Director, Force Modernization and Employment Program (FMEP), Project AIR FORCE (PAF)

RAND Corporation
Santa Monica, California 90401
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

RAND Corporation’s Project AIR FORCE (PAF) is seeking candidates for the Director of the Force Modernization and Employment Program (FMEP). This position reports to the Vice President and Director of Project AIR FORCE.


The Program Director position carries 100% coverage and is a five-year renewable term with management approval.



The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. As a nonpartisan organization, RAND is widely respected for operating independent of political and commercial pressures.


One of seven research divisions at RAND, Project AIR FORCE conducts research and analysis on national security issues for the Department of the Air Force (DAF). Originally known as Project RAND, Project AIR FORCE was established in 1946 by General H. H. "Hap" Arnold. Since its founding, Project AIR FORCE has remained the only Air Force federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) concerned entirely with studies and analyses rather than systems engineering or scientific laboratories. The special FFRDC status facilitates stable DAF support over an extended period of years as well as substantial access by the research staff to Air Force leaders and relevant information.


This long-standing relationship allows RAND and PAF to mount sustained analysis of both immediate and long-term, enduring problems facing the both the United States Air Force and Space Force and to apply insights from past research to current and future needs. Today, PAF is recognized as a world-class source of air, space, cyber, and national security expertise, and for having made unique and vital contributions to the DAF and the nation.


Within Project AIR FORCE, the  Force Modernization and Employment Program (FMEP) identifies and assesses ways in which technological advances and new operational concepts can improve the DAF’s ability to satisfy a range of future operational demands. This research involves assessments of technology feasibility, performance, cost, and risk. PAF assesses major air, space, and cyber force components needed in the future and the systems and infrastructure supporting their operations. Areas of specialization include air superiority, space superiority, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, mobility, strike, information warfare, command and control, space operations, cyber and nuclear.



The Program Director is responsible for leading and guiding all aspects of the program’s research agenda in a manner consistent with RAND’s mission to improve policy and decisionmaking through objective and innovative research and analysis.


To conduct this research, the program draws upon researchers from a range of disciplines including economics, operations research, cost analysis, engineering, management, and statistics. The FMEP director proactively adapts the research emphasis to stay on the cutting edge of policy issues within the program’s domains; helps to recruit, retain, develop, and lead researchers; ensures the quality of the program’s research; and works externally to enhance the visibility and policy impact of Project AIR FORCE.


The FMEP Director, reporting to the Vice President and Director of Project AIR FORCE, must:

  • Evaluate, oversee, and provide intellectual leadership for complex, multi-disciplinary analysis;

  • Manage a portfolio of projects on time and on budget without sacrificing quality;

  • Ensure that briefings, written reports, and other products meet RAND standards for quality and objectivity;

  • Help maintain a diverse world-class research staff by supporting recruiting, mentoring, and staff development in an organization that values diversity, equity and inclusion;

  • Provide advice to the Vice President and Director of Project AIR FORCE as part of the leadership team; and

  • Continually demonstrate ethical behavior and a strong commitment to RAND’s core values of quality and objectivity.



The successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • Experience working directly with senior national security officials, with Air and Space Force experience strongly preferred;

  • A reputation for excellence in policy research and deep knowledge of the policy environment through experience in academia, government, or elsewhere;

  • Evidence of excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, including a commitment to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and

  • A track record of organizational management success, including the ability to build client relationships and business and to maintain and manage a complex research program.



Education Requirements

Master’s degree in a relevant field such as engineering, physical sciences, economics, operations research, cost analysis, management, or related fields; Ph.D. is a plus.




Experience equivalent to a RAND senior level  researcher (roughly 8+ years of experience conducting policy research), including experience in managing complex teams in a client-oriented research environment.



Security Clearance

An active TOP SECRET clearance is required. Experience with Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and special access programs (SAPs) is preferred. 




Washington DC; Pittsburgh, PA; Santa Monica, CA. The Director will need to spend substantial time in Washington, DC as well as other Air Force operational locations.



Application Review

Will begin October 7, 2021.




Equal Opportunity Employer: race/color/religion/sex/sexual orientation/gender identity/national origin/disability/vet


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Director, Force Modernization and Employment Program (FMEP), Project AIR FORCE (PAF)

RAND Corporation
Santa Monica, California 90401

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