Dr. Walter G. Copan was confirmed by Congress as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director on October 5, 2017.
As NIST Director, Dr. Copan provides high-level oversight and direction for NIST.
He has had a distinguished and diverse career as a science and technology executive in large and small corporations, U.S. government, nonprofit and other public-sector settings.
Dr. Copan formerly served as president and CEO of the IP Engineering Group Corporation, providing services in intellectual property strategy, technology commercialization and innovation. Until June 2017, he was founding CEO and chairman of Impact Engineered Wood Corporation, an advanced materials technology company. He also is a founding board member of Rocky Mountain Innovation Partners, where he led technology transfer programs and innovation services on behalf of the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. federal labs and academic institutions and helped foster entrepreneurial businesses in the Rocky Mountain West. He also served with the National Advisory Council to the Federal Laboratory Consortium for more than 5 years, providing industry inputs to advance the U.S. economic impacts of the federal laboratory system.
Dr. Copan is a patent holder, has authored numerous professional publications and presentations, and has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Licensing Executives Society (LES) USA and Canada, where he recently served as regional vice president for LES USA. He has contributed to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Council on Competitiveness, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the United Nations on innovation, technology transfer, energy and economic development matters.