2018 Pardee RAND Commencement & Alumni Weekend

Pardee RAND awarded 31 doctoral degrees in policy analysis and 32 master's degrees at its 2018 Commencement ceremony on June 16, 2018. More than 230 people attended the ceremony. A total of 26 alumni participated in the weekend's events. It was terrific seeing the extended Pardee RAND community come together to honor our most recent graduates.

Festivities kicked off at Thursday's alumni and student mixer. On Friday, the school hosted a panel and demonstration of its efforts to date to reinvent itself for the 21st century and beyond. The evening's activities included a celebratory dinner for alumni, graduating students, and other members of the Pardee RAND community. The dinner featured the presentation of the fourth Alumni Leadership Award to Sharon Arnold (cohort '85).

Dean Susan Marquis opened Saturday's Commencement ceremony by remarking, "Each of our new graduates, your work is to question but also to do. It is in the doing that you are able to build up rather than tear down and leverage the rich resources of technology and of communities to find new solutions, strengthening and creating institutions that are the foundation for building our families and society, whether in our neighborhoods or across the globe. By calling on your new skills and your long-held talents, through word and action, and with love and patience, you will surely help build a better world."

RAND president and CEO Michael D. Rich followed the Dean's remarks with his own comments, noting "To our graduates: Congratulations! You have completed a program of remarkable breadth and rigor. Each of us feels a special pride in you as well as great confidence that you will accomplish important things in the years to come."

Innovator John Seely Brown then presented the keynote speech, imploring the graduates and the audience to "You are graduating at an amazing time. Here at RAND and the Pardee RAND Graduate School you have been exposed to some of the most important thinking of our time. You have had the opportunity to intersect with the kind of edge thinking that drives innovation in public policy. You have worked with powerful tools in this domain – some of which were invented here at RAND –tools that help us better understand extremely complicated situations to help make a safer, healthier and more educated world. Said simply, the world needs the skills you have honed, here. Now, more than ever!”

Zhimin Mao ('11), Olena Bogdan ('12), Lauren Kendrick ('12), and Bonnie Triezenberg ('14) also received graduate awards from the faculty, while students John Hamm ('15) and Rachel Perera (’16) presented the Huddleson Teaching Award to Troy Smith, Molly Selvin and Phil Armour.

In his graduate address, Timothy Smith (cohort '13) noted, "In our time at RAND we have developed a compass heading that points towards intellectual rigor and objective analysis, and we have become comfortable staying true to that heading. I believe it is that skillset which is the true value of a RAND degree.

But for all of us, as we extend our reach beyond these walls, the challenge is only beginning. The world we live in is changing before our eyes, becoming increasingly interconnected and polarized. In the process, it is creating a whole host of particularly prickly policy issues. Our time at RAND has armed us with the skillset to contribute to these challenges in a meaningful way, and this is both a great gift and great responsibility."

2018 Commencement Honorary Degree Recipients

John Seely Brown

Commencement Speaker:
John Seely Brown, innovator

Anne Case

Anne Case, professor and health economist

Natalie Crawford, RAND senior fellow, air and space policy expert

Alex McDowell, narrative designer, professor, world builder

Honorary Degree Recipients

John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown

Commencement Speaker

John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Independent Co-Chairman of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. Prior to that he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)—a position he held for nearly two decades. He was a cofounder of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL).

Brown, or as he is often called—JSB—is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and of AAAS. He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals. His recent books include The Social Life of Information (HBS Press, 2000), with Paul Duguid; The Only Sustainable Edge (HBS Press, 2005), with John Hagel, The Power of Pull (Perseus books, 2010), with John Hagel; and The New Culture of Learning (2011), with Professor Doug Thomas at USC.

JSB describes himself as "a master integrator and instigator of productive friction, JSB explores the whitespace between disciplines and builds bridges between disparate organizations and ideas." His research interests include "digital youth culture, digital media, and the application of technology to fundamentally rethink the nature of work and institutional architectures in order to enable deep learning across organizational boundaries – in brief, to design for emergence in a constantly changing world."

JSB received a B.A. from Brown University in 1962 in mathematics and physics and a Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 1970 in computer and communication sciences.

Anne Case

Anne Case

Anne Case is the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University, where she is the Director of the Research Program in Development Studies. Case has written extensively on health over the life course. She has been awarded the Kenneth J. Arrow Prize in Health Economics from the International Health Economics Association, for her work on the links between economic status and health status in childhood, and the Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for her research on midlife morbidity and mortality.

Case currently serves on the Advisory Council for the NIH-National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science, and the Committee on National Statistics. She is a Research Associate of the NBER, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and is an affiliate of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. She also is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She received a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Natalie Crawford

Natalie Crawford is a senior fellow and Distinguished Chair in Air and Space Policy at the RAND Corporation. She is also a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She has held a number of leadership positions within RAND Project Air Force, and was vice president and director from 1997 to 2006.

Crawford received the U.S. Air Force Academy's 2012 Thomas D. White National Defense Award for her significant contributions to national security. In 2011, she received the Air Force Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the advancement of aerospace science and technology. In 2006, she received the OSD Medal for Exceptional Public Service and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Defense Industrial Association's Combat Survivability Division. Crawford was awarded the Department of the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service twice, in 1995 and 2003. Also in 2003, she received the Air Force Analytic Community's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lt. Gen. Glenn Kent Leadership Award, and the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award from the Military Operations Research Society. She was named an AIAA Fellow in 2011.

Alex McDowell

Alex McDowell studied Fine Art (Painting) at Central School of Art in London, where he intersected with music at the beginning of the punk era. He designed graphics and music videos for musicians from The Cure to Madonna, which led to his work in cinema as a production designer. To date, he has more than 20 films to his credit, including Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, David Fincher's Fight Club, and Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

He is currently professor of practice at USC School of Cinema where he directs the World Building Media Lab and World Building Institute (with partners Intel, Technicolor, Havas, Steelcase, Burberry, Autodesk, Epic and Unity) and teaches world building as a media- and platform-agnostic narrative design practice. Present research includes the development of a pancreatic beta cell as a city and a single street corner as a human system. He is principal and creative director at Experimental Design Studios, building future worlds for client partners that include Nike, Ford, Sony, Boeing, the Saudi Royal family and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council. He builds these worlds in collaboration with game makers, architects, biologists, neuroscientists, musicians and storytellers across all media including those not yet visible. His studio has launched a virtual flying whale over 5000 people for Intel in 2014 and Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and developed a future vision for a village in Saudi Arabia, a technology center at Boeing, and a City of Tomorrow for Ford CEO Jim Hackett at CES 2018.

His awards include the RSA Royal Designer for Industry (2006), the President's Award, UK DNAD, (2013), the Future Voice Award/ Interaction (2014), the ADG Excellence in Production Design (2005), the SDFCS Award (2002); and nominations for BAFTA (2006), Saturn (2010), OFTA (2003, 2006), and VES (2003). He has been Visiting Artist at MIT Media Lab and the Getty Research Center, and sits on the Autodesk IDEAS board. He currently serves on the Freeman Design Council with chair Bruce Mau and remains on the advisory board for the National Academy of Sciences and the Science and Entertainment Exchange. He is International Member of the UK ISCF Creative Clusters Challenge Board.