The United States, South Korea and their allies would be well advised to factor in the possibility that North Korea could collapse in a fit of revolt and economic decay at any time, just as East Germany did, writes PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75).
"There's no better way to honor the men and women who have died by suicide — and the families and friends they left behind — than to ensure that the country is doing all it can to avoid future premature deaths," PRGS professor Rajeev Ramchand wrote two years ago. He says this message is even more important this year.
The U.S.-South Korean Extended Deterrence Policy Committee was setup to deter North Korean threats, writes PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75). The upcoming summit should ratify the progress of this effort, reassuring both the Korean and U.S. people that these threats are being managed.
In her report to the Pardee RAND Graduate School Board of Governors for fiscal year 2012, Dean Susan Marquis shares information about the new cohort, commencement weekend activities, recent graduates, alumni highlights, events, dissertation awards, the year in fundraising, curriculum updates, and more.
If this issue were to be decided on the basis of public health benefits, the outcome would be clear: Condoms indisputably prevent both unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, writes PRGS professor Chloe Bird.
In recent years — especially following the economic downturn — states, counties, and cities have looked for ways to reduce costs and maintain basic policing services, leading many to question what the investment in counterterrorism and homeland security has achieved for their jurisdiction, writes PRGS professor Lois Davis.
The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions, write PRGS professors Rob Lempert and Anita Chandra.
PRGS professor and RAND researcher Gery Ryan has joined the PRGS staff as assistant dean for academic affairs, replacing Jeffrey Wasserman, who stepped down upon his appointment as vice president of RAND and director of RAND Health.
PRGS professor Keith Crane is part of the Wall Street Journal
's "Experts: Energy" panel. This week he answered two questions: "How will the U.S. oil boom change the markets and geopolitics?" and "Should there be a price on carbon emissions, and if so, what’s the best way to do it?"
Lowering the costs of healthy foods in supermarkets increases the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods that people eat, while also appearing to reduce consumption of nutritionally less-desirable foods, according to research by PRGS professor Roland Sturm and student Ruopeng An (cohort '08).
PRGS professor Nick Burger has been awarded our first-ever Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship, to conduct research with students Kun Gu and Zhimin Mao (both cohort '11). The team will estimate the greenhouse gas implications of abundant U.S. shale gas resources.
Karl Lorenz, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, discusses how to improve palliative care training for health practitioners and better engage patients in the health care decisionmaking process.
PRGS student Todi Mengistu (cohort '07) contributed to RAND's latest report on nation building. The report finds that the benefits of nation-building interventions have exceeded the costs, and the interventions do not need to be transformative to achieve their main objectives.
PRGS professor and alum Cheryl Damberg (cohort '89) testified before Congress. Among her conclusions: "Revising physician payment is a daunting challenge, but one that is absolutely necessary. Performance-based payment reform is vital to driving improvements in health care delivery."
PRGS student Nicole Schmidt (cohort '09) worked with RAND Health colleagues to explore the possibility of adding physician identifiers to the California hospital discharge data set. Their research found that physician-identified data could be useful to a variety of stakeholders without posing a substantial burden to hospitals.
In this video, Jordan Fischbach discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.
According to research by PRGS student Yashodhara Rana (cohort '09) and colleagues, total U.S. government funding for the Global Methane Initiative, a voluntary international partnership that promotes methane recovery and reuse activities in developing and transition economies, was approximately $54 million between fiscal years 2006 and 2010, with most coming from the Department of State (52 percent) and a large share from the EPA (37 percent).
Given the size of the U.S. annual “health care spend”—$2.7 trillion—summing up the savings associated with very minor cost-saving policy changes is likely to achieve significant aggregate savings, writes PRGS alum Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85), acting director of RAND Health and assistant dean for academic affairs at PRGS.
It is not clear whether or to what extent Netanyahu will abandon his traditional coalition partners on the right and turn toward the fragmented political center. However, such a turn may be necessary, writes PRGS student Shira Efron (cohort '11).
James Q. Wilson, a longtime board member, bestowed upon the Pardee RAND Graduate School his papers and books. To honor him, PRGS unveiled the James Q. Wilson Collection in RAND's library, and RAND celebrated his legacy with a policy forum discussion.
The Wilson papers, a mixture of professional and scholarly items that include correspondence with other scholars and public officials, will become part of the James Q. Wilson Archive and will be housed at the headquarters campus of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif.
A federal government corporation and an independent government agency are the two most promising models for a new organization to manage and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States, according to research by PRGS student Zhimin Mao (cohort '11) and several PRGS professors.
PRGS alum Helen Wu (cohort '07) discusses a RAND study that looked at over 300,000 menu items in 245 restaurants. The study, which started as Wu's dissertation research and is the largest ever on chain restaurant nutrition, found that 96 percent of restaurant items exceeded USDA recommendations.
Excessive alcohol consumption costs society nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars each year. An innovative program that combines frequent alcohol testing for offenders with swift and certain sanctions for failed tests can help reduce problem drinking and improve public health, according to research by PRGS student Greg Midgette (cohort '09) and professors Beau Kilmer, Nancy Nicosia, and Paul Heaton.
PRGS alumnus Jordan Ostwald (cohort '08) worked with RAND colleagues to develop a disaster preparedness planning tool. As municipalities dig out from Sandy and plan for the future, this could prove quite helpful.
PRGS professor Titus Galama has received an Independent Scientist Award from the National Institute on Aging, a prestigious career development award offered by the National Institutes of Health to foster the development of outstanding scientists.
PRGS student Deborah Lai (cohort '08) coauthored a RAND study that analyzes the impact of planned defense budget cuts on the capabilities of seven key European members of NATO and suggests ways in which the Alliance can adapt to meet emerging security challenges.
PRGS student Evan Bloom (cohort '09) is part of a research team that recently won a Department of the Interior "Partners in Conservation" award for being "a model of collaboration for future watershed planning across the country."
Lloyd Shapley, a longtime RAND researcher who is now an emeritus professor at UCLA, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with Alvin E. Roth for his work on game theory. Shapley taught Game Theory at the (then) RAND Graduate School in the 1970s and 1980s.
In an excellent example of how PRGS helps RAND innovate to make a difference in the world, an all-PRGS team developed a model to assess flood risk in coastal Louisiana: Professor (and alum) Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04), Professor David Ortiz, students David Johnson (cohort '08) and Matthew Hoover (cohort '09), and alumni Ben Bryant (cohort '05) and Jordan Ostwald (cohort '08).
State financing of higher education is under stress as countries all over the world struggle with fiscal pressures. PRGS professor Charles A. Goldman, student Megan Clifford (cohort '09) and alumna Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05) review a number of cost-sharing policies that can be adopted and how they may affect access to and the quality of education.
Ten current and former African first ladies joined former U.S. first lady Laura Bush and Cherie Blair, wife of the former U.K. prime minister, today at a Pardee RAND Graduate School-organized forum focused on becoming more effective leaders.
PRGS founding dean Charles Wolf writes in the latest RAND Review, "It is more important to know the underlying explanations for inequality across countries and within them, rather than the amount of inequality or changes in it."
Interventions that address potentially detrimental consequences of low socioeconomic status and adverse school environments among pre-adolescent Latino and black children may help reduce racial and ethnic differences in child health, according to research by PRGS alumnus Mark Schuster (cohort '91).
As the United States struggles to confront the twin challenges of rising health care costs and uncertain quality, we should embrace innovative practices wherever they exist—whether they are developed in private, for-profit health care systems or so-called "socialized" ones, like Britain's NHS or America's VA, writes PRGS professor Art Kellermann.
A first step in dealing with uncertainty is confronting its existence, ubiquity, and magnitude. A second step is dealing with it when informing assessments and decisions. Research by PRGS professor Paul K. Davis describes how lessons from RAND's national security work on planning under uncertainty can be applied in many other fields.
Rather than threatening that the closure will be a mess, messages appealing to citizens' public spirit that Los Angeles can pull together again to make the closure go smoothly are more likely to resonate because they are consistent with past experience, writes Martin Wachs, who teaches "Transportation Planning and Policy in the U.S." at PRGS.
We will be more successful at stemming the growing tide of obesity and improving our own health if everyone accepts their share of responsibility for the obesity epidemic, write PRGS professor Chloe E. Bird and RAND colleague Tamara Dubowitz.
PRGS student Eileen Hlavka (cohort '07) has received the Special Plenary Paper Prize from the 13th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation. Her research on "The Federal Tax Credit Impacts on Wind and Solar Innovation" was deemed to provide "the most original and substantial contribution to climate policy."
PRGS student Tewodaj "Todi" Mengistu (cohort '07) is a coauthor of a recent RAND report on democratization in the Arab world. A key takeaway: Policymakers in the United States and other nations should be wary of "rules of thumb" and simplified predictions of how political change will happen.
It is notable that North Korea's Politburo made the announcement that Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho had retired, suggesting a rise in power of the party relative to the military. The choice of Ri's successor is also curious, writes PRGS alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75).
We recently asked our faculty, What books inspire you to train your sights on the most intractable problems of our time? To come up with innovative, persuasive, and enduring solutions? To ensure that no matter the topic, the problem is well formulated and the research approach is well designed and well executed?
The Commencement 2012 issue of Findings
includes information about the Dean's speech (and links to all the speeches), photos of alumni and graduates, and featured news about alumni and PRGS events.
PRGS Alum Cheryl Damberg (cohort '89) and Professors Christine Eibner and Arthur Kellermann are among the RAND experts reacting to what is likely the most significant health care-related court decision of the U.S.
Today's public policymakers have a unique opportunity to shape the future, but only if they focus on putting ideas into action and "get stuff done," said Robert B. Zoellick, the 11th president of the World Bank Group, at the Pardee RAND Graduate School commencement on June 23, 2012.
After 14 years as senior researcher at RAND Health, PRGS alumna Donna Farley (cohort '89) retired in September 2010. She recently spoke with Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85), Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at PRGS, and reflected upon her experiences both as a PRGS student and a RAND researcher.
PRGS alumna Elizabeth McGlynn (cohort '83) has been honored with AcademyHealth's 2012 Distinguished Investigator Award. Her extensive research on health care quality has had an enormous impact on how experts evaluate health care reform.
Mark J. Albrecht (cohort ’73) is the inaugural recipient of the PRGS Alumni Leadership Award. The award will be given on Friday, June 22, 2012, at the Celebratory Dinner during Commencement Weekend.
In the spring 2012 issue of RAND Review, RAND president Michael Rich writes, "Since its founding in 1970, PRGS has trained generations of policy leaders. ... The school exhorts students and faculty to 'be the answer' in addressing policy challenges in our communities and around the world."
Violent crimes against individuals make headlines, but other types of criminal activity affect day-to-day life more than people may realize. For his On-the-Job Training, PRGS Student Alessandro Malchiodi (cohort '08) is working with RAND researchers to quantify the scope, size, and impact of counterfeiting and piracy in the European Union.
Taking probiotics can reduce the risk of developing the diarrhea that is a common side effect of taking antibiotics. PRGS professors Susanne Hempel, Jeremy Miles, and Paul Shekelle were coauthors of the report on the promising role of these helpful microorganisms.
As part of his On-the-Job Training, PRGS student Christopher McClaren (cohort '05) is working with the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace to explore ways to improve workplace safety.
As part of his On-the-Job Training, PRGS student Christopher McClaren (cohort '05) is working with the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace to explore ways to improve workplace safety.
PRGS is, of course, preparing future leaders in policy analysis. We're also proud to share the tools and techniques taught in our Ph.D. program with current leaders—including those in Congress—who are directly influencing policy worldwide.
Despite growing concern that junk food availability in schools has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic, research by PRGS alumna Ashlesha Datar (cohort '99) shows that the availability does not significantly increase BMI or obesity among a group of fifth-graders.
Being honest about the uncertainties involved is the price of admission to any serious discussion about marijuana legalization, writes PRGS professor Beau Kilmer in the Wall Street Journal
. Kilmer and PRGS alumna Angela Hawken (cohort '98) are co-authors of the forthcoming book, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.
As part of their On-the-Job Training, PRGS Student Christopher Sharon (cohort '07) and David R. Johnson (cohort '08) are members of the RAND team that developed models and the planning tool for Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan.
Medical pay-for-performance plans may improve patient outcomes, according to research by PRGS alum John Peabody (cohort '91) published last year in the journal Health Affairs
. However, the improved performance may be as much due to careful measurement as to incentives.
The 2007 expansion of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program increased employment among disabled veterans by 2 percentage points in 2007 and 2008, representing roughly 32,000 jobs each year, according to research by PRGS professor Paul Heaton.
RAND is working with the State of Yucatan, Mexico, to design and evaluate a non-contributory social security program for larger towns. As part of their On-the-Job Training, PRGS students Claudia Diaz (cohort '06), Sarah Outcault (cohort '07), and Alessandro Malchiodi (cohort '08) are working with the RAND Center for Latin American Social Policy on this effort.
Alumnus Philip J. Romero (cohort '83), a professor of administration at the University of Oregon, recently authored a report on the role and importance of independent contractors in California.
Clinical decision support (CDS), which provides both targeted and general information to health care providers using electronic health records, helps to improve health outcomes. PRGS student Amber Smith (cohort '09) and her RAND colleagues developed a process for identifying and prioritizing the most promising targets for CDS.
As one of his On-the-Job Training projects, PRGS student Jim Burgdorf (cohort '06) is working with researchers in RAND Europe and the Drug Policy Research Center to analyze the illicit drug market in the European Union.
Most local public health and emergency management professionals rely on what they perceive
the legal environment to be rather than on an adequate understanding of the objective legal requirements, according to an article coauthored by student Helen Wu (cohort '07) in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law
"There has never been a more opportune time to reinvigorate the age-old values of knowledge and innovation with a new set of interactions between East and the West," writes PRGS alumnus Athar Osama (cohort '99) in a New Straits Times
Student Dan Waxman (cohort '10) coauthored a JAMA report that suggests the use of anesthesia providers to monitor sedation during screening colonoscopies and other outpatient gastroenterology procedures more than doubled from 2003 to 2009 in the United States, with most of the increase among low-risk patients who may not need this service.
Rather than cutting costs, the U.S. should focus on reducing waste in health care spending, writes PRGS student Andrew Hackbarth (cohort '08) in the Journal of the American Medical Association
. The opportunity for savings is immense: overtreatment, failures of care coordination, failures in execution of care processes, administrative complexity, pricing failures, and fraud and abuse account for at least 20% of current spending.
Yilmaz Arguden (cohort '80), chairman of ARGE Consulting in Turkey, recently published Keys to Governance: Strategic Leadership for Quality of Life
. He and his book were featured in Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News
After several weeks of researching, acquiring samples and polling our community (and a brief fashion show to boot!), PRGS is proud to announce our official custom academic regalia. Many prominent schools design their own distinctive regalia for their alumni in academic appointments to wear in commencement ceremonies, and PRGS is now part of that distinguished group.
No one knew better than James Q. Wilson that from concentrated study and intellectual freedom come ideas that change the world. Wilson, who died March 2, 2012, at age 80, was a strong supporter of PRGS and a member of its Board of Governors. His personal and academic contributions to PRGS and RAND will be greatly missed.
Kristi Raube (cohort '87) visited PRGS on March 1 to have breakfast with several students and talk about her career path as a self-described "reluctant academic." The Office of Career Services encourages alumni to come back and share insights into their experiences since graduating from PRGS.
Principals new to their school face a variety of challenges that can influence their likelihood of improving their schools' performance and their likelihood of remaining the principal. PRGS student Susan Burkhauser (cohort '09) and her RAND coauthors present research on first-year principals' experiences, actions, working conditions, and outcomes. The research is intended to inform efforts to promote school improvement and principal retention.
PRGS alum Jay Griffin (cohort '04) heads the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and is leading a "smart grid" pilot project with some Maui homeowners to reduce their electricity usage and costs. KHON2-TV interviewed him about the project.
Martin Wachs, who teaches the Transportation Planning elective at PRGS, was one of the four transportation experts presenting their views on federal transport funding during a recent panel discussion in Philadelphia.
Each fall, the Washington Experience offers 4-6 PRGS students a better understanding of the federal government policymaking environment and culture through extended exposure to, and interaction with, members of the federal government and related organizations in Washington, D.C.