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Senior Engineer, RAND Corporation
Col. Bill Shelton.png
William (Bill) Shelton is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation. His research has covered such topics as improving acquisition processes for the US Space Force, accelerating US Air Force acquisition programs, the reorganization of Air Force Material Command, and how to improve the Air Force’s development and implementation of large-scale Enterprise Resource Planning programs. He has contributed to research assessing the Department of Defense’s posture in artificial intelligence, performing root cause

assessments of poorly performing major defense acquisition programs, and understanding cost and schedule overruns of large acquisition programs. Additionally, he has worked with the Department of Homeland Security on various projects including an assessment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mission support activities and supporting the Joint Requirements Council.

Bill, a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship cadet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1981. He reported to the Air Force Institute of Technology as an Aeronautical Engineering student, graduating with a Master’s degree in 1982. During his 26-year active-duty Air Force career, he worked in scientific and technical intelligence and as a program manager on tactical aircraft (F-16, F-22, Joint Strike Fighter), command and control (Improved Data Modem, Link 16), and missile defense (C2 Battle Management and Communications). He also served in the Department of State, Office of Defense Trade Controls as an expert on export controls and the International Traffic in Arms Regulation. Additionally, he had multiple Air Staff tours and was a member of the US Air Force and US Navy (as a civilian) acquisition corps. After retiring from the Air Force as a Colonel in 2007, he worked in industry and government prior to joining RAND in 2011.

Selected publications include:

Early Predictive Indicators of Contractor Performance A Data-Analytic Approach; Philip S. Anton, William Shelton, et

al, RAND RR-A542-1, 2022

Relative Contractor Risks: A Data-Analytic Approach to Early Identification; Philip S. Anton, William Shelton, et al,

RAND RR-A433-1, 2022

Improving the Technical Requirements Development Process for Weapons Systems: Systems-Based Approach for

Managers; Lauren A. Mayer, William Shelton, et al; RAND DRR-A997-1, 2021

A clean sheet approach to space acquisition in light of the new Space Force; William Shelton, Cynthia R. Cook, et al, RAND RR-A541-1, 2021

The DoD posture for artificial intelligence: assessment and recommendations; Danielle C. Tarraf, William Shelton, et al, RAND RR-4229-OSD, 2019

Federal Emergency Management Agency mission support activities: business process review of mission support

functions; J. Michael Gilmore, Sarah Harting, et al, RAND RR-2701-DHS, 2019

Estimating potential savings in Department of Defense activities; J. Michael Gilmore, William Shelton, Sarah Harting, RAND RR-2329-OSD, 201

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