Dr. Dafna H. Rand

  • Senior Fellow

Dr. Dafna Hochman Rand is a Senior 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.

  • August 5, 2015
  • Dafna Rand, Stephen Tankel
  • Reports

Security Cooperation and Assistance: Rethinking the Return on Investment

Dr. Dafna H. Rand  and Dr. Stephen Tankel argue that despite the growth of new programs and authorities to build partnership capacity in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and many other countries facing similar threats, the success of these efforts is often limited by structural and strategic deficiencies.

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  • June 23, 2015
  • Dafna Rand, Jacob Stokes, Julianne Smith, Shawn Brimley
  • Reports

Enabling Decision: Shaping the National Security Council for the Next President

Four CNAS experts - including three former National Security Council (NSC) staff - recommend changes to NSC management processes and structure to make it more agile and effective for the next president. 

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  • March 24, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Congressional Testimony

Dr. Dafna Rand before Senate Committee on Armed Services on U.S. Middle East Policy

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services on U.S. Middle East Policy.

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  • February 12, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Congressional Testimony

Dr. Dafna Rand before House Foreign Affairs Committee on ISIS

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand testified at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the national security threat posed by ISIS.

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  • November 6, 2014
  • Dafna Rand, Nicholas Heras
  • Policy Briefs

How This Ends: A Blueprint for De-Escalation in Syria

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna H. Rand and Research Associate Nicholas Heras argue for the importance of focusing on a political framework for de-escalating the civil conflict in Syria.

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  • September 19, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Congressional Testimony

Dr. Dafna Rand before House Select Intelligence Committee on ISIS

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dafna Rand testified before the House Select Intelligence Committee on the ISIS terrorist threat to the U.S. and other countries, and the stability of the Middle East.

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  • August 25, 2014
  • Anthony Vassalo, Dafna Rand
  • Policy Briefs

Bringing the Fight Back Home: Western Foreign Fighters in Iraq and Syria

foreign-fighters-dafna-rand-anthony-vassalo

“Bringing the Fight Back Home” argues that the changing dynamics on the ground in Iraq are accelerating the urgency of the threat from the approximately 3,000 foreign fighters with Western passports, including the over 100 Americans.

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  • April 24, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Policy Briefs

Opportunities for American Influence in a Changing Middle East

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Hochman Rand examines U.S. influence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and considers whether U.S. efforts have moved the decision making of MENA leaders in a direction more favorable to U.S. interests.

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  • March 25, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

Iran is more dangerous to Iraq than ISIS, terror experts tell U.S. Senate panel

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand weighs in on the Iranian threat to Iraq.

 

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  • February 26, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

U.S. Military Plan For Looming ISIS Offensive Takes Shape

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand weighs in on looming ISIS offensive.

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  • February 17, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

Alan Grayson: No ‘Blank Check’ in Use of Military Force Request to Target ISIS

 Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand weighs in on the Administration’s recent request to Authorize the Use of Military Force.

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  • January 15, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

Obama’s ‘lone wolf’ focus misguided as terrorist threat expands, critics say

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dafna Rand discusses President Obama's outreach efforts to communities where homegrown terrorists might arise.

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  • December 1, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

U.S. will use psych evaluations, stress tests to screen Syrian rebels for training

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dafna Rand discusses screening for Syrian fighters.

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  • October 15, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

US airstrikes have 'minimal effects' on Islamic State. Why that's not all bad.

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dafna Rand calls the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS an "unprecedented victory" in Christian Science Monitor.

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  • September 24, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

U.S. Strikes Haven't Beaten ISIS in Iraq. Can They Do So in Syria?

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand comments in Foreign Policy that the immediate goal of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria should be to stop the Islamic State's momentum. 

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  • September 23, 2014
  • Dafna Rand, Elbridge Colby, Jerry Hendrix, Richard Fontaine, Shawn Brimley
  • Press Notes

CNAS Press Note: Five Experts Weigh In on ISIS, Airstrikes, and Syria

With the United States and a broader coalition launching airstrikes against ISIS within Syria’s borders overnight, five experts from CNAS have provided short commentaries on the mission, its value, and its potential outcome.

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  • September 23, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

FBI tracking some Americans who fought with islamic State, then returned home

In The Washington Times, Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand weighs in on the current national security threat posed by Americans who are able to travel to Syria and Iraq to train and fight alongside the Islamic State. 

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  • September 18, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • In the News

Gen. James Mattis on Iraq: ‘You just don’t take anything off the table up front’

The Washington Post notes that CNAS Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand testified before the House Select Intelligence Committee with Gen. James Mattis and Amb. Ryan Crocker.

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Pages

  • August 7, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Op-eds

Security assistance isn't the quick fix the US thinks it is

Senior Fellow Dr. Dafna H. Rand co-authored an op-ed discussing the challenges and opportunities of building partner capacity in The Hill.

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  • June 1, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Op-eds

Still Winning in Iraq

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna H. Rand pens a Foreign Affairs op-ed examining how deeply the ISIS threat is intertwined with the long-term resolution to the underlying political conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

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  • March 19, 2015
  • Dafna Rand, Nicholas Heras
  • Op-eds

Iraq's Sunni Reawakening

In a Foreign Affairs article, Middle East experts Dr. Dafna H. Rand and Nicholas Heras discuss how to defeat ISIS and save the country.

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  • February 5, 2015
  • Dafna Rand, Robert D. Kaplan
  • Op-eds

The Postmodern Autocrat's Handbook

Senior Fellow Robert Kaplan and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand pen an op-ed discussing a new model for dictatorial rulers.

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  • January 5, 2015
  • Dafna Rand, Nicholas Heras
  • Op-eds

The South will Rise Again

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand and Research Associate Nicholas Heras argue that the "Southern Front" is following a secular, nationalist blueprint that may be a model for a post-Assad Syria.

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  • November 14, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Op-eds

A Big Step Forward: Tunisia’s Fragile Democratic Consolidation

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand discusses Tunisia’s October 26 legislative elections.

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  • September 17, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Op-eds

Time to talk specifics with the Arabs and Turks about Syria’s future

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand in The Hill explains why "it is no longer possible to speak in generalities with U.S. allies about Syria's future."

 

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  • July 9, 2014
  • Dafna Rand, Michael Horowitz
  • Op-eds

The Crisis-Prevention Directorate

Dr. Dafna Rand and Michael Horowitz discuss crisis prevention in their latest National Interest op-ed.

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  • March 3, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Blog: The Agenda

U.S. Conflict Prevention in the Age of Maidan Politics

  • March 24, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Congressional Testimony

Dr. Dafna Rand before Senate Committee on Armed Services on U.S. Middle East Policy

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services on U.S. Middle East Policy.

Read More
  • February 12, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Congressional Testimony

Dr. Dafna Rand before House Foreign Affairs Committee on ISIS

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand testified at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the national security threat posed by ISIS.

Read More
  • September 19, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Congressional Testimony

Dr. Dafna Rand before House Select Intelligence Committee on ISIS

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dafna Rand testified before the House Select Intelligence Committee on the ISIS terrorist threat to the U.S. and other countries, and the stability of the Middle East.

Read More
  • March 19, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Videos

Video: Dr. Dafna Rand discusses Syria

Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand discusses how to break the stalemate in Syria and move the country toward a peaceful political transition. 

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  • February 13, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Videos

Dr. Dafna H. Rand: The 2015 Middle East Landscape

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna H. Rand provides a landscape and outlook for the modern Middle East, discussing the transition from peaceful movements to long-term conflict in the region.

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  • February 12, 2015
  • Dafna Rand
  • Videos

Testimony: National Security Threat of Islamic State Terrorists

Deputy Director of Studies Dr. Dafna Rand testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the national security threat posed by ISIS.

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  • September 29, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Audio

Interview: Dr. Dafna Rand on Federal News Radio on Islamic State propaganda

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand joined Federal News Radio to examine the Islamic State's propaganda war. 

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  • September 25, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Videos

Interview: Obama calls on international community to fight extremism

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand appeared on MSNBC's "The Reid Report" to discuss the U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. 

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  • September 19, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Videos

Video: Senate OKs training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS terrorists

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand appears on CBS' Live 5 News in their coverage of the Congressional hearing over approval to arm and train Syrian rebels to help fight ISIS militants.

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  • September 11, 2014
  • Dafna Rand
  • Audio

Audo: Not everyone agrees that ISIS poses a serious threat to the US

Deputy Director of Studies and Leon E. Panetta Fellow Dr. Dafna Rand speaks with Public Radio International on assessing the threat the Islamic State poses to the U.S.

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