Search Icon White

Electronics Engineer and Musician James Williamson Named 2015 Recipient of Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award


James Williamson, electronics engineer, acclaimed musician, and former vice president of technical standards at Sony Electronics, has been selected by the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. Mr. Williamson will be honored by members of the U.S. standards and conformance community during the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, which will be held on October 1, 2015, 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. standards 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.

Mr. Williamson was nominated by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) - the technology trade association representing the $223 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry and Administrating Organization of this year's celebration - for his numerous contributions to standards development during his remarkable career. A dedicated volunteer leader in standards activities, Mr. Williamson served as chair of CEA's A/V Home Networks Subcommittee and a member of its International Advisory Committee.

After early success as a professional musician - including as a guitarist and co-writer for the punk band Iggy and the Stooges - Mr. Williamson took a career turn to electronics engineering. He first worked for Silicon Valley's Advanced Micro Devices, designing products around its computer chips for more than a decade. In 1997 he joined Sony, where he served as vice president of technical standards until his retirement in 2009. During his tenure, he was instrumental in codifying numerous nascent industry standards, most notably the Blu-ray Disc.

Mr. Williamson served as a member of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors and Corporate Advisory Group, and contributed to the development of the 1394-2008 IEEE Standard for a High-Performance Serial Bus and the 1625-2008 IEEE Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Multi-Cell Mobile Computing Devices. Under Mr. Williamson's direction, the standards team at Sony was awarded the IEEE Standard Association's Corporate Award in 2004, in recognition of exceptional contribution and leadership in the advancement of IEEE's corporate program. In addition, he was a member of the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) U.S. National Committee (USNC) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) from 2006 to 2008.

After retiring from Sony in 2009, Mr. Williamson returned to his musical roots and became a performing musician once again. In 2010 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Iggy and the Stooges. He was also inducted into the California State Polytechnic University - Pomona (his alma mater) Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014.

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 held 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 U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC)'s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) co-chair the event each year.

More information about the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2015 is available at


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]