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Santa Monica-based RAND Selected to Operate Homeland Security Analysis Center HOME ad for NO on LV Initiative link

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By Nike Cervantes
Staff Writer

October 5, 2016 -- RAND Corporation, the independent nonprofit think tank based in Santa Monica, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct technical and operational research on such issues as terrorism and border security, officials announced Tuesday.

The new research center is part of a five-year contract with the agency worth as much as $494.7 million, said Michael D. Rich, president and Chief Executive Officer for RAND.

"RAND is honored and excited to be selected by DHS to assist with its important work,” he said. “The new center provides another opportunity for RAND to serve the public and apply its expertise on issues such as terrorism, border security and other topics critical to protecting the U.S. homeland."

The Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, also known as the HSOAC, will analyze and offer recommendations to DHS on a wide variety of the issues it handles, including preventing terrorism, enhancing security, securing and managing U.S. borders, enforcing and administering immigration laws, securing cyberspace and strengthening national preparedness, the agency said.

Terrence K. Kelly, a RAND senior operations researcher, will be the inaugural director of the center, officials said.

Henry H. Willis, who has headed Rand’s portfolio of homeland security research, will serve as associate director.

RAND officials said the new center will focus on seven areas: acquisition studies, homeland security threat and opportunity studies, organizational studies, regulatory doctrine and policy studies, operational studies, research and development studies, and innovation and technology.

Federally funded research and development centers like one slated for RAND are operated by independent, outside organizations and sponsored by federal agencies. RAND already runs four such centers and contributes to a fifth, Rich said.

RAnd, which has been in Santa Monica since first starting after World War II, has a wide-ranging client list that includes the City itself, which relied on the think tank to design a first-of-its-kind “wellbeing” index released last year ("New Study Pinpoints How Well Santa Monicans Feel About Living Here," April 28, 2015).

RAND also took a lead on the creation of a local Early Childhood Education Center and conducted an analysis of the 2000 census ("Santa Monica Day Care Center Goes to Council," February 14, 2012 and "RAND's Santa Monica Snapshot: Part I," June 19, 2000).

Located at 1776 Main Street, Rand Corp. is also one of the City’s top ten employers, with an estimated workforce of more than 800 at its Santa Monica headquarters.

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