Dr. Ronald Meris is the Team Lead and Chief of Technical Operations for Technical Reachback Division (Reachback), Research and Development Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), DoD. DTRA’s mission to combat WMD includes research, development and operational support activities that enable the U.S. to reduce the threat from WMD. Dr. Meris leads a highly technical team of 56 experts who provide WMD analysis for the U.S. and its International partners. He assumed his current position following a distinguished 17-year United States Air Force career.
Dr. Meris started his active duty in 1980 as a Weather Forecasting Officer spanning a 17-year career included positions in weather reconnaissance, flying 43 times into named hurricanes and typhoons, to command and technical operations assignments while stationed in the US, Turkey (NATO) and the Republic of Korea.
In 1999, Dr. Meris accepted a position in DTRA as a meteorologist and then quickly became the Program Manager for the Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC), which grew into his current position at Reachback. Dr. Meris supported several US National Security Events, led the Consequence Assessment Center for the 2002 Winter Olympics, provided critical decision-support to senior leadership and critical analysis on the hazardous effect from an errant experimental satellite, and was recognized for his efforts supporting the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak with epidemiological modeling.
Dr. Meris is often solicited as a subject matter expert on WMD analysis by the Office of Science and Technology for The President, OSD, Joint Staff, all Combatant Commands, FEMA, FBI, NATO, DHHS, DHS and various international partners.
Dr. Meris obtained a Doctorate of Science from The George Washington University in Engineering Management and Science Application where he published his thesis, Application of a Plume Model to Enhance Situation Awareness for Decision-Makers During an Outdoor Airborne HAZMAT Release. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma City University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University.
In 2014, the United Kingdom Chief Scientist Advisor awarded Dr. Meris the Civilian Service Medal for his Reachback team’s contribution to the Ministry of Defence’s CB modeling efforts during joint real-world operations.