José D. Villalobos, Ph.D.
Dr. José D. Villalobos is Associate Professor of Political Science and a UTEP Distinguished Teaching Professor. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his doctoral degree from Texas A&M University. He is a recipient of the University of Texas System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award and UTEP's Most Distinguished Faculty Member Award for commitment to teaching excellence, and is a 2019 Inaugural Member of UTEP's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He has also served as the Provost’s Faculty Fellow-in-Residence for UTEP's Center for Civic Engagement.
His research examines U.S. institutional leadership, public opinion dynamics, and policy making in the areas of the presidency, presidential-congressional relations, race/ethnicity, and immigration. His journal publications include articles in: Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, Political Research Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Public Administration, American Behavioral Scientist, Administration & Society, International Journal of Public Administration, Review of Policy Research, and numerous other scholarly venues. Some of his most recent work on the presidency includes an article that examines the role emotions play in presidential appeals for policy making (Presidential Studies Quarterly 2017) as well as a book chapter on presidential rhetoric and public policies in national security covering and comparing the Obama and Trump administrations (Routledge 2018). His research on the presidency has also applied public management theory to evaluate White House Chief of Staff influence (Public Administration 2014) and effectiveness in performance (Political Research Quarterly 2012, 2009). He is also co-author of the book Czars in the White House: The Rise of Policy Czars as Presidential Management Tools (University of Michigan Press 2015), which provides an in-depth analysis for better understanding the presidential staffing practice of appointing administrators—so-called policy czars—and charging them with directing the response to the nation’s most pressing crises. For his current research agenda, Dr. Villalobos and his co-authors have produced numerous publications delving into their originative Group Empathy Theory framework, which posits empathy felt by members of one group can boost support for another, with major public policy implications, even when the groups are in direct competition for rights, security, and resources (Journal of Politics 2016; American Behavioral Scientist 2016; Political Psychology 2017).
Dr. Villalobos currently serves as Director of Student Enhancement and External Relations for Political Science, member of the College of Liberal Arts UTROTA selection committee, and member of the College of Liberal Arts selection committee for the Outstanding Thesis Award. Among his numerous civic engagement/community outreach activities, he has served as a volunteer with Trinity-First Day School and Annunciation House in helping to provide meals for immigrant asylum seekers. He is also a faculty liaison with the Border Network for Human Rights for promoting voter registration and voting in El Paso (over 12,000 voters registered to date). Dr. Villalobos has also recently served as a member of UTEP's Outstanding Project Award Committee as well as for the Committee for the President's Meritorious Service Awards. His interviews with media outlets have included NPR, Univisión, NBC, Radio France, Deutschland Radio, CCTV, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Marfa Public Radio, KFOX14 (El Paso), PBS (KCOS-TV, El Paso), El Paso Times, and The Prospector (UTEP), among others.