Michael D. Rich, chief executive and president of the RAND Corporation for more than a decade, will retire next year after a search for his successor is complete, the Santa Monica-based think tank announced Monday.

Rich, 68, became the fifth president of RAND in 2011. He began his career with RAND as a summer intern in 1975 and served in a number of senior leadership positions.

Under Rich’s leadership, RAND saw annual revenues grow from $250 million to more than $350 million, raised more than $190 million in philanthropic gifts as part of the Tuesday Demands Monday campaign launched in 2020, and addressed policy changes in health care costs, international security, the COVID-19 pandemic, and gun policy in America, according to RAND. He also helped lead research efforts related to the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life, known as Truth Decay.

“From my earliest days, I’ve been passionate about the role RAND plays in society and inspired by the people with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work and meet,” Rich said in a statement. “There’s no perfect time to leave a job you care so much about. But I’ve always wanted the next president of RAND to have the benefit of entering the role at a time of organizational strength and opportunity. That certainly characterizes RAND now.”

Rich will remain in place at RAND until a successor is installed. RAND Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, is leading the search committee.

“To say that Michael has been an extraordinary leader for RAND is a gross understatement,” Leiter said in a statement. “For more than 45 years he has exemplified what is best about RAND. In each of his many roles — researcher, Pardee RAND faculty member, director of RAND’s national security research division, executive vice president, president and CEO — he has served with the utmost integrity, vision, insight and commitment. His groundbreaking work on Truth Decay further highlights his remarkable ability not only to lead and manage, but also to provide invaluable intellectual leadership.”

Rich played a key role in the creation of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center that provides information and analysis to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joints Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies and the intelligence community, according to RAND. He also guided an expansion into international markets and developed RAND’s headquarters building in Santa Monica.

Rich is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA.

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