Staats, Richard (Institute for Stability and Transition)

Contact Information

Rich Staats
 Richard Staats
 Box 1232
 McLean, VA 22101-1232
 » Phone: (703) 983-7261
 » Fax: (703) 983-5491 
 » E-mail:


Managing Change in Organizations where Mission Failure is not an Option
Dr. Staats describes the fundamentals for successful organizational change in practical terms. The presentation includes both theory and practical suggestions from experience. Dr. Staats has worked with and in the US government at every level from overseas section through the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His insights are fun, enlightening, and educational. (Elementary)

Resurrection from Eden: Operations Research in a Combat Zone
Dr. Staats describes his practical experiences and lessons learned as an operations research analyst in a combat zone. Dr. Staats is also Colonel Staats and was both a military commander and principal advisor/analyst to the three star U.S. and Iraqi commanders. His anecdotes range from humorous to shocking, but all are thought provoking and timely. COL Staats describes the "three principles of analytic organizations." This is what "practical application" is all about. (Intermediate)

Conducting Studies for Seniors
Dr. Staats describes the four "laws of conducting a study" and gives some practical examples from his career as a consultant to senior defense and intelligence officials in the US government. (Elementary)

Mentoring Junior Analysts
Yesterday you were an analyst; today you are also a manager. Whether you stayed in the same organization or are taking on the challenge in a new setting, you are facing a different set of challenges. Dr. Staats spent over 25 years in the think tank world hiring and mentoring hundreds of analysts; he describes time tested methods for making a successful transition to management and helping to coach, train, and mentor the best, new generation of ORSA Analysts.(Elementary)

Bridging the Technical and Practical World
You are a brilliant analyst (just ask your mom). Your client is a hard nosed, practical practitioner.  Turn that into a marriage made in heaven.  Dr. Staats talks through the time tested methods for bridging the gap from the highly technical to the very pragmatic. He draws on experiences ranging from helping to establish a new government in Iraq to aiding with traffic signal control in the DC metro region. The talk is equal parts theory and practice with a little humor. (Elementary)


  • Ph.D. Operations Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • M.S.S. US Army War College
  • B.S. General Engineering U.S. Military Academy, West Point

A special thanks to the Veterans Administration for the tremendous help that they have been to our Service Members (including this one). We do not say thank you enough to you.

Rich has been a soldier, a scholar, and a director at a think tank. His military experiences ranged from platoon level to commanding general and national/strategic level assignments.  His civilian experience ranges from the tactical to developing national level, strategic policy, guidance, and legislation. Rich has contributed to six books and dozens of articles ranging from Operations Research to Artificial Intelligence to military logistics and game design.

Rich has been active in the game design community since the late 1970s. Rich has run seminars on world building for authors and game designers for almost 40 years including several years when it was a for-credit course at MIT.

Rich was blessed to be the single father of three: Kathy, Liz, and Rich Staats. Kathy graduated from medical school, and Rich was a Lance Corporeal in the US Marines and is currently the CEO of his own game company. Liz graduated from college in hospitality management and currently working as a chef.

Rich composes and produces music and videos. He has composed and produced seven albums. Five are currently commercially available.