Defense, homeland security expert nominated for NIST top job

William Jeffrey has spent almost his entire career focused on defense and national-security issues. Now, with the prospect of becoming director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, that expertise will come in handy.

As NIST director, Jeffrey will lead the governmentwide technical implementation of the federal identification card and the continued development of IT security and electronic-authentication technologies throughout the government.

President Bush announced earlier this week that he would nominate Jeffrey to be director of NIST.

"Bill will serve as a key member of the Commerce team to help develop technologies and standards that will help U.S. companies better compete in the global marketplace and create jobs in America," said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez in a statement.

For the past three years, Jeffrey has been senior director for homeland and national security and assistant director for space and aeronautics in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.

Prior to that, he was deputy director of the Advanced Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Office Agency. He also served as assistant deputy director for technology in the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

Jeffrey earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his master's and doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University.

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