Tom LaTourrette

Photo of Tom LaTourrette
Senior Physical Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in geology, California Institute of Technology; B.A. in geology, University of California, Berkeley

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Tom LaTourrette is a senior physical scientist at the RAND Corporation with over 15 years of experience in energy, public safety, and homeland security policy. Energy and natural resource research focuses on renewable transportation fuels, management of spent nuclear fuel, and assessing biomass, oil shale, and natural gas energy resources. Public safety and homeland security research addresses worker safety and health in law enforcement, firefighting, and mining, disaster insurance, terrorism risk modeling, and aviation and border security. LaTourrette has testified before the Secretary of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, was a member of the Government Accountability Office's Yucca Mountain Alternative Uses expert panel, FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program Reform academic expert panel, and the California Little Hoover Commission's advisory panel for Safeguarding the State: Preparing for Catastrophic Events. LaTourrette also manages quality assurance for RAND's Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment Division, a key aspect of which is overseeing the peer-review process for RAND reports and other research products. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating California's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program
  • Risk factors for injury to police in vehicle crashes
  • Options for managing nuclear waste
  • Government spending under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act
  • Barriers to commercialization of safety and health technologies in mining

Selected Publications

Brian Jackson and Tom LaTourrette, "Assessing the effectiveness of layered security for protecting the aviation system against adaptive adversaries," Journal of Air Transport Management, 48:26+33, 2015

Tom LaTourrette, "Risk factors for injury in law enforcement officer vehicle crashes," Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 38(3):478-504, 2015

Tom LaTourrette and Noreen Clancy, The Impact on Federal Spending of Allowing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act to Expire, RAND Corporation (RR-611-CCRMC), 2014

Tom LaTourrette et al., Supplying Biomass to Power Plants: A Model of the Costs of Utilizing Agricultural Biomass in Cofired Power Plants, RAND Corporation (TR-876-NETL), 2011

Tom LaTourrette et al., Earthquake Insurance and Disaster Assistance: The Effect of Catastrophe Obligation Guarantees on Federal Disaster Assistance Expenditures in California, RAND Corporation (TR-896-CEA), 2010

Tom LaTourrette et al., Managing Spent Nuclear Fuel: Strategy Alternatives and Policy Implications, RAND Corporation (MG-970-RC), 2010

Tom LaTourrette, "The Life-Saving Effectiveness of Body Armor for Police Officers," Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 7(10):557-562, 2010

Henry Willis and Tom LaTourrette, "Using probabilistic terrorism risk modeling for regulatory benefit-cost analysis: Application to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative in the Land Environment," Risk Analysis, 28:325-329, 2008

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: ABC News (Chicago); Associated Press; CNN Radio; CQ Homeland Security Digest; KCBS Radio; Los Angeles Daily News; South China Morning Post; Tampa Tribune; United Press International

Commentary: Las Vegas Sun; Orange County Register; United Press International; U.S. News & World Report


  • Worker wearing a hazmat suit

    Breaking Down Nuclear Waste as a Two-Part Issue

    The U.S. Department of Energy is now planning separate repositories for commercial waste and the waste from the military's nuclear weapons production instead of disposing of both in the same repository as originally intended. Decoupling different parts of the nuclear waste problem is a small but positive step forward.

    May 5, 2015 Las Vegas Sun

  • The Tribute in Light is illuminated on the skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan as people look across the Hudson River in Jersey City, September 11, 2013

    3 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Facts for Congress to Consider

    With the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act set to expire this year, Congress is currently revisiting a crucial question: What is the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets? As the debate unfolds on Capitol Hill, policymakers should consider three key research findings.

    Jun 12, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

    San Onofre Risk Factors

    The ongoing effort to open a spent fuel repository in the U.S. demonstrates the magnitude of the technical and political challenges of such an undertaking, writes Tom LaTourrette.

    Jun 20, 2013 The Orange County Register

  • Prepare for Disaster

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Prepare for Disaster in the United Press International.

    Sep 27, 2005 United Press International