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NIST Centennial Gala: Karen Brown

Good evening. Let me add my welcome to this wonderful celebration. My role tonight – aside from enjoying myself – primarily is to introduce some of our most distinguished guests.
First, we are honored to have with us a former secretary of commerce: Barbara Hackman Franklin, who served as secretary under President Bush in 1992-1993. At that time, NIST was building several major new programs initiated in the late 1980s to fuel economic growth, and participating in a number of presidential initiatives in science and technology.

We also are honored to have with us several Members of Congress:

  • Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan.  She was formerly in the House of Representatives, where she served on the House Committee on Science, and specifically, the Subcommittee on Technology, which authorizes NIST's budget in the House.
  • Representative Sherwood L. Boehlert of New York, the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, who will be speaking in a few moments.
  • Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who serves on the House Science Committee and who hails from Texas.
  • Representative Gil Gutnecht of Minnesota, who also serves on the House Science Committee.
  • Representative Mark Udall of Colorado, another member of the House Committee on Science.  He is from Colorado, representing the district that includes NIST's Boulder Laboratories.
  • I also want to acknowledge Rep. Connie Morella. Unfortunately she could not be with us tonight, but she was out at NIST -- once again -- yesterday to congratulate our employees.

We are honored to have with us five former NIST directors, representing the past four decades:

  • Lewis Branscomb, who served as director from 1969-1972
  • Ernest Ambler, director from 1975-1989
  • John Lyons, director from 1990-1993
  • Arati Prabhakar, director from 1993-1997
  • Ray Kammer, director from 1997-2000.

We have a variety of congressional staff and a host of representatives of companies and associations that all have a link with NIST.

I also want to acknowledge the Director of the National Science Foundation, Rita Colwell and her Deputy, Joe Bordogna – and the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration, Ken Burris.

We have many other special guests with us this evening, far too many to acknowledge individually now, so I hope you will understand.  But there's someone I certainly need to acknowledge – my boss, Secretary of Commerce Don Evans, who will make a few remarks. As Secretary of Commerce, Don Evans is in charge of promoting the nation's business.

In his past life, Secretary Evans worked as a roughneck on drilling rigs and served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Tom Brown, Inc. – a large energy company.  He also chaired the Regents of the University of Texas – a system of nine educational and six health care science centers.

In a statement before Congress, Secretary Evans has said that his objective as Commerce Secretary is "to direct the Department's great and diverse resources to the common cause of fostering economic strength at home and abroad."  Mr. Secretary, I promise you that NIST, with our 100 years of experience, will be proud to help you attain that goal.

Now, it is my great pleasure to introduce the Secretary of Commerce, Donald L. Evans.

[Remarks by Secretary Evans.]

It is now my pleasure to introduce a long-time friend of NIST, Representative Sherwood Boehlert.  Rep. Boehlert has just been elected Chairman of the House Science Committee, which he joined in 1983. He was one of the architects in 1988 of the expansion of the National Bureau of Standards into NIST, and a creator of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Chairman Boehlert has been one of our strongest advocates on Capitol Hill.

 We appreciate his support and are so glad he can join us in our celebration tonight.  Sherry Boehlert, Chairman of the House Science Committee.  Mr.Chairman!

[Remarks by Representative Boehlert]

Thank you, Congressman.
Our next speaker is Thomas A. Manuel.  Tom is chair of the NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. The committee is made up of nine prominent leaders of science and technology. It is their job to dig into all of NIST's nooks and crannies and tell us what we are doing right and where we have "opportunities for improvement."  Believe me, they love the "opportunities for improvement" part. Seriously, we appreciate their advice and counsel and take it to heart.

In addition to his role as chair of the visiting committee, Tom is a scientist who has worked in the chemical industry for 40 years in a number of increasingly responsible positions, including vice president at Air Products and Chemicals.  Currently, he is president of the Council for Chemical Research.

It is my pleasure to introduce Tom Manuel.

[Remarks by Tom Manuel.]

Created October 14, 2009, Updated October 24, 2016