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Rudolph Hightower

Senior Lecturer


Page Hall

Dr. Rudy Hightower II is a retired U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer. In his former U.S. Navy career, he served in U.S. and overseas assignments conducting intelligence analysis and reporting, and crafting Joint Intelligence Support to Military Operations policy and strategy. Currently, Dr. Hightower is a senior lecturer at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. His professional expertise and academic research focus are international security organizations and U.S. national security policy. Dr. Hightower’s research methods specialty is nonlinear modeling and simulation. He formerly served as project associate in USAID’s Ukraine Parliamentary Development Project and served as a resident director of the International Affairs Department’s Ukraine Study Abroad Program at Ohio State. He teaches a variety of courses including Rebuilding Failed and Weak States, Public Management, Leadership in Public Organizations, Introduction to Public Affairs, MPA Capstone, and Policy Analytics, Modeling and Simulation courses. Dr. Hightower is also the CEO/founder of a private consulting company focused on developing and implementing nonlinear computer analytics, modeling, simulations and visualizations of complex public policy issues.

Primary research interests are organizational capacity and interagency cooperation in Reconstruction and Stabilization operations. Specifically, Hightower is investigating the effectiveness of both the current and historic U.S. foreign policy and national security initiatives that influenced public R&S 'integrator' organizations. Hightower employs both linear and nonlinear research methods, specifically system dynamics and agent-based modeling, to contribute to conversations on whether the U.S. “Whole-of Government” interagency approach to R&S operations has had a positive, negative or neutral impact on global stability and democratic consolidation. His research also investigates the public policy implications of the China-crafted and -led Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, and its influences on and impacts to future public administrators.


Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.