Dr. Dafna H. Rand is the Director of the Office of Foreign Assistance (F) at the Department of State. From 2017-2021, she was the Vice President of Policy and Research at Mercy Corps, a non-governmental organization working in 40 countries to support communities in need. Dr. Rand has a long career in public service: She has served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and as a member of the Policy Planning staff at the State Department. She also served on the staff of the National Security Council during the Obama administration. Dr. Rand is the former Deputy Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and a former professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). She started her career in government as the foreign policy and defense legislative assistant to Senator Frank R. Lautenberg.
Dr. Rand’s research has focused on international security and democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa, including two books on the subject. She earned a PhD in political science at Columbia University and an AB at Harvard University.