Warren E. Walker

April 7, 1942

Brief Biography

Warren E. Walker is a Frederick W. Lanchester Prize recipient and Franz Edelman Award finalist who has made valuable contributions to the welfare of society through quantitative analysis of government policy problems. Walker received all three degrees from Cornell University, studying mathematics, operations research, and information processing. He has led a career of over forty years at the RAND Corporation as an analyst and project leader, applying his skills to problems at the local, regional, national, and global levels.

From 1969 to 1975, Walker worked at the New York City-RAND Institute, focusing primarily on improving the city’s urban emergency services systems. With Peter J. Kolesar, he devised an algorithm for the dynamic relocation of fire companies in the city. Their resulting paper, published in Operations Research, was awarded the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize by the Operations Research Society of America for the best OR publication in 1974. The duo was lauded for their application of operations research to what was then a new field. Their methodology was demonstrated as being clearly better than existing procedures and celebrated for its universal design and ability to be applied to other cities and urban environments. Walker’s work in this area also led to his receiving the NATO Systems Science Prize in 1976.

In 1977, Walker moved to RAND headquarters in Santa Monica, California, where he began to focus on cost-effective water management policies for the Netherlands and a decision support system for managing enlisted personnel in the United States Air Force. His work on water management led to the adoption of new policy by the Dutch Parliament and was a finalist for the Franz Edelman Award in 1984.

Walker received the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences President’s Award in 1997 for his international body of high-impact work for the benefit of society and his well-rounded, influential career. In all, Walker has published nearly ninety reports with the RAND Corporation, expanding upon such topics as traffic forecasting, shipping, policy analysis, transportation planning, emergency services deployment and resource use, linear programming, and simulation. 

In 1992, Walker became associated with RAND Europe and  subsequently a Professor of Policy Analysis in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, from which he is now Emeritus. He has been a special advisor to the Director of Freight Policy in the Netherlands, is one of the founders of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty, and is currently an advisor to the Netherlands’ Delta  Commissioner, working on a policy for Adaptive Delta Management to deal with the threat of global climate change.

Other Biographies

Delft University of Technology. Multi Actor Systems Faculty: Prof.dr. W.E. (Warren) Walker. Accessed June 3, 2015. (link)


Cornell University, BA 1963

Cornell University, MS 1964

Cornell University, PhD 1968


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • RAND Corporation
  • Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Management
  • New York City Fire Department

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize 1974

NATO Systems Science Prize 1976

Franz Edelman Prize (with the Netherlands Rikswaterstaat and RAND) 1984

INFORMS President's Award 1997

Selected Publications

Kolesar P. J. & Walker W. E. (1974) An algorithm for the dynamic relocation of fire companies. Operations Research, 22(2): 249-274.

Crabill T. B., Kolesar P. J., Rider K. L., & Walker W. E. (1975) Determining the relation between fire engine travel times and travel distances in New York City. Operations Research, 23(4): 614-627.

Walker W. E. (1976) A heuristic adjacent extreme point algorithm for the fixed charge problem. Management Science, 22(5): 587-596.

Chaiken J. M., Ignall E. J., & Walker W. E. (1979) Fire Department Employment Analysis. RAND Corporation: New York.

Abraham S. C., Abrahamse A. F., Baan P., Baarse G., Bigelow J. H., Bolten J. G., de Ferranti D. M., De Haven J. C., d Rooij N. M., Dijkman J. P. M., Dorsman W. A., Goeller B. F., Groen H., Jaquette D. L., Katz N. A., Kirkwood T. F., Koenis J., Los F. J., Miedema G., Petruschell R. L., Pilles J. W., Repnau T., Smits J. G. C., Sprong T. A., Stucker J. P., van Beek E., van de Watering B. G. M., van Gameren J., Veen M. A., Walker W. E., & Wegner L. H. (1985) Planning the Netherlands' water resources. Interfaces, 15(1): 3-33.

Abrahamse A., Carter G. M., Murray M. P., Reding R. A., Relles D., Walker R. G., & Walker W. E. (1992) Building Organization Decision Support Systems. Academic Press Professional: New York. 

Walker W. E. (2000) Policy analysis: a systematic approach to supporting policymaking in the public sector. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, 9(1-3): 11-27.

Cave J., Rahman S. A., & Walker W. E. (2001) Adaptive policies, policy analysis, and policy-making. European Journal of Operational Research, 128(2): 282-289.

Harrenmoes P., Janssen P., Rotmans J., van Asselt M. B., van der Sluijs J. P., von Krauss M. P. K., & Walker W. E. (2003) Defining uncertainty: a conceptional basis for uncertainty management in model-based decision support. Integrated Assessment, 4(1): 5-173

De Jong G., Gunn H., & Walker W. E. (2004) National and international freight transport models: an overview and ideas for future development. Transport Reviews, 24(1): 103-124.

Additional Resources

RAND Corporation. Published Research: Warren Walker. Accessed June 3, 2015. (link)