Carlos Villegas is a Ph.D. student in the Technology Applications and Implications stream at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. His research interests include emerging technologies, disaster response and recovery, urban resilience, housing policy, smart cities, and urban governance. His work at Pardee RAND centers around improving disaster response, recovery, and resiliency through emerging technology and improving research, standard operating procedures, and technology development through ethical and equity principles.
Prior to joining RAND, Villegas was a staff researcher at Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research, where he leveraged social media and other sources of big data to augment models of the spatial and temporal spread of natural disasters. He also designed a survey instrument for a census and needs assessment of small urban manufacturers in the Greater Houston area, and helped launch the inaugural "State of Housing in Houston and Harris County" report series by visualizing and interpreting dozens of housing indicators. Villegas is also an adjunct professor at the Lone Star College system where he teaches introductory macro- and microeconomics, and a lecturer at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where he teaches introductory economics.
Villegas earned his M.P.P. specializing in economic policy, M.A. in applied economics, B.A. in economics with a minor in creative writing, and B.A. in political science at the University of Houston.