The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology has recommended Henry V. Oppermann to the U.S. Commercial Service for the position of standards officer at the United States Embassy in Mexico City. Oppermann will report to U.S. government and private-sector interests on standards-related developments in Mexico and Central America. He also will work to help U.S. businesses and exporters obtain information on Mexican and Central American regulations and standards that might affect U.S. exports to this Western Hemisphere region.
Oppermann was transferred from NIST to the U.S. Commercial Service in March 1996. His assignment to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico was made under the terms of a memorandum between NIST and the Commercial Service, a unit of DoC's International Trade Administration. The memorandum covers formal and working relationships between the agencies for the assignment of standards experts to selected U.S. embassies and missions to achieve common goals concerning standards and exports.
Oppermann will provide technical support to the U.S. Ambassador and the Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He also will work closely with the Mexican Directorate General of Standards (abbreviated DGN for Direccion General de Normas). The standards organization is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industrial Development (abbreviated SECOFI for Secretaria de Comercio y Fomento Industrial).
The selection of Oppermann for the position in Mexico City is part of a NIST standards program to help commercial service counselors in foreign embassies and missions with their efforts to assist U.S. companies overcome specifically standards-related non-tariff technical trade barriers. NIST operates a network of programs, including the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Saudi Arabia and India. Another post is being established in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Oppermann has been involved with standards-related issues for more than 25 years. He joined the NIST Office of Weights and Measures in 1976 after serving in the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison. In OWM, Oppermann supervised the State Weights and Measures Program, served as technical adviser to the Specifications and Tolerances Committee of the National Conference on Weights and Measures and served as the program manager for NCWM's National Type Evaluation Program.
Oppermann was awarded the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Bronze Medal in 1985 for superior performance, and he received the U.S. Department of Commerce's Silver Medal in 1987 for "meritorious contributions of unusual value to the Department or the Nation."
Oppermann is a native of the state of Wisconsin and a 1971 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in mathematics. He is a resident of Frederick, Md. Oppermann will be joined in Mexico City by his wife, Anne Carmichael.
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.