The Federal Coach: NIST Director Patrick Gallagher on leading an organization of scientists

Dr. Patrick Gallagher is the director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he helps promote the advancement of measurement science, standards and technology. He previously served as the agency’s deputy director, as well as the director of the NIST Center for Neutron Research. He also worked as an agency representative for the National Science and Technology Council.

How did being a NIST employee shape your leadership as director?

It gave me a great advantage. I had worked here for 16 years at different levels from a scientist to a manager. I have a feel for the organization, knew a lot of the people and had a sense of what kinds of things were important. I’m still learning, because NIST is so diverse. Employees know me and my perspective so they’ve entrusted me with leading ambitious changes. I don’t think a lot of things we’ve done over the past two years would have been possible without that support from the whole agency.

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