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Alum Earns Doctorate, Publishes ‘Women as Terrorists’ Book

March 17, 2009

While at OBU, Cragin received a bachelor of arts degree in history, then completed a master of public policy degree from Duke University. At the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she was awarded the Boren Fellowship to study religious extremism. Cragin currently serves as a senior policy analyst at the RAND corporation, "a non-profit that conducts research on important and complicated issues," according to the organization's Web site (

"Initially, RAND (the name of which was derived from a contraction of the term research and development) focused on issues of national security," the site explains. "Eventually, RAND expanded its intellectual reserves to offer insight into other areas, such as business, education, health, law, and science."

During her tenure at RAND, Cragin has conducted field research in Iraq, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Egypt, Colombia, Northern Ireland, northwest China, Sri Lanka, southern Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the southern Philippines. She has contributed to several publications through the RAND Corporation, including "Terrorism and Development," "The Dynamic Terrorist Threat," "Arms Trafficking and Colombia," "Dissuading Terror," and "Sharing the Dragon's Teeth: Terrorist Groups and the Exchange of New Technologies." Cragin published the academic article, "The Early History of al-Qa'ida," in the Historical Journal in 2008.

According to, Cragin's book, "Women as Terrorists," is the first post-9/11 book to examine women's diverse roles in terrorist organizations around the world including groups in Palestine, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Colombia, South Africa, the Philippines and Northern Ireland.

Cragin's book can be found on