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Photo of Randy Murch

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Randy Murch, D.C. area research development lead, set to retire

December 22, 2020

Randall Murch, who has served as the research development team lead in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area for 16 years, will retire effective Dec. 31.

In his current role, as the research lead in the Office of the Vice President of Strategic Alliances, he has focused on bringing and engineering new research and development opportunities to Virginia Tech through his extensive government, regional, and national network in the form of research grants, contracts, and program development agreements. His professional background and technical knowledge have provided increased recognition for Virginia Tech in the D.C. metro area.

Murch joined Virginia Tech in 2004 following a nearly 23-year distinguished career as a special agent and senior executive in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and two years with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federally funded research and development center. His focus, at the nexus of science and technology, law and law enforcement, and policy and security, have led him to additionally serve Virginia Tech as Professor of Practice for the School of Policy and International Affairs and as an adjunct for the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

“Randy has led an exemplary career as a public servant and researcher at Virginia Tech and in the federal government. We have benefited greatly from his prior federal executive experience and technical expertise as he advocated for our role in advancing national research priorities. I have been privileged to work with him. We wish him all the best in retirement," said Steve McKnight, vice president for Strategic Alliances.

Murch is known domestically and internationally for his leadership in biosecurity, especially in microbial forensics and attribution of biological weapons and toxins, and has been at the forefront of the emerging field of cyberbiosecurity. While in the FBI, Murch was involved in furthering science and technology for counterterrorism and national security at the national and international level.

Throughout his time at Virginia Tech, Murch has served on senior advisory committees to the U.S. national security community and spent time on loan to the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, putting Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) into action. He spent three years on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity for the Department of Health and Human Services. He also served on several study committees and advisory boards at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

“I owe much of my success here to the people I have worked for, worked with, and the support provided by many, for which I am most appreciative and grateful,” said Murch. “My time at Virginia Tech has been the experience of a lifetime. There is no doubt I identify as a Hokie!”

Murch earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound, a master’s degree from the University of Hawai'i, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in the Life Sciences.