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Three Industry Leaders Named to NIST Visiting Committee; Hermann Elected Chairman

Three prominent industry executives have been appointed by Arati Prabhakar, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, to serve on the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, the agency's primary private- sector policy adviser.

The agency also announced that Robert Jay Hermann, senior vice president for Science and Technology at United Technologies, has been elected chairman of the VCAT.

The new members of the VCAT are:

  • Craig I. Fields, vice chairman of Alliance Gaming Corp., and previously, chairman and chief executive officer of the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp.;
  • James C. McGroddy, vice president, Science and Technology, and director of research, T.J. Watson Research Center, at IBM; and
  • Howard D. Samuel, senior fellow of the Council on Competitiveness and vice president of the Economic Strategy Institute.

The new chairman of the VCAT, Robert Jay Hermann, has been a member of the committee since 1992. He succeeds Robert Lucky, vice president for applied research at Bellcore, as chairman.

The VCAT was established by Congress under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. The nine-member board reviews and makes recommendations on NIST's policies, organization, budget and programs. The committee summarizes its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce in an annual report that the Secretary in turn submits to Congress.

In addition, the VCAT writes reports on specific policy matters and other subjects as it deems appropriate, and as requested by senior NIST managers and other Department of Commerce officials.

The committee meets at least quarterly for reviews and discussions with NIST senior management, and meets with senior Commerce officials to discuss its findings.

VCAT members have distinguished records of achievement in fields that are relevant to NIST and its programs, such as business, research, engineering, labor and education. At least five members must be from U.S. industry and none may be federal employees. Members are appointed to three-year terms by the NIST director.

Other members of the committee include: Fred W. Kittler Jr., vice president, J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.; Robert J. Saldich, president and chief executive officer, Raychem Corp.; Maxine L. Savitz, general manager of ceramic components, AlliedSignal Inc.; Albert R.C. Westwood, vice president, Exploratory Technology, Sandia National Laboratories (as an employee of Martin Marietta Corp.); and George M. Whitesides, Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University.

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.

Released April 4, 2017, Updated January 8, 2018