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Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward
manager for complex operations planning, Intelligence Division; unit chief for a technology development and deployment group, Technical Services Division; squad supervisor, New York Field Office; and Deputy Director, Investigative Technology Division (formally Technical Services Division). Between his last Laboratory assignment and his last technical investigative program assignment, he was detailed to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Department of Defense, where he was the director of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office and led advanced studies on complex current and future challenges dealing with weapons of mass destruction. He created the FBI’s WMD forensic investigative program, served as the Bureau’s science advisor to the 1996 Olympic Games, led forensic investigative aspects of a number of major terrorism cases, and initiated a number of new programs for both the FBI Laboratory and technical investigative program. In 1996, Dr. Murch created the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit, the Nation’s focal point for the forensic investigation of WMD threats, events and hoaxes. Throughout his FBI career, he also was involved with extensive liaison at the national and international levels in furthering science and technology for law enforcement, counterterrorism, and national security purposes. Dr. Murch retired from the FBI in November 2002, after nearly 23 years of service. From December 2002 through December 2004, Dr. Murch was employed as a Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses, a leading Federally Funded Research and Development Center, where he led and participated in studies for the defense, intelligence, and homeland security communities. He is still an adjunct staff member at the institute. He joined Virginia Tech in December 2004, where he now works in the areas of life science research program development, systems biology, microbial systems biology, microbial forensics, and biosecurity and university strategic planning. He has served or still serves on several advisory boards, including the Board of Life Sciences, NRC; the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Threat Reduction Advisory Committee; the Defense Intelligence Agency’s BioChem 2020; the FBI’s Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genomics and Forensics, and a new standing committee of NAS for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Biodefence Analysis and Countermeasures Center. He has also been a member of or advised study committees of NRC, NAS, IOM, the Defense Science Board, and the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee. Dr. Murch has been a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors; has served on the Board of Directors, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors; and has been a member of the National Institute of Justice DNA Proficiency Testing Panel. He also served as the Designated Federal Employee on the DNA Advisory Board.