Research Leader for Biosecurity and Forensics - Randall S. Murch, Ph.D.

Randy Murch joined Virginia Tech in December 2004 as associate director, Research Program Development, National Capital Region. In addition to serving as a research leader for the NCR Research Development Team, he is also a professor in practice at the School of Public and International Affairs and serves as senior advisor for Microbial Forensics, Defense Intelligence Agency.

Murch's career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spanned 23 years and included responsibilities as a field agent, forensic biologist, research scientist, department head, and deputy director. He was a member of the Senior Executive Service for his last seven years with the FBI. Murch created the bureau’s U.S. national program for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear forensics in 1996. Today, this enterprise involves many agencies of the U.S. government and its oversight reaches to the White House. The FBI’s program was the first of its kind anywhere in the world and has been imitated or leveraged by a number of countries. He is also one of the founders and coined the name of the field of microbial forensics.

Murch also served the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Department of Defense, as director of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office. From 2002 to 2004, Murch was a research staff member, Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a leading federally funded research and development center, where he led or participated in studies for the defense, intelligence, and homeland security communities. He has published and presented extensively in this field, including making presentations in several countries and at the United Nations (Geneva). For the past 4 years, he has been advancing the U.S. global capability through the sponsorship of the Department of Defense. Murch has served, or still serves, on standing boards and study committees of the National Research Council and the National Academies, and on several advisory committees for U.S. defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies.


For the RDT, Murch focuses on bringing and engineering new research and development opportunities from intelligence, defense, homeland security, law enforcement, life sciences, and bio security through his extensive government, regional, and national network. He is also in the process of creating new research and study programs in strategy, policy, operational concepts, and science and technology related to security, robustness and resiliency in complex systems, human networks performance in complex national security enterprises, and novel global infectious disease enterprise management. Building new collaborations with other academic institutions is part of these activities.

Contact Information

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