Jack McCauley

Supporting Drug Policy Innovation and Expanding Efforts to Build Safer, Healthier Communities

A generous gift from engineer and inventor Jack McCauley will support the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and establish the McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation at RAND.

January 14, 2021

The RAND Corporation has received a generous seven-figure gift to support drug policy research and further efforts to use fact-based research and analysis to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities throughout the world. The commitment by the engineer and inventor Jack McCauley, which is part of the Tomorrow Demands Today fundraising campaign, will support the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and establish the McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation at RAND.

“We are deeply grateful for the leadership of Jack McCauley. His generous philanthropic support, combined with RAND’s innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving, will help us develop and promote actionable solutions to stem the tide of drug overdoses and addiction and ensure that individuals and communities can prosper,” said Anita Chandra, vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.

Beau Kilmer, a senior policy researcher and director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, will serve as the inaugural McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation.

“For three decades, the RAND Drug Policy Research Center has helped decisionmakers address issues involving alcohol and other drugs, bringing an objective and data-driven perspective to an often emotional and fractious policy arena,” Kilmer said. “With drug overdose deaths continuing to rise, we cannot limit our responses to existing approaches. Now is the time for new solutions, and Jack’s gift will empower RAND to contemplate and rigorously evaluate innovative ways to reduce these deaths and other drug-related harms.”

Kilmer’s research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with special emphasis on crime control, substance use, illicit markets, and public policy. His publications have appeared in leading journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and his commentaries have been published by CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. His coauthored book on cannabis legalization was published by Oxford University Press and his coauthored book on the future of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids was published by RAND with the support of philanthropic contributions.

“RAND is confronting the major public policy issues of our time,” said Jack McCauley, an innovator in residence at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley. “I am impressed by RAND’s work to highlight critical drug policy challenges, like the synthetic opioid problem and resulting increase in drug overdoses. I know my gift will help researchers explore new strategies for improving the lives of those who need the most help.”

In addition to funding the McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation, the gift will support the RAND Social and Economic Well-Being research division, which seeks to actively improve the health, social, and economic well-being of populations and communities and to support decisionmakers in using the best approaches to solve social and economic problems. It will also help fund RAND research on technology and innovation policy, including building on RAND’s body of work on autonomous vehicles and shaping recommendations for the use and implementation of new and developing technologies.