WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2017 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) has named Willie E. May, Ph.D., former undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and former director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as the recipient of the Society’s 2017 Award for Public Service. This award is given to individuals who have performed outstanding public service that benefits the chemical sciences.
During his more than 40 years at NIST, May rose through the ranks from entry-level researcher to head of the agency’s 3,400 scientists, engineers, technicians, support staff and administrative personnel. As the federal government’s highest-ranking chemist, he oversaw NIST programs designed to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness. May has also worked extensively to increase the diversity of the chemical enterprise and promote the education of the next generation of chemists.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.