ANSI - American National Standards Institute

Past Chair of the Boards

Lawrence L. Wills

Lawrence L. Wills

Chair of the Board 1995-97
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Lawrence Wills, a former chair of the ANSI Board of Directors (1995-97), has served both the American National Standards Institute and the global standardization community in many capacities.

As an industry leader, he has promoted the use of standards as a strategic management tool and raised awareness of the importance of standards to executive management. He has been a tireless advocate of the philosophy that no standard should be initiated without market verification of its need and that it should never impose non-value-adding costs on those who must conform to its requirements.

In addition to his tenure as chair of the Board, Wills served the Institute in numerous leadership positions, including a three-year term as chair of ANSI’s International Committee (now the International Policy Committee). During this time he led many U.S. delegations to international standards fora.

Mr. Wills helped to transform ANSI from a “non-profit organization” into a “non-profit business” with a membership base. He also led the recruitment of a new president for ANSI, and helped to shape a strategic direction for the Institute, supported by the formalized and implemented planning. His work helped to re-shape the Institute and put into motion the actions that led to the relocation of ANSI headquarters to Washington, DC and paved the way for the series of grants the National Institute of Standards and Technology eventually awarded to ANSI.

Mr. Wills also worked extensively on the National Research Council (NRC) book Standards, Conformity Assessment and Trade. The recommendations contained therein went far in helping achieve several initiatives benefiting the U.S. standards community, including the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (PL 104-113), a strengthened Memorandum of Understanding between ANSI and NIST, the achievement of the Mutual Recognition Agreements with the European Union, and heightened global awareness of ANSI’s role as the U.S. standards “umbrella.”

Mr. Wills retired as director of standards for the IBM Corporation in 1999 following a long and productive career with the company.

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