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Mary Saunders, ANSI’s Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy, Joins NIST Gallery of Distinguished Scientists, Engineers, and Administrators as Honoree


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) congratulates Mary Saunders, ANSI’s vice president of government relations and public policy, who was recently selected as one of six inductee honorees in 2020 for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Scientists, Engineers and Administrators. Ms. Saunders was awarded at an official virtual induction ceremony on October 23, 2020. The NIST Portrait Gallery dates back to the beginning of NIST, when it was known as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS).

Ms. Saunders was recognized for her exceptional leadership in standards policy development and implementation at the highest levels of government and the private-sector-led standards community and for her role as NIST’s Chief Operating Officer. She joins 351 honorees, of which 29 are women. 

Ms. Saunders joined ANSI in 2017, and serves as an integral liaison between ANSI and federal, state, and local government agencies, and Congressional staff. She helps identify and coordinate ANSI stakeholders and identifies and facilitates discussions regarding leading issues of importance for the conformity assessment and standardization community. Previously, Ms. Saunders was the associate director for management resources for NIST, and served as a vice chair on the ANSI Board of Directors. She also formerly served as the director of NIST's Standards Coordination Office. In that capacity, she represented NIST and its significant interests in the standards and conformity assessment community, advising the NIST director and other officials throughout the administration on policy and strategy as they relate to the federal government's role in standardization.

For her achievements in advancing the nation’s homeland security and defense as ANSI’s Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) co-chair, she was recognized with ANSI’s Meritorious Service Award in 2004. In recognition of her tremendous contributions to the ANSI Federation and to U.S. industry, Ms. Saunders was awarded the George S. Wham Leadership Medal in 2011. In 2018, Ms. Saunders was the recipient of the prestigious Leo B. Moore award, the highest honor granted by the SES-The Society for Standards Professionals for contributions and distinguished service in the field of standardization.

As the Interim Chair of ANSI’s Board of Directors, Ms. Saunders guided the Institute through a year of notable accomplishments for the U.S. standardization community that included coordinating the acceleration of standards and conformity assessment activities in areas of national priority through the work of ANSI collaboratives focusing on nuclear energy, homeland defense and security, smart and sustainable cities, energy efficiency, and nanotechnology. She also helped to catalyze the private-sector standardization community in its response to proposed revisions to OMB Circular A-119, and supported the establishment of Workcred, an ANSI affiliate organization, to build a more integrated and effective credentialing ecosystem in the United States.

“As an effective leader, advocate of the U.S. standardization community, and champion for public- and private-sector cooperation, it is hard to imagine anyone more deserving than Mary to be recognized in NIST’s prestigious Portrait Gallery,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. “In her roles at NIST, and now ANSI, she has personified the values of the public-private partnership that makes the U.S. standardization system strong, dynamic, and responsive to market needs.”

Access NIST’s Portrait Gallery Brochure to read more about the 2020 honorees.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]