David A. Shlapak

Senior Defense Researcher, RAND Corporation

David A. Shlapak is a senior defense researcher at the RAND Corporation. Since joining RAND in 1982, he has led research and published on topics ranging from counterterrorism to nuclear strategy.

His areas of research focus on the return of great power competititon as the defining characteristic of the global security environment. His current work includes the future of U.S. missile defense, considerations regrding the reintroduction of nuclear weapons into U.S. defense planning, and technology aspects of the long-term competition with China.

From 2014 to 2018, Shlapak was a founding codirector of the RAND Center for Gaming, one of six Methods Centers under the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is a former acting director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program in Project AIR FORCE.

Shlapak holds a B.A. in political science from Northwestern University and did his graduate work at UCLA.