Dr. Becky McCauley Rench 

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, Dr. McCauley Rench successfully defended her Ph.D. in Geosciences and Astrobiology at the Pennsylvania State University in 2015. Her graduate work focused on the diversity and metabolic potential of cave microbial communities as they relate to early Earth analog environments and the search for life. A West Virginia native, she completed her undergraduate schooling at West Virginia University and holds a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry. Before starting her graduate education and after obtaining her B.A. degrees, Dr. McCauley Rench participated in disaster preparedness response as an AmeriCorps member in San Francisco.

Dr. McCauley Rench is a Truman Scholar and NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

Michael Smith, IPA - DARPA

Robert Hummel

Dr. Robert Hummel formerly served as the Chief Scientist of the Potomac Institute in the CEO’s Office and is a member of the Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought.  He is the author of the recent Potomac Institute book on “Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research,” and is also serving customers in DARPA and OSD.  He is the principle author of the Institute’s forthcoming book on machine intelligence.  He is currently researching material sustainment of materiel that is subject to atomic degradation.

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, he served as a program manager at DARPA for nearly nine years, managing and initiating projects in information exploitation, computer science, and sensor design.  Prior to joining DARPA, he was a tenured faculty member at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in the Computer Science Department, where he did research in computer vision and artificial intelligence.  

Dr. Hummel’s PhD is from the University of Minnesota in mathematics, and he holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago, also in mathematics.


The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Ballston Metro Center Office Towers
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.525.0770

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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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