David Karmol, ANSI vice president of public policy and government affairs, has accepted a one-year temporary assignment in Baghdad to assist various Iraqi government ministries in the establishment of a coherent system of standards and conformity assessment. The nation's current standardization system reflects a mix of elements of various standards and standards systems from a variety of countries.
As a short-term employee of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Karmol will work with U.S. embassy officials in the central Green Zone to increase technical capabilities and build a functioning and coherent infrastructure for standards and conformity assessment. His efforts will support the Iraqi Central Organization for Standardization and Quality Control (COSQC - the national standards body), the Ministry of Housing and Construction, the Ministry of Civil Defense and other standards setting or “consuming” ministries.
“There is a unique opportunity to help shape the development of a uniform standards and conformity assessment infrastructure as the Iraqi people rebuild their nation,” stated ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia as he congratulated Karmol. “David is well-qualified to foster interaction with U.S.-based standards developing organizations and private and public sector stakeholders.”
The request to identify a knowledgeable U.S. expert who could promote the development of a modern, open, and consensus-based standards system was initiated by the White House. NIST was assigned responsibility for identifying qualified candidates. ANSI was called upon to assist in communicating word of the opportunity to potential prospects.
During ANSI's outreach, Karmol “realized that I was at a point in my life where this was something that I both could do, and would like to do.”
“David will do a super job for the United States in the Iraq position; we are fortunate to have him,” said Dr. Belinda Collins, NIST director of technology services.
In a communication to ANSI colleagues earlier this week, Karmol expressed his appreciation to Bhatia for “his support, and his expressed desire to have me return to ANSI at the completion of the assignment.”
Karmol, who joined ANSI in July 2001, will begin his assignment with NIST on May 30 and expects to leave for Iraq in July. Arrangements are now being made to ensure that the Institute’s public policy and government relations functions continue to be managed in a way that will advance ANSI’s goals and increase the influence of the standards and conformity assessment community.