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NIST Director Kammer to Retire at Year's End

Ray Kammer, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology since 1997, announced today that he will be retiring from the position effective Dec. 29, 2000, after 31 years in public service. Deputy Director Karen Brown will serve as acting director. The position of NIST director is a presidential appointment. Kammer was nominated to be the 11th director of NIST in September 1997 by President Clinton and began serving in the position two months later following confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Kammer was deputy director of NIST twice, from 1980 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 1997. During his second tenure as deputy director, he also served nearly two years on an acting basis as chief financial officer, assistant secretary for administration and chief information officer for the Department of Commerce. From 1991 to 1993, Kammer was deputy under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, the chief operating officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He began his career with Commerce in 1969 as a program analyst for the National Bureau of Standards, the predecessor to NIST. Prior to his appointment as NIST deputy director, Kammer held a number of management positions at NIST and Commerce involving budgetary and program analysis, planning and personnel management.

Kammer has chaired several important evaluation committees for the Department of Commerce, including reviews of satellite systems for weather monitoring and the U.S. LANDSAT program, and of the next generation of weather radars used by the U.S. government. He also served on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Testing and Materials, a major international society for the development of voluntary standards for materials, products, systems and services.

His awards include both the Gold and Silver Medals of the Department of Commerce, the William A. Jump Award for Exceptional Achievement in Public Administration, the Federal Government Meritorious Executive Award and the Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the NIST Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

For more information on NIST, see our Web site at To explore a century of NIST partnerships with U.S. industry, benefits to the public and impacts on economic growth, go to the NIST Centennial (1901-2001) Web site.

Released December 15, 2000, Updated January 23, 2023