Dr . Charles Mueller joins the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) as Research Associate in the CEO’s office and a CReST Fellow at the Center for Revolutionary and Scientific Thought (CReST). He is currently working with Dr. Alan Moghissi and Mike Swetnam in establishing a Regulatory Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) at PIPS. He obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland’s Chemistry and Biochemistry department in 2014. His dissertation involved the characterization of two putative DNA metabolizing enzymes in the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and required a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, microscopy, and biochemical analyses. He obtained a B.A. in chemistry from Elon University and then worked at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health studying the effects of selenium on cancer using both live mouse models and tissue cultures prior to his graduate work.

Dr . Kathy Goodson joins the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies as a Research Associate in the CEO’s Office and a CReST Fellow at the Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought (CReST). Dr. Goodson completed her studies for a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Her dissertation research focused on spectroscopic determination of protein-DNA complex conformations using organic dye molecules. Her areas of graduate research study included biochemistry, physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, and molecular biology. Dr. Goodson received her B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia State University.

Brian Barnett is a research  assistant at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. He completed an undergraduate thesis on the neural bases of ADHD by exploring the interactions between prenatal nicotine exposure, impulsivity, and prefrontal cortex activity. His other research endeavors focused on neural representation of reward and value in the ventral striatum. He is passionate about neuroscience policy and has worked with Dr. Jen Buss to develop the ongoing Neuroscience Seminar Series and analyze the policy implications of their contents. He also contributes to technology consulting work within the RRTO Innovation Outreach program. Outside of the Institute, Brian is a multi-instrumentalist in a band that performs at local bars and venues.

Dr. Jennifer Buss completed her studies for a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  Her dissertation was on iodide salvage in the thyroid and the evolution of halogen conservation in lower organisms.  She has performed graduate research in the areas of enzymology, bioinformatics, molecular and structural biology. Dr. Buss received her BS in biochemistry with a minor in mathematics from the University of Delaware. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  She is a native of Annapolis, MD.

Patrick Cheetham is a Research Associate for Academic Centers and Programs at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  Currently, he is providing research and analytical support to policy development projects for the Department of Defense.

Mr. Cheetham joined the Potomac Institute as a research intern for the International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS) in August 2010.  From February 2011 to April 2012, he held the position of Research Coordinator for ICTS, and was involved in a number of projects, most notably coordinating research for the book Al-Qa’ida Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond (2012).  Further, he served as Assistant Editor for NATO’s journal, Partnership for Peace Review, in addition to researching, writing, and editing numerous reports and presentations on counterterrorism and managing the ICTS internship program.

Before joining the Potomac Institute Mr. Cheetham was the Assistant Director and Foreign Teacher for a TEFL program at a high school in China.  He received a B.A. in 2008 from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Political Science with emphasis in International Relations and two years of Mandarin Chinese.  He is currently pursuing a M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Kathryn Schiller Wurster is Chief of Staff in the Office of the CEO at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  As Chief of Staff, she provides critical, high-level support to the CEO/Chairman of the Board of Directors and the other Corporate Officers, and serves as a liaison to the Board of Directors and Board of Regents.  Ms. Schiller Wurster exercises coordination authority on behalf of the CEO and the CEO’s Office.  In addition, she helps advance the organization's strategic priorities, manages the planning and operations of the CEO/Chairman, and works frequently with the organization's senior leadership and staff across all functional areas of the organization to manage projects and provide strategic support.

Ms. Schiller Wurster is currently supporting the Defense Microelectronics Activity on strategic planning efforts, supply chain risk management and trust issues for microelectronics parts. Her past research projects have included work for DARPA, DDR&E, Air Force, Congress, and other agencies.

Symposia and events she has managed include: “Color of our Economy: Why Green Resources Must Be Valued in the Next Administration,” “Global Climate Change and National Security: The Science and the Impact,” “Developing Ethics Guidelines for Research and Use of Neurotechnologies,” “Every Crisis is a Human Crisis: Disaster Preparedness,” and “Glaucoma Screening and Treatment: Driving Towards a Unified Federal and Private Sector Policy Approach.”

Ms. Schiller Wurster helped launch the Center for Neurotechnology Studies (CNS) and participated in drafting the National Neurotechnology Initiative legislation, and continues to assist CNS with seminars and workshops on ethical, legal, social and policy issues related to neurotechnology.

Ms. Schiller Wurster attended the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political and Social Thought. She joined the Potomac Institute in May 2005.

Robert HummelRobert Hummel is the Chief Scientist at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, where he directs studies on technology and innovation, and supports a variety of Government clients, including DARPA, IARPA, and OSD. Previously, he was a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, responsible for the science and technology business offerings to the Intelligence Community, and for the S&T innovation strategy in collaboration with the commercial consulting wing Booz & Co.

From 1997 to 2006, Dr. Hummel was a program manager at DARPA, serving in the Information Systems Office, the Special Projects Office, and in the Information Exploitation Office. He was the recipient in 2005 of the Director’s Award for Personal Achievement.  At DARPA, he managed over a dozen different projects, and initiated projects in LADAR sensing and LADAR exploitation, multi-sensor exploitation, and computer science futures. He worked extensively with DARPA strategy teams, elements of the DoD Joint Staff, and with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he directed a 24/7 operation to provide indications and warnings, based on imagery sensor feeds.

Prior to joining DARPA, he was a tenured university professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. At NYU, his area of research was in computer vision and information fusion, and he published over 70 journal articles and refereed conference articles on object recognition in computer images, image processing, parallel computing, uncertainty reasoning information fusion, and mathematics. He served as Director of the computer science Masters Program, and developed and started a Masters Program in Information Systems.

Dr. Robert Hummel has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota (1980) and a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago (1975).

Michael Swetnam, CEO Michael Swetnam assisted in founding the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in 1994. Since its inception, he has served as Chairman of the Board and currently serves as the Institute's Chief Executive Officer.

He has authored and edited several books and articles including: "Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond," co-authored with Yonah Alexander; "Cyber Terrorism and Information Warfare," a four volume set he co-edited; "Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network," co-authored with Yonah Alexander; "ETA: Profile of a Terrorist Group," co-authored with Yonah Alexander and Herbert M. Levine; and "Best Available Science: Its Evolution, Taxonomy, and Application," co-authored with Dennis K. McBride, A. Alan Moghissi, Betty R. Love and Sorin R. Straja.

Mr. Swetnam is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Group to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In this capacity, he provides expert advice to the U.S. Senate on the R&D investment strategy of the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also served on the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Counterterrorism and the Task Force on Intelligence Support to the War on Terrorism.


The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Ballston Metro Center Office Towers
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 200
Arlington, VA 22203
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Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.

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