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Leah R Kauffman

Director of Communications, NIST Material Measurement Lab

I enjoy learning new things and explaining them to other people in plain language, and making information useful and actionable. At NIST, I perform a mix of science writing, organizational communications, and technical writing and editing. I write fact sheets, talking points, impact stories, briefing books and brochures, and I founded two NIST Special Publication series. The 1200 series is for describing methods at a level of detail that allows other scientists to replicate experiments or processes. The 1800 series, NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guides, is a new approach for NIST: With separate sections for decision makers, managers, and practitioners, they encourage the adoption of standards-based security solutions.

More recently, I've been helping NIST leadership communicate with members of Congress and other influencers, explaining NIST's measurement expertise and capabilities, and how important we are to American innovation and competitiveness.

Additional information:

Member, National Association of Science Writers

Federal Contracting Officer Representative II

Standard biography:

Leah Kauffman is an expert in plain language communications in a wide range of technical fields—from basic and applied science in all disciplines, to clinical research and health care—with experience in academic and government institutions.

Ms. Kauffman joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2010 in the newly formed Material Measurement Lab, a national center that provides measurement tools to industries based in the chemical, biological, and materials sciences. Ms. Kauffman established the lab’s identity with external stakeholders and executed change communications during a major reorganization. In 2012, Ms. Kauffman helped to found NIST’s new National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, where she was responsible for the center’s public presence, including its technical transfer materials. The Center’s unique approach to addressing sector-wide cybersecurity challenges garnered a Department of Commerce Gold Medal for Ms. Kauffman and the other founding team members.

Ms. Kauffman returned to the NIST Material Measurement Lab in 2015. She has served as Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Director of Communications, overseeing internal and external communications and helping NIST researchers more effectively communicate with and meet the needs of their customers in industry, academia, and other government agencies.

Ms. Kauffman has a master’s degree in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Awards

Material Measurement Lab Accolade, 2017 - For cross-divisional/cross-OU teamwork

Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award, 2015 - For leadership in establishing the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

Hermes Creative Platinum Award for UPMC Health Journal, 2008

MarCom Platinum Award for UPMC Health Journal, 2007

 

News

New Arsenic Sensor Prize Challenge

The Bureau of Reclamation has launched phase one of the Arsenic Sensor Challenge. Arsenic in water can affect human health and limit water supplies.NIST

Publications

Space Commerce Workshop Report

Author(s)
Michelle S. Stephens, Nicholas Barbosa, Leah R. Kauffman, Rebecca Dorch, Marcus Holzinger
The Department of Commerce (DOC) Boulder Laboratories (consisting of the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Created October 9, 2019, Updated April 3, 2020