John M. Butler is an internationally recognized expert in forensic DNA analysis and holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Virginia. He has written five textbooks on Forensic DNA Typing (2001, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2015) and given hundreds of invited talks to scientists, lawyers, and members of the general public throughout the United States and in more than 25 other countries so far.
Dr. Butler’s research, first conducted at the FBI Laboratory and now at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), pioneered the methods used today worldwide for DNA testing in criminal casework, paternity investigations, and many DNA ancestry assessments. He has been honored in multiple White House ceremonies (2002 and 2015) for his work in advancing DNA testing.
In 2011, ScienceWatch.com named him the worldwide high-impact author in legal medicine and forensic science over the previous decade. A 2020 Stanford University analysis of eight million scientists published since 1960 put Dr. Butler as #7 (#1 from the United States) out of 10,159 researchers worldwide in the subcategory of legal medicine and forensic science. He has received the Gold Medal (2008) and Silver Medal (2002) from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Scientific Prize of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (2003), the Paul L. Kirk Award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (2017), and the Magnus Mukoro Award for Integrity in Forensic Science from the NYC Legal Aid Society (2020).
Dr. Butler is a NIST Fellow (highest scientific rank at NIST) and Special Assistant to the Director for Forensic Science in the NIST Special Programs Office. He served as the Vice-Chair of the National Commission on Forensic Science from 2013 to 2017. In 2019, he was elected the President of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, which has 1300 members in 84 countries.
Memberships and Committees
National Institute of Justice World Trade Center Kinship and Data Analysis Panel (WTC KADAP) (2002-2005)
Department of Defense Quality Assurance Oversight Committee for DNA Analysis (2003-2012)
Hurricane Katrina Victim Identification DNA Expert Group (2005-2006)
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DNA Expert Panel (2008)
NIJ Expert System Testbed (NEST) Project Team Advisor (2005-2009)
NIST Research Library Advisory Board (2007-2010)
Virginia Department of Forensic Science Science Advisory Committee (2009-2013)