Graham has a B.A. in economics and politics from Wake Forest University, an M.A. in public affairs from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in urban and public affairs from Carnegie Mellon University.
The Search Process
The search process was underaken by an advisory committee co-chaired by RAND Executive Vice President Michael Rich and PRGS Governor Kip Hagopian. Other members included PRGS Governor James Q. Wilson '04 (hon); Bart Bennett and Sandy Berry of the PRGS faculty; RAND Vice President Debra Knopman; alumnus Arthur Brooks '98, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Syracuse University's Maxwell School; and third-year PRGS fellow Amber Moreen.
The RAND Search Advisory Committee was assisted in its efforts by the well-known executive search firm of Korn Ferry International, which has conducted over 100,000 senior-level searches worldwide. In May, the Search Committee and Korn Ferry met with current students, faculty, staff members, and RAND research leaders to gain input into the formulation of a job description. It met with the PRGS Board of Governors at its meeting on June 24 to hear input about selection criteria.
Korn Ferry also contacted 205 individuals outside RAND and PRGS as part of their "sourcing" process, using KF's proprietary database and network of contacts. The KF team reported that "RAND enjoys an outstanding reputation and that the Pardee RAND Graduate School is viewed as a wonderful and unique institution, which is becoming better known as more of its graduates find their way into the various professions and as the work of its faculty continues to become well-known through their research publications."
The sourcing process yielded dozens of possible candidates representing an exceedingly broad range of backgrounds. Ultimately, three final candidates were selected and invited to interview at RAND in September. The three finalists visited RAND in September and met with staff, current students, and members of the RAND leadership. The final choice was made by RAND President Jim Thomson.
Rae Archibald will continue to serve as Interim Dean until Graham's arrival in March.
In with the New, Part 2: Meet the New Fellows
This fall, PRGS welcomed the largest entering class in the history of the school. To learn more about our 26 new fellows, follow this link.
To meet the rest of the current fellows, follow this link.
Out with the Old: Saying Goodbye to 1700 Main Street
Demolition of the RAND's former headquarters is now underway, and is expected to be completed by January 2006. The building may be gone, but the materials are being put to good use: 80% of what might otherwise have ended up in landfill has instead been recycled, including 100% of the wood, rebar, boilers, pipe, and other metal fixtures. A majority of the concrete has been pulverized and made available to local construction projects; 67 living trees have been removed and will either be replanted on the existing site or used elsewhere in Santa Monica. The 80% recycling rate far exceeds the City of Santa Monica's 65% requirement.
1776 Main Street has also received praise for the recycling of the site prior to the commencement of construction: over 96% of the materials were reused, including asphalt, soil (to land reclamation projects), and trees, which have been relocated to Santa Monica Airport.
Own a Piece of History
Former PRGS Governor Schelling wins Nobel Prize
Thomas Schelling, recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in economics, had a nearly 50-year affiliation with RAND, including PRGS. He was a member of the PRGS Board of Governors, and also taught a class entitled "Conflict, Cooperation and Strategy" in the summer of 2001.
To read more about Schelling's association with RAND, follow this link.
Fred Pardee: Putting a Face to the Name
Who is Fred Pardee?
Many alumni are aware of the endowment gift that bears his name, but don't know the man behind the gift. Although he has a reserved personal style, Pardee is nonetheless forceful in his dedication to the school and to supporting efforts to address the world's most pressing problems. His intellect and curiosity are always in evidence - as anyone on his email list can readily attest.
A native of Massachusetts, Pardee received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Boston University School of Management, after which he came to RAND in Santa Monica. After thirteen years as a systems analyst focusing on long-term economic forecasting, Fred went on to consult privately, and ultimately elected to concentrate on managing an ever growing real estate portfolio. His greatest interest however, has remained the future, not only in the abstract, but in the sense that we bear responsibility now for how we leave the world for future generations - a responsibility that requires an immediate, serious, and dedicated effort to chart new ground.
Pardee's $10 million endowment to the school that now bears his name is unprecedented in RAND's history. Completely unrestricted, except that it be used to support the school, the gift is a vote of support for the methodology and multi-disciplinary focus of the curriculum. This is not the first gift he has made to RAND: In 2001, his gift of $5 million established the RAND Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy.
Pardee continues to support other centers and projects directly concerned with his interest in the future, both at RAND and at his alma mater, Boston University. He is the benefactor of BU's Pardee Professorship and Visiting Professorship in Future Studies, the School of Management Library and the Pardee Center for the Longer Range Future. For further information please visit http://www.rand.org/pardee/about.html and http://www.bu.edu/pardee/.
Student Organization Helps Fellows Get A Leg Up on OJT
As most alums will attest, the process of getting OJT is one of the most unique, and often most daunting tasks involved with being a PRGS fellow, especially since both RAND and PRGS are bigger and more diverse places than they used to be. About a year ago, a student-run organization was formed to facilitate researchers using PRGS fellows on their projects and proposals, and to educate new fellows on the ins and outs of the RAND internal labor market. Its official name is the OJT organization, but most PRGSers know its members as the "Brokers."
As head broker Abby Brown explains, the concept is simple: "the OJT Organization is comprised of six current fellows who help 'broker' matches between fellows and projects." The brokers are selected on the basis of their own familiarity with the RAND internal labor market, and their ability to provide counsel to their fellow students. Each broker is in contact with one or more of the RAND research units, and helps researchers to advertise staffing needs for project work or proposals, obtain information about fellows, and facilitate the hiring process.
The brokers also provide guidance to PRGS fellows so that they meet project expectations and work as constructive team members. They play an especially important role in the socialization of new fellows. Brokers are actually in touch with newly admitted students over the summer, and play a key role in the new student orientation program that precedes the start of classes.
Brown's current colleagues are Ze Cong, Dave Howell, Brent Fulton, Florencia Jaureguiberry, and Amber Moreen. Dave works out of the Washington office, which allows him to expand PRGS's visibility among DC-based researchers. Alumni Sam Loeb '05 and Dave Groves '05 were among the original group of six. Professor Sandy Berry has served as faculty adviser since the organization's inception.
New Fellow Orientation Features Alumni Panel
Prior to the start of classes, entering fellows took part in a weeklong orientation program that focused mostly on the academic program, life at RAND, and OJT. One session, however, was reserved for career development. Although new fellows are years way from launching their job searches, the session offered a chance for them to think about their careers before their concerns turn toward the demands of the academic program.
The program featured a panel comprised of four PRGS alumni who had followed diverse career paths:
Each of the panelists outlined their educational and professional progressions, focusing on the role of the PRGS experience in their development. In spite of different start and end points, all four panelists touched on some common themes. They advised students to be flexibile and open to change as their interests develop, but also to remain passionate about their core principles. After the session, fellows indicated that they were reassured to hear alumni echo their own concerns and anticipations.
The Panel was moderated by former RAND Staffing Manager Gretchen Thompson, who held several senior career development positions prior to joining RAND, including directing the Career Planning and Placement Center at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. Thompson also conducts career and job search workshops for fellows during the academic year.
RAND Documentary Now Available on DVD
Dissertations from Recent Alums
Janice Blanchard '05, Discrimination and Health Care Utilization.
Matthew Dixon '05, The Costs of Aging Aircraft: Insights from Commercial Aviation.
Bryce Mason '05, Achievement Effects of Five Comprehensive School Reform Designs Implemented in Los Angeles Unified School District.
Baoping Shang '05, The Cost and Health Effects of Prescription Drug Coverage and Utilization in the Medicare Population.
Matthew Solomon '05, The Effect of Cost-Sharing on the Utilization of Prescription Drugs for Chronically Ill Patients.
Lorne Teitelbaum '05, The Impact of the Information Revolution on Policymakers' Use of Intelligence Analysis.
Ben Vollaard '05, Police Effectiveness: Measurement and Incentives.
Photo courtesy of Lauri Zeman '88, who found it while digging through old photos. If you have any memorable photos you'd like to share, send a digital copy to Findings.
John Haaga '83 writes, "I re-joined the federal government last October after a 30-year hiatus (then as a mailman at the Smithsonian, now in a more sedentary job as Deputy Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute on Aging.) I live in Bethesda MD with my wife Elin, who still remembers fondly her discussions of social policy with Charlie Wolf at RGI functions. Owen, our oldest, is a graduate student in Economics at the University of Maryland, and Daniel, our youngest, has just started in the College of Architecture at the same university. Bethan, our daughter, works with people with mental disabilities in the L'Arche community in Jacksonville."
John also passed along some sad news about Charles Eby MPhil '80: "John was our classmate -- we started in 1978 -- the oldest of us, the only one with no post-graduate degree (BS in Physics from Harvard), and the only one to get a distinction in all three areas of the qualifying exams.
"After leaving RAND, he worked for some years for Blue Cross/ Blue Shield in Chicago, and then in several health policy positions in Washington, ultimately for Geico Insurance. All of us had lost touch with him in the last decade or more, and it was quite a shock to learn that he had spent those years battling a neurodegenerative disease."
Published in The Washington Post on 3/27/2005.
Beth McGlynn '88 has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The IOM was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to honor professional achievement in the health sciences and to serve as a national resource for independent analysis and recommendations on issues related to medicine, biomedical sciences, and health. McGlynn is currently Associate Director of RAND Health and Director of the Center for Research on Quality of Care.
IOM Election recognizes those who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. It is considered one of the highest honors in these fields.
Desmond Saunders-Newton '93 recently joined the Intelligence Innovation Division of BAE SYSTEMS Advanced Information Technologies as the head of the Social Computation and Complexity Directorate. In conjunction with this appointment, Desmond is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning & Development. Prior to joining BAE, Dez served as a senior consulting scientist in the Information Awareness and Information Exploitation offices in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and as a Senior Research Fellow in the National Defense University's Center for Technology and National Security Policy. Much of Desmond's recent work has focused on developing innovations that exploit advances in the computational social sciences to improve analysis-craft in the defense and intelligence communities. His, and his wife's (Clarissa), current avocational passion is focused on reliving large portions of their pre-adolescent experiences with their 6 and 3 year-old small people, Mounir & Ayiana.
Conrad Schmidt '98 reports from Washington DC: "I left RAND/RGS in 1998 and took a position with the Corporate Executive Board, where I remain today. CEB is a best practices research firm that serves networks of corporate executives (footnote: CEB also employs two other RAND/RGS alumni -- David Apgar '84 and Daniel Jones MPhil '95). We have approximately 2000 employees with offices in DC, London and New Delhi. I am currently the Executive Director of Research for our Human Capital Practice. I am married to Lisa Schmidt (also former RAND employee) and we have three cost-centers (I mean kids) Clara (age 9), C.J. (age 7), and Amelia (age 4). We live in Northern Virginia and my commute into DC each day is far worse than anything I ever experienced in LA."
Joel Shapiro '03 reports from Evanston, Illinois, "I work in an education research, evaluation, and consulting firm, called Rockman et al, where I work primarily on education program and policy research and evaluations. In addition, I consult with education providers on how to effectively build their own "in-house" research capacity. I also hold a regular adjunct faculty position at Northwestern University's Master's of Public Policy and Administration program, where I teach Analytic Methods and a variety of statistics courses."
Robert Bickel '03 tells us that, "things are going well for the Bickels, although we are in a bit of flux at the moment. While I still work for the Air Force as an economist at the Pentagon, I'm planning on moving to Denver in the near future. I'm part of a team forming a "Center of Expertise" to provide analytical support to Air Force decision makers throughout the operational Air Force. If all goes well, I'll be the initial Deputy Director (and acting director) when this organization is established later this year."
Steve Kiser '04 writes: "I'm the commander for the 614th Space Intelligence Squadron up at Vandenberg Air Force Base. We've got 72 troops in our squadron, and our job is to protect the nation's space systems from people who would try to interfere or damage them. That's about all I can say, except that it's a very busy but very fulfilling job.
"I will have to say that PRGS did a heck of a job preparing me for more responsibility--even though I didn't study anything remotely related to what I'm doing now, the reasoning and analytic abilities taught to me have made me much better at framing up a problem, identifying the important issues, and quickly making logical and empirically defensible decisions. You all are doing a good job down there."
Connor Spreng '05 sent us this update: "In March 2005, I left PRGS, RAND, and LA with feelings of accomplishment, excitement for the future, and an unexpected sense of sadness about leaving Southern California. I also had quite a headache, but that was mostly on account of a last dinner in Venice consisting of In-N-Out Burgers and champagne (not an ideal combo, in case you were wondering, but it was that kind of evening).
"I returned to Zurich, Switzerland, where the job hunt turned out to be more protracted than I had anticipated. But, perseverance paid off and I was invited to join Ernst Basler + Partner, a Swiss engineering firm as an environmental economist. Not the obvious choice (their choice, not mine, mind you), but I am happy with it. The firm does civil engineering projects (large construction projects, regional/city planning, and so on) as well as more conceptual work, especially related to the environment ... with a bit of economics/policy analysis mixed in. I am currently working on a pricing framework for utilities in Uzbekistan (a Project funded by the EBRD) and got to visit Kamil Akramov's old stomping grounds in October. At the moment, I am also trying to get the firm interested in doing more work in warm places. Naturally, I am as excessively serious about the work as ever, but winter is arriving fast. I may have gotten soft (as far as resistance to cold is concerned, that is) and Qatar is looking very nice again. Outside of the work here, applications to the Swiss Diplomatic Service and the World Bank are still pending.
"Writing this makes me all nostalgic. Normally, I don't miss the windowless matchbox [i.e, his last RAND office] too much, as I have a direct view of the Lindt+Spruengli Chocolate factory across the lake (one of my all-time favorite perks of this gig), but right now it's pitch black and freezing cold outside and it's barely after 5 pm. So I have sunny thoughts of beach and Pacific and send all the best."
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