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Profile: Patrick Gallagher, NIST Director

Patrick Gallagher

Dr. Patrick Gallagher serves as director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and as commerce undersecretary for standards and technology.

He was confirmed as the 14th director of NIST Nov. 5, 2009 for Standards and Technology and his undersecretary post was created through the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, signed by President Barack Obama Jan. 4, 2011.

He also serves as co-chair of the Standards Subcommittee under the White House’s National Science and Technology Council.

Gallagher provides high-level oversight and direction for NIST, which promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology.

In June, he helped open two new NIST labs in Boulder, Colo. for testing lasers, atomic clocks and nanotechnology and said the labs will also aim to advance quantum computing (click over to TheNewNewInternet for more coverage).

Gallagher previously served as deputy director since 2008 and prior to that he served for four years as director of the NIST’s center for neutron research, a national user facility for neutron scattering on NIST’s Gaithersburg, Md. campus.

According to NIST, his research interests include neutron and X-ray instrumentation and studies of soft condensed matter systems such as liquids, polymers and gels.

In 2000, Gallagher was a NIST agency representative at the National Science and Technology Council and has been active in U.S. policy for scientific user facilities.

He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991.

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