Bernard H. Falk, former president and CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and past president of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), passed away on September 16 at the age of 87. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) offers its condolences to his family and friends and colleagues at NEMA, the IEC and its U.S. National Committee (USNC), and in the greater electrotechnical and standardization communities.
Mr. Falk was an important figure in the fields of electronics and standardization for more than 40 years. During his tenure at NEMA, which he first joined in 1956, Mr. Falk worked tirelessly to help address a wide variety of new challenges and opportunities created by ongoing technological innovation and the rise of globalization, providing essential leadership both at NEMA and in the international electrotechnical and standards communities.
Following his retirement from NEMA, Mr. Falk was elected IEC president in October 1994. He served as IEC president-elect in 1995 and held the IEC presidency from 1996 until 1998. During his presidency, Mr. Falk worked to modernize and reorganize the IEC, bolstering its connections with companies in the global electrotechnical field and supporting the creation of IEC sector boards, among other structural changes.
Mr. Falk, a former UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) board member, was the recipient of ANSI's Astin-Polk International Standards Medal, which honors distinguished service in promoting trade and understanding among nations through personal participation in the advancement, development, or administration of international standardization, measurements, or certification. He also received ANSI's Howard Coonley Medal, which recognizes an executive who has rendered great service to the national economy through voluntary standardization and who has given outstanding support to standardization as a management tool. Mr. Falk is also the namesake of the Bernard H. Falk Award, NEMA's highest honor, which has been received by Neil Armstrong and U.S. Senator John Danforth, among others.
Mr. Falk is survived by his wife, Iris Falk, as well as three children and nine grandchildren.