Dr. Heather Evans is the Director of the Program Coordination Office (acting) in the Director’s Office at NIST. In this role, she leads efforts on policy and strategy issues for NIST in many areas including advanced materials and manufacturing, open innovation, AI, advanced communications, and biotechnology. From May 2021 to August 2022, Heather served as NIST Liaison and Senior Technology Advisor on assignment with the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Commerce where she led efforts on international standards, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies for the Department. She represented NIST to the Department of Commerce 2020 Presidential Transition Committee and has contributed to seminal NIST work on AI, including co-founding the NIST AI Community of Interest. As co-chair of the NIST Steering Group for Equity in Career Advancement, Heather led data-driven initiatives and staff engagements to address inequity and drove the establishment of a new NIST-wide position for Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in May 2021. Heather established the NIST AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships Program in 2016 and contributed to NASA policy development during a three-month assignment at NASA headquarters while participating in the Commerce Executive Leadership Development Program. During a 2008-2010 AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship, she led domestic and international efforts on emerging technology policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. Heather was a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Gottingen, Germany. She earned her doctorate in materials science from the University of California Santa Barbara and bachelor's degree in physics from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Bronze Medal Award (2021)
Selected as Mentor, GSA Challenge and Prize Mentorship Program (2015)
Selected for Department of Commerce Executive Leadership Development Program (2013)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow (2008)
Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2006)
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (1998)