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Barbara Butcher, MPH, was Chief of Staff and Director of the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. She was responsible for overall agency management, strategy, and inter-agency relations. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.


Barbara is regarded as a renowned expert in medicolegal death investigation, having spent
23 years at the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), consulted on international mass fatalities, been a featured speaker at numerous national conferences, a published author, and taught at multiple medical institutions.


Her prior roles at OCME included Medicolegal Investigator, Deputy Director of Investigations, and Director of Forensic Investigations, where her responsibilities included death investigations, disaster planning, victim identification, evidence, and missing persons. She oversaw the remains recovery effort at the World Trade Center site after 9/11 and helped manage the response to
the crash of Flight 587, and investigated the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. As a medicolegal death investigator at OCME, she investigated more than 5500 death scenes and
680 homicides.


Barbara also created the federally-funded Forensic Sciences Training Program at OCME and served as its Director.  It was established as a national center to train practitioners, enforce standards, and promote best practices in the death investigation field.


Barbara has worked internationally, consulting for the World Health Organization and responding to the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand, the London Underground bombing, and assisted in the disaster planning for the Hong Kong and Norwegian governments. She has been a featured guest speaker on Disaster Planning and Mass Fatalities at national conferences throughout the United States.


Barbara was also an adjunct assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine and New York Medical College, as well as an instructor at Louisiana State University in the National Center
for Biomedical Research.


She has held many board and committee positions such as the subcommittee of the White House Commission on Sciences, Forensic Division and is currently a consultant for medico-legal death investigation working with forensic pathologists, educators, television and mystery writers. She is a popular speaker at conferences and lectures as well as less formal groups, including for mystery writers and forensics fans.


Lecturer/Speaker on Forensics and Death Investigation at:

  • The International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners Conference, 2013-present

  • National Institute of Justice Annual Meeting, 2010 and 2011

  • Columbia Law School Trial Preparation Course

  • Homicide Investigations Course, New York City Police Department

  • Criminal Investigations Course, NYPD  

  • Executive Homicide Course, NYPD and guest law enforcement agencies

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice

  • Malloy College, Forensic Science Department

  • Westfield State College, Criminal Justice Department

  • NYU Department of Forensic Medicine

  • Arson and Fire Death Investigation, New York City Fire Marshal Academy


Speaker on Mass Fatality Management/Victim Identification/Disaster Planning at:

  • RCPT International Mass Fatality Management Conference NYC 2012

  • The Government of Hong Kong Symposium on Emergency Management (Keynote) 2011

  • Mississippi State Dept. of Health Annual conference, 2009-2011

  • Arizona State Conference on Mass Fatality Management, 2007

  • Norwegian Government Conference on Mass Disaster, Norway, 2006 (Keynote)

  • Virginia State Medical Examiner Conference, Virginia, 2006

  • W.H.O. Tsunami Health Conference, Thailand, 2005

  • U.S. Dept. of Justice, Identification of the Missing, Philadelphia, 2005

  • HazMat Conference, Disaster Planning, Nevada 2005

  • Harvard Bioterrorism Conference, Washington D.C. 2004

  • U.S. Senate Security Committee, Washington D.C. 2004

  • Forensic Odontology Conference, Disaster Response, 2004

  • NYS Mass Fatality Response Course, NY, 2003


Board And Committee Positions

  • Member, NYC Medical Reserve Corp, 2017-present

  • Suicide Prevention in LGBT Populations, Working Group, 2013-present

  • Scientific Working Group for Medicolegal Death Investigation 2011-2014

  • Advisory Board Member Center for Health Innovation Adelphi University 2012-2016

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Committee, NYC Department of Health, 2004-2011

  • Bioterrorism sub-committee, NYC Dept. of Health, 2004-2012

  • Health Advisory Committee to Bronx Borough President Ferrer 1986-1989

  • Health Care Policy Advisor to Mayoral Candidate Richard Ravitch 1988

  • Narcotic and Drug Research Inc., Vice President Board of Directors 1986-89

  • 911 Receiving Hospital Committee 1987-1989

  • Greater New York Hospital Association Public Affairs Committee-1987-89

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