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Nelson Santos

Principal Scientist


MPA, George Mason University
BA, Chemistry, Florida International University

Nelson Santos serves as a senior advisor to RTI’s Center of Forensic Sciences’ projects and programs, including National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS), National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP), Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), and Comprehensive Opioids, and Stimulants and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP).

Prior to joining RTI, Mr. Santos served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Forensic Sciences, where he directed operations of the federal government's largest regional forensic science laboratory system. This included spearheading efforts in stakeholder interaction improvement, technical modernization, risk management, performance auditing, and system-wide implementation of Lean Six Sigma principles.

Mr. Santos served as Vice Chair of the National Commission on Forensic Sciences, where he helped lead congressional-authorized efforts to improve the practice of forensic science by facilitating the completion of 41 work products. He also represented the Department of Justice in collaborations with state, local, and other federal programs, including the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the Community Oriented Policing.

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