Dr. Christopher Szakal is currently serving as the Acting Director of the NIST Program Coordination Office (PCO). Related to this science policy, planning, and evaluation office, Christopher has expertise in scientific and organizational strategic planning, as well as implementation of governance structures and processes related to program coordination, program alignment, and realization of an innovative research ecosystem. He additionally has worked extensively in interagency coordination efforts and in the implementation of equitable and inclusive best practices. Before this acting role, Dr. Szakal served as the Chief of Staff for the NIST Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) from 2019 to 2023.
Dr. Szakal has subject matter expertise (SME) in measurements, characterization, and related data interpretation within analytical chemistry, biotechnology, and nuclear materials. His research efforts from 2006 to 2019 specialized in the application of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and ambient ionization mass spectrometry (AI-MS) to solve measurement challenges in multiple areas, including the imaging and quantification of select signatures within individual mammalian and bacterial cells, surface analysis of nanoparticle aggregates as a function of environmental stimuli, actinide microparticle analysis for nuclear safeguards, and standard method development.