ANSI - American National Standards Institute

The 2011 George S. Wham Leadership Medal

Awarded to: Ms. Mary H. Saunders

Ms. Mary H. Saunders displays her 2011 George S. Wham Leadership Medal, which she received from Mr. Art Cote, Chairman of the ANSI Board of Directors. Dr. Mary McKiel (far left) and Ms. Heidi Hijikata (right) accompany her.


Mary H. Saunders, director of the Standards Coordination Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is an esteemed expert in standardization and policy issues. She has consistently provided the agency, the larger standards community, and public- and private-sector individuals and organizations in the U.S. and abroad with excellent guidance and strong leadership.

Ms. Saunders has made tremendous contributions to the ANSI Federation and to U.S. business and industry. She co-chaired the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP), leading a complex process that resulted in the eventual adoption of a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard by the Department of Homeland Security. And she has participated in numerous other ANSI governance groups, including the International Policy Committee (which she co-chaired), the National Policy Committee (which she now chairs), the Committee on Education, and the Appeals Board.

She has been an outstanding leader as the chair of the Interagency Committee on Standards Policy, partnering with the chair of the ANSI Government Member Forum to bring the two bodies together to greatly increase the effectiveness of both groups. She also sits on the Board of Directors of ASTM International and was a member of the IEEE Board.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Saunders served as U.S. deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and services within the International Trade Administration (ITA). She helped strengthen the competitive position of U.S. industries in the U.S. and world markets by coordinating Department of Commerce strategies, policies, and programs. She previously served at NIST as chief, standards services division, among other positions over a 15-year tenure. She has been in federal service since 1979, serving in a variety of positions with the Department of the Army before joining ITA in 1986. She has repeatedly been awarded the DOC's Silver and Bronze Medals.

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