Robert J. Lempert

Robert J. Lempert
Pardee RAND Graduate School

Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on risk management and decisionmaking under conditions of deep uncertainty. Lempert’s work aims to advance the state of art for organizations managing risk in today's conditions of face-paced, transformative, and surprising change and help organizations adopt these approaches to help make proper stewardship of the future more commonly practiced. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a convening lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, a chapter lead for the Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment, chair of the peer review panel for California’s Fourth Climate Assessment, a member of California’s Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group, and has been a member of numerous study panels for the U.S. National Academies, including America’s Climate Choices and Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate. Lempert was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin and the inaugural president of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty ( A professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis. He earned his Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • Developing and applying new tools for managing deep uncertainty and surprise
  • Climate change and environment
  • Water resources management
  • Managing innovation

Selected Publications

Robert Lempert and Sara Turner, "Engaging Multiple Worldviews With Quantitative Decision Support: A Robust Decision-Making Demonstration Using the Lake Model," Risk Analysis, 2020

Knopman, D. and R. Lempert , Urban Responses to Climate Change: Framework for Decisionmaking and Supporting Indicators. , (RR-1144-MCF), 2016

Tariq, A., R. J. Lempert, J. Riverson, M. Schwartz and N. Berg , "A climate stress test of Los Angeles' water quality plans." 144(4): 625-639., Climatic Change, 2017

Isley, S. C., R. J. Lempert, S. W. Popper and R. Vardavas, "The effect of near-term policy choices on long-term greenhouse gas transformation pathways." 34: 147-158., Global Environmental Change, 2015

Lempert, R. J. , "Values and uncertainty." 5.10 (2015): 914-915., Nature Climate Change, 2015

Robert J. Lempert et al., "A General, Analytic Method for Generating Robust Strategies and Narrative Scenarios," Management Science, 52(4), 2006

Christopher P. Weaver, Robert J. Lempert, Casey Brown, John A. Hall, David Revell, Daniel Sarewitz, Improving the contribution of climate model information to decision making: the value and demands of robust decision frameworks. Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 39–60, January/February 2013., WIREs Climate Change, 2013

Robert J. Lempert et al., Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative Long-Term Policy Analysis, RAND Corporation (MR-1626), 2003

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, American Physical Society

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: American Interest; Beyond the Beltway; Fox; New York Times; NPR

Commentary: Bloomberg Government; The Hill; The Huffington Post; Nature; Palisadian-Post; The Sacramento Bee; United Press International; U.S. News & World Report