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New NIST Measurement Office Focuses on Innovation

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director William Jeffrey has named Clare Allocca as the chief of NIST's new United States Measurement System (USMS) Office. The creation of the office marks the start of the second phase of NIST's USMS effort to ensure that the nation's measurement infrastructure—a large, diverse collection of private and public-sector organizations—can sustain U.S. innovation at a world-leading pace.

Phase I of the USMS effort culminated in February 2007 with a wide-ranging NIST assessment of the state of the nation's measurement system and its impact on innovation. The USMS report, including contributions from more than 1,000 people in industry, academia and government, surveyed measurement needs across 11 industrial sectors and technology areas to identify more than 700 measurement-related barriers to innovation.

NIST's USMS Office will take the lead in the implementation of Phase II, which includes continual collection of measurement needs of U.S. industry, government and the scientific community; the periodic assessment of the health of the U.S. Measurement System, through identification of priority areas needing improvements; and the facilitation of these improvements via dissemination of needs to appropriate measurement providers, including NIST.

Allocca brings a wealth of experience to her new role as USMS Office Chief. Previously, she served as scientific advisor to the director of NIST's Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. Her NIST career also includes positions in the agency's Industrial Liaison Office, Program Office, Director's Office and the Advanced Technology Program. Before joining NIST, she was a senior materials engineer for Pratt & Whitney.

"NIST will lead the USMS effort," says Allocca, "but our success in addressing priority measurement needs will really depend on close collaboration with other measurement providers, standards development organizations and many others."

For more on the USMS, including access to the assessment report, go to

Released July 20, 2007, Updated January 25, 2023