Randall Murch is an former FBI laboratory forensic biologist, research scientist, and department head and deputy director, Ph.D., Research Leader, Office of the Vice President, National Capital Region, Professor in Practice, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech.
Following graduate school and brief service in the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Murch’s first career was with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was a Special Agent. In his early years with the FBI, he was assigned to the Indianapolis and Los Angeles Field Offices where he performed counterterrorism, counterintelligence and other investigations. During his career, he was assigned to the FBI Laboratory as a forensic biologist, research scientist, department head and deputy director at various times.
Interspersed with his Laboratory assignments were four assignments in the Bureau’s technical investigative program: as a program 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. Between his last two FBI assignments, he was detailed to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Department of Defense, where he was the director of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, where he led advanced studies on complex current and future challenges dealing with weapons of mass destruction. While in the FBI he created the FBI’s WMD forensic investigative program, served as the FBI’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; this laid the foundation for the creation of new fields in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons forensics. 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. He retired from the FBI in November, 2002 after nearly 23 years of service, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service for the last seven of those years.