Natalie Crawford

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND

Estate gift from RAND leader Natalie Crawford to support researchers & Pardee RAND students

Natalie has been with RAND since 1964, serving in many leadership roles. With this gift, she not only cements her RAND legacy but helps provide the organization with a financial foundation for the future.

December 12, 2022

“I first heard of RAND when I was 15 years old. I didn’t know exactly what it was or what it did, but I knew smart people worked there addressing hard problems. I just knew RAND was the place I wanted to work,” said Natalie Crawford, senior fellow and distinguished chair in Air and Space Policy at RAND and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Crawford got the chance in February 1964 when she joined RAND as an analyst in the Armament Group of the Aero-Astro Department. She’s been with the organization since then, serving in many leadership roles, including as vice president and director of RAND Project AIR FORCE. Now, almost 60 years later, Crawford continues to make significant contributions to RAND and to give back, most recently with an estate gift.

Crawford’s gift of property will establish two funds at RAND in the name of Natalie and Robert Crawford, her late husband. One fund will support RAND researchers in extending the reach, influence, and impact of research projects. The other will establish a scholarship to support students at Pardee RAND pursuing a degree with an emphasis on applied technology.

“Natalie Crawford has always worked tirelessly to support RAND’s people and purpose. In addition to her contributions to national security, aerospace science, and technology, she serves as a mentor and advisor within RAND and Pardee RAND and has led the RAND Alumni Association—a forum for engagement among current and former RAND staff members—since 2009,” said Brandon Baker, vice president of development at RAND. “With this gift, she not only cements her RAND legacy but helps provide RAND with a financial foundation for the future.”

Legacy gifts like Crawford’s, which is part of RAND’s $400 million Tomorrow Demands Today fundraising campaign, include traditional estate bequests, as well as directed benefits from life insurance or retirement plans. They come with tax benefits and membership in the RAND Legacy Society, which recognizes those who have made a planned gift to benefit RAND or Pardee RAND.

“I’ve worked at RAND during a significant portion of its 75 years and have great regard for its people, its work, its mission, and the research it continues to produce,” Crawford said. “RAND remains very important to me.”