Dr. Nidhi Kalra is a senior information scientist at the RAND Corporation. She is the director of RAND's San Francisco Bay Area office and co-director 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 co-author 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 several congressional hearings and is also a member of the California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the State legislature on road use charge alternatives to the gas tax.
Kalra also helps organizations improve how they make robust decisions, particularly in the face of climate change, which she views as the most urgent problem of our time. She recently led a project to ensure long-term water security in Lima, Peru and is helping the State of California make long-term investments in the Sacramento-San Juaquin Delta. 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 decision making.
Kalra developed educational technology tools to promote literacy among blind children in India, a project that recently received the Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation. She received her Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.