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WASHINGTON, D.C.-Arden L. Bement Jr. became acting director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on February 22, 2004. He joins NSF from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he has been director since December 2001. As head of NIST, he oversees an agency with an annual budget of about $773 million and an onsite research and administrative staff of about 3,000, complemented by a NIST-sponsored network of 2,000 locally managed manufacturing and business specialists serving smaller manufacturers across the United States.
Prior to his appointment as NIST director, Bement served as the David A. Ross Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering and head of the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. He has held appointments at Purdue University in the schools of Nuclear Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as a courtesy appointment in the Krannert School of Management. He was director of the Midwest Superconductivity Consortium and the Consortium for the Intelligent Management of the Electrical Power Grid.
Bement came to the position as NIST director having previously served as head of that agency's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, the agency's primary private-sector policy adviser; as head of the advisory committee for NIST's Advanced Technology Program; and on the Board of Overseers for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.