Dr. Rochford is Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting NIST Director. As principal NIST deputy director, Dr. Rochford assumed this role on January 4, 2017, following the retirement of previous director Willie E. May. As NIST Acting Director, Dr. Rochford provides high-level oversight and direction for NIST.
Dr. Rochford's current permanent position is NIST's Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP). As ADLP, he provides direction and operational guidance for NIST's scientific and technical mission-focused laboratory programs and serves as principal deputy to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST director, among other duties.
Dr. Rochford was formerly director of NIST-Boulder Labs and the Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL), also headquartered in Boulder, Colo. He was responsible for the creation of the CTL, which focuses on measurement science to assist first responder communications, spectrum sharing and advanced communications technologies. In that position, he also served as the co-director of the Center for Advanced Communications, a joint activity of NIST and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Previously, Dr. Rochford served as chief of both the Quantum Electronics and Photonics and Optoelectronics Divisions at NIST, as well as acting director of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory.
Apart from NIST, Dr. Rochford served as senior director for Sharp Laboratories of America's Material and Device Applications laboratory and managed systems R&D at YAFO Networks, a fiber-optic communications start-up.
Dr. Rochford received his Ph.D. in optical sciences from the University of Arizona, bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering at Arizona State University, and an MBA from the University of Colorado.