By day, Todd Richmond is the director of the Tech + Narrative Lab and faculty at the Pardee RAND School of Public Policy. By night he is a musician, visual artist, and conceptual troublemaker. In a previous life Richmond was a chemistry professor at The Claremont Colleges where early in his faculty career he incorporated multimedia and web technologies into his teaching and research. That work led him to evolve from his specific focus on chemistry to instead pursue a broader understanding of technology and content as managing director of the USC Annenberg Center for Communication, a new media research center.
In 2006 Richmond moved to the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (an Army UARC) and eventually led the Advanced Prototype group and Mixed Reality Lab, also serving on the senior leadership team. He has worked in a variety of areas: emerging disruptive technologies and their implications/applications for training, learning, and operations; future environments for communication and collaboration; immersive technologies; interactive education; visualization and analytics.
In 2015 Richmond served as adjunct faculty in the USC Marshall School of Business, teaching Leadership and Executive Development courses in the MBA program. He was adjunct (2006), then research faculty (2016-2018) at the USC School for Cinematic Arts, teaching in the Media Arts + Practice division as well as serving as co-PI on the Cell as a City project with Alex McDowell.
Throughout his almost two decades at USC, Richmond increasingly broadened his scope of interest and expertise, particularly focusing on the unintended consequences of emerging technology. His “applications and implications” mantra led him to move into the public policy realm. In 2018 he joined Pardee RAND Graduate School where he currently is the director of the Tech + Narrative Lab, and faculty in the public policy & analysis Ph.D. program, and lead for the Technology Applications and Implications stream.
On the music tip, he is a multi-instrumentalist, picking up guitar and piano at age 8, followed by banjo and bass and more recently dobro. He has studied with Grammy- winning bassist Victor Wooten, and performs regularly with a number of different ensembles as well as solo shows. He is an award-winning composer, part of the ground-breaking live-streamed SciFi show Orbital Redux. Richmond earned a B.A. in chemistry from the University of San Diego and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in protein engineering at U.C. San Francisco.