John Villasenor

Senior Fellow

 John Villasenor is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and is on the faculty at UCLA where he is a professor of electrical engineering, public policy, and management and a visiting professor of law. 

Villasenor’s work considers the broader impacts of key technology trends, including the move to the cloud, the globalization of technology product design and manufacturing, advances in digital communications and electronics, and the increasing complexity of today’s networks and systems. He writes frequently on these topics and on their implications with respect to cybersecurity, privacy, and law. He has published in The Atlantic, Billboard, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, Forbes, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Scientific American, Slate, the Washington Post, and many academic journals. He has also provided congressional testimony on multiple occasions on topics including drones, privacy, and intellectual property law.

Before joining the faculty at UCLA, Villasenor was with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he developed methods of imaging the earth from space. He holds a BS from the University of Virginia and an MS and PhD from Stanford University. Villasenor is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an affiliate at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Nurses Shouldn’t Be Guinea Pigs

by John Villasenorvia Slate
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Ebola crises is disturbing and alarming in many ways. Among them: The fact that the U.S. response to date hasn’t fully utilized the statistical and big data tools that could play a vital role in both protecting health workers from exposure and stemming broader spread of the virus in the United States and elsewhere.

Analysis and Commentary

Statistics Lessons: Why Blaming Health Care Workers Who Get Ebola Is Wrong

by John Villasenorvia Forbes
Sunday, October 12, 2014

On October 12, officials in Texas announced that a “health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the Ebola patient hospitalized there has tested positive for Ebola.” According to Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, the health system that includes Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the transmission occurred despite the use of “full CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] precautions,” including “gown, glove, mask and shield.”

Analysis and Commentary

Five Things The Texas Ebola Case Can Teach Us About Critical Infrastructure Security

by John Villasenorvia Forbes
Friday, October 3, 2014

As everyone now knows, a man who had recently arrived in the United States from Liberia showed up ill at the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on September 25. Despite telling a nurse that he had just flown in from Africa, he was discharged by doctors who were apparently unaware of his travel history.

Corporate Cybersecurity Realism: Managing Trade Secrets in a World Where Breaches Occur

by John Villasenorvia IP2 Working Paper Series
Thursday, August 21, 2014

IP² Working Paper No. 14012 - Cybersecurity intrusions aimed at extracting trade secrets are an unfortunate feature of the 21st century business landscape. In response, many companies have made cybersecurity a top priority, and their networks and systems have become much more secure as a result.