The Senate has confirmed Laurie Locascio, President Biden’s nominee to be the next undersecretary of standards and technology at the Department of Commerce, through an April 7 voice vote. The title typically comes with the dual role of director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Locascio was first nominated by Biden in July 2021 and said that as NIST director she will prioritize the cybersecurity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and bridging the cyber workforce gap in an October nomination hearing with the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
“It’s such a critical time to have a thriving and robust agency like NIST in this time of global competitiveness where we have a very strong and aggressive competitor,” Locascio told the committee. “And NIST is an incredible agency that needs to move forward with strength.”
Locascio is a veteran of NIST but comes to the role from academia. Locascio has been serving as vice president of research for the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Before that role, she had worked her way up the ladder at NIST, landing in senior leadership before she departed. Locascio earned a reputation and recognition at the agency for her abilities as a researcher and innovator. Her prior NIST post saw her handling the duties of acting principal deputy director and associate director of Laboratory Programs.
Locascio said her vision for the agency includes building strong intramural laboratory programs, as well as thriving extramural programs.