J. Chancy Lyford is the Division Chief for Outreach and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). He was previously the Executive Officer of program. Prior to his joining MEP in 2015, he served for four years as the Deputy Associate Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) program. Chancy worked for twelve years as a SBDC Program Manager where he held a portfolio with oversight responsibility of more than $30 million in federal funds. During his tenure as a Program Manager, he spent two years overhauling the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership after being called upon to be the program’s (Acting) Deputy Assistant Administrator. Chancy served in various roles at SBA, including Chief of Staff to the Deputy Administrator, Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy, and as a Public Affairs Officer.
Prior to joining the SBA in 1998, Chancy spent a couple of years in the private sector working as an Account Executive with Ketchum Public Relations in San Francisco, California where he managed multiple accounts, including Levi's, Visa and Visa International. For ten years before moving to San Francisco, Chancy was Press Secretary for the then senior U. S. Senator from his home state of Arkansas, Dale Bumpers. His accomplishments in this role were extensive, including being part of a two person public relations team which successfully defeated the Disney Corporation’s plan to build an amusement park next to the Manassas National Battlefield Park, a proposal which would have forever changed an American symbol of the Civil War.
Chancy was also Press Secretary for the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee (now the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship) which has oversight of the SBA. There he was instrumental in the passage of legislation creating both the SBA's Microloan Program and the SBA's Women's Business Center Program.
Chancy holds a combined B.A. in English literature from Hendrix College in Arkansas and St. Peter's College, Oxford University, UK.