John Villasenor

Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Law, Public Policy, and Management

  • B.S. University of Virginia, 1985
  • M.S. Stanford University, 1986
  • Ph.D. Stanford University, 1989

John Villasenor is a professor of electrical engineering, law, public policy, and management at UCLA and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an affiliate at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford.

Professor Villasenor’s work addresses the intersection of technology, policy, law and business, with a focus on topics including digital communications, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and privacy. He has published in the Atlantic, Billboard, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Scientific American, Slate, the Washington Post and many academic journals. He has also provided congressional testimony on multiple occasions. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, Professor Villasenor was with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he developed methods of imaging the earth from space. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Virginia, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

A sampling of Professor Villasenor’s scholarly work is below. To see a more extensive list of his publications, please visit


  • Books
    • Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education (with Ilana Redstone). Oxford University Press (2020).
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Algorithms, Housing Discrimination, and the New Disparate Impact Rule (with Virginia Foggo), 22 Columbia Science and Technology Law Review 1 (2021). Full Text
    • Algorithms and Fairness (with Virginia Foggo and Pratyush Garg), 17 Ohio State Technology Law Journal 123 (2020). Full Text
    • Artificial Intelligence, Due Process, and Criminal Sentencing (with Virginia Foggo), 2020 Michigan State Law Review 295 (2020). Full Text
    • Views Among College Students Regarding Freedom of Expression: An Analysis in Light of Key Supreme Court Decisions, 20 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Online 1 (2018). Full Text
    • A probabilistic framework for modelling false Title IX ‘convictions’ under the preponderance of the evidence standard, 15 Law, Probability and Risk 223-237 (2016). Full Text
    • Technology and the Role of Intent in Constitutionally Protected Expression, 39 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 216 (2016). Full Text
    • Corporate Cybersecurity Realism: Managing Trade Secrets in a World Where Breaches Occur, 43 merican Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal 329 (2015). Full Text
    • Rethinking a Digital First Sale Doctrine in a Post-Kirtsaeng World: The Case for Caution, 2 Competition Policy International Antitrust Chronicle 1 (2013). Full Text
    • Observations from Above: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy, 36 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 457 (2013). Full Text
    • Decrypting the Fifth Amendment: The Limits of Self-Incrimination in the Digital Era (with Vivek Mohan), 15 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Heightened Scrutiny 11 (2012). Full Text