Tom LaTourrette

Photo of Tom LaTourrette
Senior Physical Scientist
Santa Monica Office

Education

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 media@rand.org.

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Overview

Tom LaTourrette is a senior physical scientist and interim director of the Community Health and Environmental Policy program at the RAND Corporation. He has over 20 years of experience in a wide range of topics related to energy, infrastructure, and public safety policy. His research covers alternative transportation fuels and vehicles; managing spent nuclear fuel; renewable and fossil energy resources; risks and mitigation to infrastructure related to sea level rise, wildfires, earthquakes, and terrorism; safety evaluation, technology, and regulation for emergency response; mining, petroleum refining, fire protection, and the military; disaster insurance; and risk modeling and technology deployment for terrorism mitigation. 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. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology.

Recent Projects

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Impact on Fire Safety Standards
  • Updating the Costs of Compliance for California's Hospital Seismic Safety Standards
  • Public Buildings in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria: Prestorm Challenges, Hurricane Damage, and Suggested Courses of Action for Recovery
  • Assessing Vulnerability and Improving Resilience of Critical Emergency Management Infrastructure in California in a Changing Climate
  • Evaluating California's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program

Selected Publications

LaTourrette, Tom, Defining Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices for Process Safety Management, RAND Corporation (RR-A1866-1), 2022

Miller, Benjamin M., Tom LaTourrette, Drake Warren, and David Metz, The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Impact on Fire Safety Standards, RAND Corporation (RR-A1100-1), 2022

LaTourrette, Tom, Benjamin M. Miller, Teddy Ulin, Kristin Van Abel, Krista Langeland, and Nupur Nanda, Public Buildings in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria: Prestorm Challenges, Hurricane Damage, and Suggested Courses of Action for Recovery, RAND Corporation (RR-2606-DHS), 2020

Preston, Benjamin Lee, Tom LaTourrette, James R. Broyles, R. J. Briggs, David Catt, Christopher Nelson, Jeanne S. Ringel, and Daniel A. Waxman, Updating the Costs of Compliance for California's Hospital Seismic Safety Standards, RAND Corporation (RR-3059-CHA), 2019

LaTourrette T, Lauland A, Fischbach J, Berg N, Stelzner C, Assessing Vulnerability and Improving Resilience of Critical Emergency Management Infrastructure in California in a Changing Climate, California Natural Resources Agency, 2018

Dixon, Lloyd, Tom LaTourrette, David A. Galvan, Charles A. Goldman, Nidhi Kalra, Christopher Nelson, Flavia Tsang, Paul S. Steinberg, James Lyons, Jerry Bowers, and Bob Katin, Process and Outcome Evaluation of the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, California Energy Commission (RR-1948-CEC), 2017

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

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

Commentary

  • Energy Resources

    Is Seabed Mining an Opportunity to Break China's Stranglehold on Critical Minerals Supply Chains?

    China dominates global supply chains for nearly all critical mineral resources, including the rare earths that power decarbonization technologies. Seabed mining may be a way to diversify critical minerals supply chains and break China's stranglehold on supplies of some of the world's most important natural resources.

    Nov 21, 2022

    RealClearWorld

  • Hurricanes

    Q&A with the Experts: Puerto Rico

    When Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico on September 18, electricity went out across the island. It was a reminder that recovery from 2017's Hurricane Maria is far from complete. RAND researchers discuss the difficulties Puerto Rico is still facing.

    Oct 10, 2022

  • Nuclear Energy

    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

  • 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

  • Nuclear Sciences

    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

Publications