Dr. Dafna H. Rand

  • Leon E. Panetta Fellow and Deputy Director of Studies

Dr. Dafna Hochman Rand is the Deputy Director of Studies and the inaugural Leon E. Panetta Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on Middle East security and U.S. foreign policy.

Prior to joining CNAS, Dr. Rand served on the staff of the National Security Council, where she was responsible for global U.S. assistance efforts in support of democratic transitions, good governance and the rule-of-law. From 2010 to 2012, she covered the Middle East and North Africa for Secretary Hillary Clinton's Policy Planning Staff, and in this capacity contributed to the U.S. government's response to the Arab Spring, including diplomatic planning for the intervention in Libya and the U.S. response to the Syrian conflict. She previously served as a professional staff member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. As Senator Frank R. Lautenberg's foreign affairs and defense legislative assistant in the period after September 11, 2001, she worked on legislation to support U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to improve homeland security and counter-terrorism policies.

Dr. Rand's publications have focused on domestic political developments and international security in the Middle East and North Africa. Her recent book is Roots of the Arab Spring: Contested Authority and Political Change in the Middle East (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Columbia University, where she received the University's highest award for excellence in teaching. Dr. Rand received her A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University. She lives with her husband Doug and two children in Washington, D.C.