Salute to Club Founder, Wharton Awardee: Dr. Armand Weiss, W'53, WG'54, CAE

Dr. Armand Weiss's accomplishments &
his long-time dedication to Wharton and Penn are notable
He's namesake of our Distinguished Club Service Award,
with 3 recipients at the Dinner: Jean Francois Orsini, Steve Oser, Anne Orleans

The Wharton School Club of Washington, D.C. has been a highlight of Armand’s life.  He was one of the original four founders of the Club in 1967, its first Secretary and second President, founder of the Wharton Award Dinner in 1970, Executive Director for 14 years, and now Executive Director Emeritus, recipient of the Wharton Award (with Larry Bailey) in 1991, and the only recipient of the Club’s Lifetime Service Award.  He has been continuously active for the Club’s 40 years and attended all 39 Wharton Award Dinners. He is a worthy namesake for the Wharton Club of DC's Distinguished Club Service Award.

Armand was born in 1931 in Richmond, Virginia, and lived there until he entered the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a full NROTC scholarship in 1950.  He received his B.S. in Econ. in 1953 and an MBA in 1954.  While at Penn, Armand was active in campus life, serving as an officer of several groups and the yearbook.  He captained the championship intramural volleyball team.  Working the entire four years at Penn, his jobs included, among many, being a statistics tutor, supervisor of the statistics lab, and assistant to Prof. Simon Kuznets, winner of a Nobel Prize in Economics.  Wharton’s Dean judged Armand’s MBA thesis as the best in his class.

After graduation, Armand served as an officer in the Supply Corps.  His final assignment was as Assistant to the Auditor General of the Navy.  He then served as Project Director at two government-sponsored think tanks, the Center for Naval Analyses and Logistics Management Institute.

While working at CNA and LMI , Armand attended George Washington University’s School of Government and Business at night and received his Doctor of Business Administration degree (DBA) in 1971.  He founded and served as Senior Vice President of the GWU Doctoral Association, was President of GWU’s School of Business Alumni Association, was on the Governing Board of GWU’s Alumni Association, and chaired the University’s Publications Committee.  In 1980, he was one of five people to receive GWU’s Alumni Service Award.

When the Oil Embargo of 1973 hit the U.S., Armand was brought into the newly established Federal Energy Administration (now the U.S. Department of Energy), where he was Director of Systems Integration and Coordinator of Project Independence.  He was a co-founder and first Coordinator of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

When Congress passed legislation establishing the National Commission on Supplies and Shortages in 1976 to minimize or avoid future shortages of minerals and other natural resources, Armand was named Senior Economist of the Commission, which reported directly to the President and Congress.  Upon completion of the final report, Armand moved to System Planning Corporation, where he was Project Director and Technical Assistant to the Vice President, working on highly classified subjects.

In the 1970s, Armand served as head of U.S. participation in two NATO conferences on operations research topics and was Chairman of the Advisory Panel of the Defense Economic Analysis Council.

Although a lifelong Democratic, Armand served on President Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural Committee.  He has worked in numerous Democratic activities at the national, state, and local levels, including working with the transition team that welcomed President Bill Clinton to the White House on inauguration day, and being Treasurer of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, his district committee, and a congressional campaign. He is currently serving on the Budget Task Force for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to help balance a $500+ million shortfall in the next fiscal year’s budget.

While working in defense fields for about 30 years, Armand was also deeply involved in many non-profit organizations.  In the mid-1970s, he switched careers, forming Associations International, Inc., an associations management company.  Armand has been President of AI for 33 years and has served as executive director of many non-profits.  He is a lifetime Certified Association Executive (CAE).  For the past eight years, Armand has been Administrator of The Daniel Heumann Fund for Spinal Cord Research.  For his work to cure paralysis, he was named a “Hero of Hope” by Rutgers University’s Spinal Cord Injury Project.  He was Treasurer of Quest for the Cure, a coalition of national organizations in the paralysis field, and was a delegate to a scientific meeting on the subject at the United Nations.

In 1980, Armand was recruited by the FBI to become a “double agent” for the U.S. and the USSR. For three years Armand did undercover work, resulting in the expulsion from the U.S. of a Soviet diplomat.  The story made front page headlines throughout the U.S. and was a principal subject of the national, best-selling book, Spy vs. Spy. Armand received a major award from the U.S. government for his work.  For many years, Armand has done work for various intelligence agencies.  He has traveled to over 60 countries around the world, much of the travel for the government.

Armand has been active in operations research/management science organizations.  For the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA), he was Chairman of the Meetings Committee (5 years); Chairman of their largest applications section, the Cost-Effective Section; President (and Executive Director for 22 years) of their largest geographical section, the Washington Operations Research Council; Editor of various newsletters for a cumulative total of over 50 years:  Operations Research/Systems Analysis Today  (Founding Editor, 3 years), Operations Research/Management Science Today (Founding Editor, 14 years, The Cost-Effectiveness Newsletter (Founding Editor, 5 years), Feedback, the newsletter of WORC (24 years),   and occasional editor of Health Applications, Military Applications, Transportation Applications, Social Science Applications, and other application publications (10+ years).  He was also Assistant Editor of Operations Research (5 years). 

OR/MS Today was the joint publication of ORSA and The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS) and is the largest circulation publication in the world on the subject of OR and MS.  The Cost-Effectiveness Newsletter was the first periodical in the world on the subject of cost-effectiveness analysis.  ORSA and TIMS merged to become the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).  INFORMS presented Armand with its Moving Spirit Award.  Armand spoke at meetings of ORSA and TIMS in the U.S., Israel, and Mexico.  He was also an active participant in the International Federation of Operational Research Societies  (IFORS) and spoke at their triennial meeting in Ireland.

Armand has been president of many organizations, including the Washington Academy of Sciences, National Council of Associations in the Policy Sciences, Washington Operations Research Council, and Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Va. (the largest Jewish Temple in Virginia in membership).  He has authored or edited hundreds of books, magazines, newsletters, and scientific studies.  A Fellow of the AAAS and WAS, he has made state-of-the-art contributions in operations research, management sciences, and parametric cost analysis, and has taught at George Mason University, George Washington University, and The American University.  He was a Full Member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.  Armand is currently listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and other references. (If there were a Who's Who Among Wharton Alumni, Armand would clearly be listed in it, too)

Active in many philanthropic organizations, Armand is a charter/founding member of such organizations as the National World War II Museum, Battle of Normandy Museum, and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Navy League, and the American Legion.

Armand has competed in two Senior Olympics, winning eight medals, including a Gold and three Silvers. An Eagle Scout with Palms and other medals, Armand has been a Scoutmaster of Boy Scout troops in the U.S. and Japan and was a leader at the World Jamboree in France and at national jamborees in Canada and the U.S. In 1950, President Truman appointed Armand a delegate to the Mid-Century White House Conference on Children and Youth.

As of November 2008, he has been married to Judy for 51 years, and they have two children, Jo Ann Gardner and Rhett Weiss, and five grandchildren.

Bravo, Maestro! (Did we note that he's also a music lover?)