The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) is excited to announce the return of Dr. Robert (Bob) Hummel as Chief Scientist and Vice President of Research. Dr. Hummel has been with the Institute since 2009, but on assignment under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for the past four years.

In his role, Dr. Hummel will ensure the studies, reports, and publications of the Institute reflect the highest standards in science, technology, and policy. As Editor-in-Chief of the STEPS (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Policy Studies) journal, he will be soliciting and publishing meaningful articles to address topics of significance and highlight the ongoing work the Institute. “I am looking forward to working with our talented staff in conjunction with oversight by our Board of Regents, Fellows, Senior Fellows, and management at the Institute to amplify our impact in these times of great challenges for national science and technology policy,” said Dr. Hummel.

Dr. Hummel has a storied history and background. His doctorate is in Mathematics, but his academic career spans various aspects of computer science, engineering, and mathematics, especially in the computer vision subfield of artificial intelligence. He was a faculty member at New York University’s Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences from 1980 to 1997, when he joined the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a program manager. At DARPA, he managed a variety of projects ranging from automated sensing and surveillance systems, automatic target recognition, and Ladar data exploitation. He was also, famously, the technical coordinator and emcee for four consecutive DARPA Tech symposia.

The timing of this announcement is not lost on Dr. Hummel as he and the PIPS family mourn the loss of Founder and CEO, Michael Swetnam. “I am shocked and saddened at the sudden death of our leader and mentor. I had spoken with Mike about my return, and we had wonderful conversations and exchanges concerning plans for new activities at the Institute. Both he and I shared an excitement concerning future initiatives. I intend to carry out the vision that Mike described in our discussions to the best of my ability.”

Potomac Institute President, Dr. Jennifer Buss said, “Dr. Hummel has been an invaluable member of our team for years. His research, publications and constant push for excellence help make us who we are. We warmly welcome him back to the Institute and look forward to working closely with him once again.”