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Michael D. Rich Named New RAND President  

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By Lookout Staff

October 5, 2011 -- RAND Corporation's Executive Vice President, Michael D. Rich, has been selected to lead the world-renowned policy analysis institution.

Rich will step in as RAND's fifth president and CEO on November 1, replacing James A. Thomson, who announced his retirement last April.

"Michael Rich emerged from an exceptional group of candidates as the unanimous choice of our search committee," said Paul H. Kaminski, chairman of the RAND Board of Trustees, the body which selected Rich following a wide-ranging recruitment effort.

“Michael's deep understanding of RAND, his relationship-building skills and his vision for the future led us to conclude he is the best person to lead RAND going forward," Kaminski said.

During a career with RAND that has spanned two decades, Rich has worked closely with Thomson to oversee the organization's wide array of ventures, including the RAND Europe subsidiary, the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and operations encompassing eleven offices, 1,700 associates and an annual budget of approximately $250 million.

With Thomson, Rich was one of the architects of a new institutional strategy in 1995 that changed the face of RAND, diversifying its areas of analysis and opening up new international operations, like the RAND Qatar Policy Institute, whose board Rich co-chairs.

Rich led the effort to gain land use entitlements from the City of Santa Monica and the California Coastal Commission to build the current RAND headquarters campus, which was granted Gold LEED Certification.

A native of Los Angeles, Rich went to work at RAND following his graduation from the School of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He credits outgoing President Thomson with leading the organization to a new level of relevance in today's world.

"Jim Thomson set an ambitious course for RAND and leaves the organization greater in terms of its geographic and substantive scope, and the impact that RAND analysis has upon decision making at all levels of government and in the private and philanthropic sectors," Rich said.

"We are grateful to Jim for his contributions to RAND," Kaminski added. "As chair of RAND's Board of Trustees I have watched Jim and Michael operate as an extraordinary team. They have great understanding of one another, and I expect the upcoming transition in leadership will benefit greatly from that relationship."

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