The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced the appointment of Jorge R. Urrutia as the agency's new director of administration. Urrutia returns to NIST's Gaithersburg, Md., headquarters where he previously served as chief of the Plant Division from 1987 until 1991. Since 1991, Urrutia has been director, Division of Engineering Services, for the National Institutes of Health, an appointment that made him the first Hispanic at NIH in the Senior Executive Service (the federal government's highest executive rank).
As NIST's director of administration, Urrutia is responsible for an organization with a budget of approximately $60 million and a staff of nearly 600 support personnel. He directs and manages a broad range of administrative functions, including financial management, facilities management, facilities support, health and safety, procurement and management systems, and public affairs.
Urrutia's previous experience includes serving as engineering director (and before that head of the Civil Engineering Section) for the Naval Research Laboratory; program manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command; various Navy engineering positions (including details to Spain, Italy, Greece, Bahrain and the British Indian Ocean Territory); and as a highway engineer for the Federal Highway Administration.
Urrutia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland and an associate degree from Montgomery College. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer and is a past recipient of the Commerce Department's Bronze Medal (the highest award presented by NIST), the Surgeon General's Award, the Public Health Service Merit Award and the NIH Director's Award.
Urrutia succeeds Guy W. Chamberlin, who retired as director of administration in July.
As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.