Robert Zirkle has been a Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)—a Federally Funded Research and Development Center—since January 1990. He has participated in a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative research, ranging from tactical nuclear stockpile issues to conventional arms control to weapons testing and acquisition to culture and language training within professional military education.
Dr. Zirkle’s areas of expertise include modeling chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons effects; verification and validation of software; and combat modeling. During his tenure at IDA, he has worked on projects for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Community. Prior to joining IDA, he worked for four years as a defense policy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Dr. Zirkle is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Physics and B.A. in Political Science. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Political Science Department in 2008, where he focused on international relations and national security issues. His dissertation examined organizational culture and politics within the US Army and their impact on the service’s force structure, doctrine, and weapon systems.