Nidhi Kalra (she/her) is a senior information scientist at the RAND Corporation. She has previously served as director of RAND’s San Francisco Bay Area office and codirector of RAND’s Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty. Her research focuses on autonomous vehicle policy, climate change adaptation, and tools and methods that help people and organizations make better decisions amid deep uncertainty. She spearheads RAND’s autonomous vehicle policy work. Kalra is the lead author of the study “Driving to Safety: How Many Miles of Driving Would It Take to Demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle Reliability? (2016)” and coauthor of the flagship report “Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers (2016).” She has over ten years of experience in autonomous vehicle policy and is committed to using her expertise to further evidence-based policy making. She has testified on autonomous vehicle policy at three congressional hearings. Kalra also helps organizations improve how they make robust decisions, particularly in the face of climate change.
In 2018, Kalra served as senior technology policy adviser to U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris. In 2013, she served as a senior decision scientist in the Office of the Chief Economist of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, where she helped launch the World Bank’s portfolio in robust decisionmaking.
Kalra developed educational technology tools to promote literacy among blind children in India, a project that went on to receive the Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation. She received her Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.