Fabian Villalobos

Fabian Villalobos
Engineer; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. in materials science, UC Riverside; B.S. in chemical engineering, UC Riverside; AA in liberal arts, San Bernadino Valley College


Fabian E. Villalobos (he/him/his) is an engineer at RAND, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He manages RAND's Engineering and Applied Sciences Speaker Seminar Series. Villalobos has an interest in the intersection of technology, economics, and geopolitics and primarily focuses on issues in the national security and homeland security sectors. His work at RAND has included topics on emerging technologies, logistics, acquisitions, the defense industrial base, and China. Villalobos has a specific interest in vehicle electrification policy, critical minerals supply chains, and their impacts on climate change, trade, and international relations. Recent work includes Critical Minerals and Technology Supply Chains, U.S.-China Techological Competition, Technological Risk, Electric Vehicles, Hypersonic Missiles, and Autonomous Systems.

Villalobos has a background in Materials Science and Chemical Engineering with emphasis on aerospace materials, critical materials, energy storage, and renewable energy technologies. He is a co-inventor and co-author of patents. Previously, he worked in industry at startups and established manufacturers alike supporting R&D, product development, quality assurance, business development, and more.

His commentary has been featured in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, The Hill, Barron's, DefenseNews, New Security Beat, Governing Magazine, and more. He has been quoted in the New York Times, PolitiFact, Factcheck.org, Indopacific Defense Forum, The Wire China, and more. Villalobos has been invited to speak on topics like critical minerals and battery supply chains.

In his spare time, Villalobos likes to train Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and read Philosophy and sci-fi.

Selected Publications

Villalobos, Fabian, Jonathan L. Brosmer, Richard Silberglitt, Justin M. Lee, and Aimee E. Curtright, Time for Resilient Critical Material Supply Chain Policies, RAND Corporation (RR-A2102-1), 2022

Wilson, Bradley, Ellen M. Pint, Elizabeth Hastings Roer, Emily Ellinger, Fabian Villalobos, Mark Stalczynski, Jonathan L. Brosmer, Annie Brothers, and Elliott Grant, Characterizing the Uncrewed Systems Industrial Base, RAND Corporation (RR-A1474-1), 2023

Snyder, Don, Kristin F. Lynch, Alexis A. Blanc, Jonathan L. Brosmer, John G. Drew, Kyle D. Haak, Myron Hura, Daniel Ish, Kelly Klima, and Fabian Villalobos, Assessing the Effectiveness of Future Concepts in the U.S. Air Force: Application to Future Logistics Concepts, RAND Corporation (RR-A534-1), 2022