Colonel Randall J. Larsen, USAF (Ret) is the chief executive officer of the WMD Center, a not-for-profit research organization he founded along with former Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R-MO). He also serves as a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.
He previously served as the executive director of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, the national security advisor at the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the founding director of The Institute for Homeland Security, and as the chairman of the Department of Military Strategy and Operations at the National War College, where in 1999 he created the nation’s first graduate course in homeland security.
He was one of the first witnesses to testify before the 9/11 Commission, and since 9/11 he has served as an expert witness to: Senate Armed Services, Senate Judiciary, Senate Appropriations, House Government Reform, House Homeland Security, and House Budget Committees. He served on the 2003 Defense Science Board Summer Study on Homeland Security, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Speakers Association, and a member of the Board of Advisors at Homeland Security Management Institute of the Department of Homeland Security National Transportation Security Center of Excellence at Long Island University.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Texas State University in 1974, and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1983.
Colonel Larsen is the author of Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America (Warner Books, 2007), AVOIDING THE ABYSS: Progress, Shortfalls, and the Way Ahead in Combating the WMD Threat (Air War College, 2005), What Corporate America Needs to Know About Bioterrorism (National Legal Center, 2003), and The Executive’s Desk Book on Corporate Risks and Response for Homeland Security (National Legal Center, 2003). His articles have been published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, Business Week, and Ripon Forum. He is a frequent guest on radio and television including: CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, Fox News Channel, Larry King Live, Jim Lehrer News Hour, Oprah, and Dr. Oz. Larsen was the screenwriter and co-producer of www.fastervaccines.org and the principal author of http://biosecurityblog.com.
Larsen retired as an Air Force Colonel in July 2000 after serving in both the Army and Air Force for a combined total of 32 years of military service. His flying career began as a 19-year old Cobra pilot in the 101st Airborne Division. He flew 400 combat missions in Vietnam. He also served as military attaché at the US Embassy in Bangkok, the chief of legislative liaison at the US Transportation Command, and the commander of America’s fleet of VIP aircraft at Andrews AFB MD. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 17 awards of the Air Medal (3 with “V” Device for Valor), and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.