Dave Baiocchi

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Adjunct Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


Ph.D. and M.S. in optical sciences, University of Arizona; B.S. in physics, DePaul University

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 media@rand.org.

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Dave Baiocchi (bye-OH-key) is an adjunct researcher at the RAND Corporation, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where he teaches courses on research and design. He is a designer, futurist and problem-solver who works at the intersection of technology, art and the human experience. 

A recovering engineer, Baiocchi started his career at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he designed space telescopes—he has several sensors currently in orbit. Looking to have greater impact on the nation’s science and technology strategies, he joined the RAND Corporation in 2008, and he built a client practice that helped senior decision makers at NASA, DARPA and the Air Force better understand the implications of emerging technologies. 

In 2019, Baiocchi founded Imaginative Futures, an innovation strategy consultancy that integrates original, multidisciplinary research with technology & design trends to help business leaders adapt in a rapidly changing world. 

Baiocchi remains affiliated with RAND as an adjunct researcher, where he works on special projects with RAND leadership. He holds a B.S. in physics from DePaul University and a Ph.D. in optical sciences from the University of Arizona.

Recent Projects

  • Identifying effective management strategies for the DoD's national laboratories
  • Assessing the business case for the Maui High Performance Computing Center
  • Helping the Air Force Research Labs maximize the utility of their optical observatories
  • Understanding the Army's deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan
  • Technology policy for space debris remediation

Selected Publications

Dave Baiocchi and Steven Fox, Surprise! From CEOs to Navy SEALs: How a Select Group of Professionals Prepare for and Respond to the Unexpected, RAND (RR-341), 2013

Dave Baiocchi and William Welser IV, Confronting Space Debris, RAND (MG-1042), 2010

Tim Bonds, Dave Baiocchi, and Laurie McDonald, Army Deployments to OIF and OEF, RAND (DB-587), 2009

Honors & Awards

  • Brown Fellowship, Pardee RAND Graduate School, 2015
  • RAND Gritton Award, RAND Corporation, 2013
  • RAND Bronze Award, RAND Corporation, 2010

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Quartz

Commentary: Houston Chronicle; Leadership Excellence Magazine


  • A computer-generated image of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked, 95% of which is orbital debris

    Debris Poses Increased Threat to Exploration

    Today, every satellite launch and maneuver is carefully coordinated because some orbits are strewn with the space-based equivalent of blown tires, abandoned vehicles, loose gravel and, of course, other traffic.

    May 16, 2014 Houston Chronicle

  • A U.S. Navy SEAL hangs on to a pier during a combat swimmer training dive

    Surprise! Now What?

    Who is best prepared for responding to surprise: a Navy SEAL, an NFL coach, or a Fortune 500 CEO? The answer is that all three professions have something to teach us: The NFL coach is an expert in pre-planning; the SEAL is great under pressure; and a good CEO has become an expert in responding to strategic threats.

    Aug 27, 2013 the October 2013 edition of Leadership Excellence magazine and on The RAND Blog

  • An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter lowers supplies to the deck of the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto

    Surprise: Q and A with Dave Baiocchi and D. Steven Fox

    Dave Baiocchi, RAND senior engineer and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and assistant policy analyst D. Steven Fox discuss their new study,

    Aug 14, 2013

  • space

    Satellite Collision Is a Reminder of Challenges Posed by Space Debris

    This isn't going to be an easy problem to solve because, like spilled petroleum products, debris can spend years lurking in an environment that is foreign to most people's daily lives, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Mar 15, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Meteorite and the Earth

    The Effects of Celestial Events Go Beyond Their Impact

    While the event in Russia was caused by a medium-sized (10,000-ton) meteor, larger objects, like the asteroid 2012 DA14 that also passed near Earth last week, have the potential to be significantly more damaging, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Feb 20, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • A United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium rocket carrying the fourth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite

    Intelsat Crash a Setback for Space Lift Competition

    Sea Launch's recent failure means more than just a lost payload and revenue for Intelsat: It means the status quo for launch services will continue for a while longer, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Feb 12, 2013 The RAND Blog