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David Graham


Management and Governance, Organization and Alignment

David Graham joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)—a Federally Funded Research and Development Center in Alexandria, Virginia—in 1984, and until 2019 served as Deputy Division Director in the Strategy, Forces and Resources Division. His principal areas of focus include national security economics, military and civilian personnel management, and the study of national security institutions. Beginning in the 1990s, Graham led IDA study teams identifying the changes in national security roles, responsibilities, and organizations needed to respond to evolving security needs — including the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post 9/11 terrorism threat, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recent emergence of China and Russia as active competitors. The senior leaders requesting these studies included the Deputy Security of Defense; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps; the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command; and Congress. Graham played an active role in a series of national study groups commissioned to identify the post-Cold War actions needed to maintain a safe, reliable and secure nuclear weapons arsenal. Graham’s most recent IDA contribution is a 2022 report for the Army’s Recruiting Command outlining needed actions for sustaining the All-Volunteer Army given America’s evolving values, economic conditions, and youth attitudes. In 2000, Graham was awarded IDA’s Goodpaster Award for research excellence. Prior to joining IDA, he studied the economic effects of the government regulation of industry at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Civil Aeronautics Board, and the U.S. Department of Labor. While at the Civil Aeronautics Board, Graham coauthored Deregulating the Airlines published by MIT Press. He holds a B.A. degree from Wabash College (1971) and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (1975).