Dr. Dafna H. Rand, Vice President for Policy and Research

Dr. Dafna H. Rand

Dr. Dafna H. Rand is using her extensive experience in government and policy to benefit the communities Mercy Corps supports around the world.

Based in Washington, D.C., Dafna serves as Mercy Corps’ vice president for policy and research. She took the position in 2017, seeing it as an opportunity to tackle global problems such as conflict, injustice and inequality from the ground up.

In her role, Dafna manages the U.S.-based policy and advocacy team, which works with actors like Congress, USAID and the World Bank to advance global policies that improve lives and affect positive change. She also leads the organization’s research team in collecting evidence and analyzing data to support and inform policy and programming decisions.

Dafna is energized by Mercy Corps’ field team members — seeing the tenacity, creativity and problem-solving efforts employed by staff around the globe to address the challenges facing their communities.

Prior to Mercy Corps, Dafna was a senior official at the U.S. State Department. She has also held positions in the U.S. Congress, U.S. National Security Council and elsewhere in the U.S. State Department. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Dafna is originally from Lexington, Massachusetts where, she notes, one of the first battles of the American Revolution took place. Outside of work, she spends her time chasing her three small children, with whom she enjoys dancing, singing, reading and playing sports.