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Biography of Dr. Robert Armstrong
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Dr. Robert Armstrong is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Defense University’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy.  He writes and lectures on a variety of life sciences topics, including the strategic implications of a biobased economy and the role of biotechnology in the military. Dr. Armstrong holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wabash College and an M.A. in experimental psychology from Oxford University. He also holds an M.S. (biology) and a Ph.D. (plant breeding and genetics), both from Purdue University.

Dr. Armstrong served as a life sciences intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, concentrating on issues of food and natural resource availability in various Third World countries. He also worked on analytical projects involving biological and chemical warfare.

In 1993 Dr. Armstrong joined the US Department of Agriculture's Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization (AARC) Corporation. The AARC Corporation was a Federally-owned venture capital fund with the mission to stimulate the manufacture of industrial and consumer products made from agricultural materials. He served as the AARC Corporation's Executive Director during its last three years of operation. The fund was closed in 2000, having built a $40 million portfolio of equity investments throughout the country.  Dr. Armstrong continues to provide consulting services to a number of companies previously associated with the AARC Corporation.

In addition to his research activities at the Center, Dr. Armstrong maintains other scientific positions. He serves as Executive Director of the Joint Independent Science Panel (JISP)--a group of private-sector and government scientists who provide independent analysis of chemical and biological warfare issues to senior Pentagon officials. He also serves as Team Leader for the NATO Biotechnology Exploratory Team. Dr. Armstrong is also a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Network Science for Future Army Applications.  Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Council for Purdue University’s Agronomy Department

A veteran of Vietnam, Dr. Armstrong continues to serve as a colonel in the Army Reserve. He has held a variety of positions in both the National Guard and Army Reserve and is a graduate of numerous Army schools, including the Army War College. He currently serves as Commander of the 455th Chemical Brigade, headquartered at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.

Dr. Armstrong may be contacted via e-mail at or by phone at (202) 685–2529.

Read Dr. Armstrong's
"From Petro to Agro: Seeds of a New Economy" article, as published in in Defense Horizons, Number 20, October 2002, a publication of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy National Defense University.

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