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James M. Shannon Named Recipient of Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award

James M. Shannon, president of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has been selected by the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee as the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. He will be honored by members of the U.S. standards and conformance community on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at the Fairmont Washington in Washington, DC.

Named for the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the Brown award recognizes demonstrated leadership in promoting the important role of standardization in eliminating global barriers to trade. The award is presented at the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, an annual event which honors the U.S. standardization and conformity assessment community and recognizes its efforts to promote American competitiveness in a global marketplace, safeguard the environment, and improve the quality of life for workers and consumers around the world. The theme for this year's event, Advancing Safety and Sustainability Standards Worldwide, will recognize the crucial role of standards, codes, and conformity assessment in assuring the health and safety of people and the environment, today and for future generations.

Mr. Shannon was nominated by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) for his outstanding contributions to improving the safety of citizens and the built environment worldwide. President of the NFPA since 2002, he previously served as senior vice president and general counsel, and launched several key initiatives critical to improving the safety of citizens and the built environment worldwide. Following the 2003 Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island that claimed 100 lives, he coordinated a sweeping review of safety issues in public assembly buildings, which ultimately led to amendments to NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code. These new requirements are believed to be among the nation's most stringent.

Mr. Shannon testified before Congress to advocate for enhancing safety and homeland security resources for firefighters based on findings from NFPA´s report, A Needs Assessment Study of the U.S. Fire Service. He also established the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, a national group committed to saving lives and preventing injuries by reducing the threat of cigarette-ignited fires, and launched the Fire Sprinkler Initiative to provide resources for fire service and other sprinkler advocates looking to demonstrate the need for home fire sprinklers in their communities.

Prior to joining NFPA, Mr. Shannon was a consumer and civil rights advocate as the attorney general for Massachusetts and was a senior partner in the Boston offices of Hale & Dorr. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served on the Ways and Means Committee. Mr. Shannon earned his bachelor of arts degree at the Johns Hopkins University and his J.D. at the George Washington University Law School.

Celebrated annually, World Standards Day pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities, and helps to raise awareness of the role that standards play in addressing national and global priorities. The event has been celebrated since 1970 and is recognized in nations around the globe. U.S. activities are organized annually by a planning committee consisting of representatives from across the standards and conformity assessment community. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) co-chair the event each year. IAPMO serves as the 2011 administrating organization.

More information about the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2011, Advancing Safety and Sustainability Worldwide, is available at


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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