Harold and Colene Brown Faculty Chair
The Brown Faculty Chair is a prestigious honor at Pardee RAND bestowed upon up to three faculty members each year. Being selected to the chair enables faculty to spend up to a month in residency at the Pardee RAND campus to engage with students across a range of mentoring activities, including office hours and one-on-one meetings, workshops, and brown bag lectures. Because social activities can stimulate creative thinking and build bonds of trust, faculty are encouraged to socialize and connect with students over drinks, meals, or outdoor activities. Faculty also have time to pursue an independent research topic or activity of their choosing.
These generous fellowships were endowed in 2015 by RAND trustee emeritus and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown and his wife, Colene.
Note: prior to 2016-2017, these faculty were called the Harold and Colene Brown Faculty Fellows
Senior behavioral scientist Lisa Meredith met one-on-one with students to discuss topics ranging from getting through the first year of the program, planning the dissertation, dry-running conference presentations, and even decompressing post-presidential election. She also presented two seminars, one on dissertations and another on research experiments — including her own randomized trial of collaborative care for PTSD.
Senior information scientist John Davis held a two-part workshop that explored the recent rise in cybersecurity incidents and their associated geopolitical implications. During one of his recreational events, he hosted a "first annual" bike ride down the Santa Monica/Venice beach bike trail, where he proved that even a leisurely bike ride can inspire policy discussions: Davis and students stopped by a SnapChat kiosk to learn about SnapChat Spectacles, which of course led to a discussion about the product’s privacy implications.
During her July residency, Senior Economist Christine Eibner presented two seminars for students —"Health Reform Debate in Congress" and "Using Simulation to Estimate the Effects of Policy Changes" — and held office hours for one-on-one student interactions. She also had two delicious and engaging lunches with small groups of students, as well as a fun happy hour with a larger group.
Behavioral and social scientist Bill Marcellino highlighted his research using RAND-Lex and social media analysis, and led a workshop for Pardee RAND teaching assistants.
Senior economist Steven Popper conducted student workshops on “half-baked ideas.” An overarching theme of these sessions was that policy analysis in both method and application is entering a new and exciting realm. Steven also introduced several international students to the lively pastime of American baseball.
Senior policy researcher Chapin White’s main focus was on the dissertation-writing process. While writing a dissertation is almost always a challenging experience full of false starts and dead ends, Chapin hoped his insights could lay the groundwork for overall success.
Senior engineer Dave Baiocchi met with students to learn about the policy problem or research area that led them to pursue a Ph.D. at Pardee RAND. His intensive interviews have made him a resource for researchers trying to find students for their projects and also prepared him to serve as a Dissertation Workshop leader.
Senior Physical Scientist Aimee Curtright, building on her work in the area of energy and technology policy, led a series of workshops on the topic of hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking).
Senior policy researcher Beau Kilmer focused on updating his 2012 book, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press)—a nonpartisan primer on the subject published before nonmedical marijuana was legal anywhere—and on introducing students to new forms of engaging with policymakers, such as Twitter and other social media.
Nick Burger received the first Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship for exploratory work on the relationship between shale gas resources and greenhouse gas emissions. At the time, the fellowship was a two-year grant for a professor working with students. In the first year, Burger, working with students Zhimin Mao and Kun Gu, focused on understanding the existing models and the literature on modeling the GHG implications of resource development. In the second year of the grant, they worked to develop a new model to estimate the GHG implications of shale gas development