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Dr Willie E May

Dr Willie E May

VP Research & Economic Development, Morgan State University

Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

Dr. Willie E. May currently serves as Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University where he will be working to aggressively increase the quality and quantity research outputs, facilitate increased tech transfer, and better connect research across Maryland’s preeminent urban research university to community needs.

Immediately prior to Morgan, Dr. May served as Director of Major Research and Training Initiatives for the College of Computer, Mathematical and the Natural Sciences, University of Maryland College Park where he developed new relationships and expanded existing partnerships with corporations, foundations and government agencies and assisted the college in obtaining additional support for graduate student education, training and mentoring.

Prior to his resignation in January 2017.  Dr. May worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for 45.5 years. On May 4, 2015, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. May as the 15th Director of NIST and 2nd Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, a position created in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. Dr. May determined Agencies policies and priorities and directed the development and execution of the $1.2B scientific, technical, innovation, industrial and administrative programs and its 3400 scientific, administrative, and support staff within the guidelines set by the Secretary of Commerce. Dr. May had previously served as Acting NIST Director and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology since June 2014.  One of Dr. May’s priorities were to work the National Economic Council and  his counterparts from DoD and DoE to implement the establishment of the Manufacturing USA Network.

Prior to that assignment, he was NIST Associate Director for Laboratory Programs, where he was responsible for oversight and direction of NIST's seven laboratory programs and served as the principal deputy to the NIST Director. Prior to taking over leadership of the NIST Laboratory Programs in general, Dr. May led NIST's research and measurement service programs in chemistry and biology. His personal research activities were focused in the areas of trace organic analytical chemistry and physico-chemical properties of organic compounds, where his work was described in more than 85 peer-reviewed archival publications. He has given more than 300 invited scientific lectures in venues throughout the world.

Other National and International Responsibilities:

Dr. May maintains several leadership responsibilities in addition to those at MSU. He is Vice President of the 18-person International Committee on Weights and Measures (CIPM); President of the CIPM’s Consultative Committee on Metrology in Chemistry and Biology; and is an Executive Board Member for the Joint Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine (JCTLM). He also serves on the Science and Technology Advisory Councils for the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), China’a National Institute of Metrology.

Honors and Awards:

Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award, 1981; National Bureau of Standards (NBS) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award, 1982; Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award, 1985; Arthur Flemming Award for Outstanding Federal Service, 1986; NOBCChE Percy Julian Award for Outstanding Research in Organic Analytical Chemistry and Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Federal Executive, 1992; Department of Commerce Gold Medal, 1992; American Chemical Society Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry Award, 2001; Keynote Speaker-Winter Commencement Ceremonies, University of Maryland, College of Life Sciences, 2002; Council for Chemical Research Diversity Award, 2002; NOBCChE Henry Hill Award for exemplary work and leadership in the field of chemistry; Science Spectrum Magazine Emerald Award, 2005; Alumnus of the Year Award from the College of Chemical and Life Sciences at the University of Maryland, 2007; Member of the first class of inductees into the Knoxville College Alumni Hall of Fame, 2010; Fellow of the American Chemical Society, 2011; Honorary Doctor of Science and Speaker for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Commencement Exercises, Wake Forest University, 2012; Subject of Cover Story, Chemical Engineering News, 2015; Keynote Speaker-Winter Commencement Ceremonies, University of Maryland, College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, 2015; Laboratory Director of the Year, Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, 2016; Honorary Doctor of Science Degree and Keynote Speaker for Commencement Exercises, University of Alabama at Huntsville, 2016; and American Chemical Society  Award for Public Service; 2017.

Dr. May received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry from Knoxville College in 1968 and his Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Maryland College Park in 1977.  

Prior to NIST, Dr. May was employed at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Oak Ridge, TN from 1968 – 1971.