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Intellectual-Property Investor Joins NIST Advisory Group

Patrick Gallagher, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has named Karen Kerr of Intellectual Ventures to serve on the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT), the agency's primary private-sector policy advisory group. Kerr—who will serve a three-year term starting on June 1, 2011—brings the body's number to 15.

Kerr is the Director of Business Development at Intellectual Ventures (IV), an intellectual-property investment company based in Bellevue, Wash. She has over 15 years of experience as a venture investor in early-stage technology companies, working with a broad array of companies in life science, information technology, communications and semiconductors. She has served as an active director or board observer in numerous early-stage companies.

Kerr is a director of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and a member of both the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Advisory Committee and the Florida Technological Research and Development Authority Advisory Board. She is a trustee of Bryn Mawr College and serves on the Physical Sciences Division Visiting Committee at the University of Chicago. Kerr previously served as director of the Chicago Public Education Fund and as a senior advisor to Akoya Capital in Chicago. She is a member of the C200 (Committee of 200) leading business women and in 2000 was selected by Crain's Chicago business as one of the "40 Under 40" leading business professionals in Chicago.

She earned a PhD. in Physical Chemistry from The University of Chicago and an A.B. in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College.

The VCAT was established by Congress in 1988 to review and make recommendations on NIST's policies, organization, budget and programs. The next VCAT meeting will be June 7-8, 2011 in Gaithersburg, Md. For more information, please see the NIST VCAT website (

Released June 7, 2011, Updated January 20, 2023