The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted Nov. 17 to approve President Biden’s nomination of Laurie Locascio to become Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, and director of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

The nomination will now head to the full Senate for consideration.

The White House nominated Locascio for the NIST post in July.  She is a former acting principal deputy director of NIST’s Laboratory programs, and since then has been vice president of research for the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

During her nomination hearing last month, Locascio said she would prioritize, among other issues, cybersecurity of Internet of things (IoT) devices, working to bridge the cybersecurity workforce gap, and helping to build trust in artificial intelligence technologies.

NIST is a key player in the Federal government’s push to improve cybersecurity and has been tasked with numerous standards-setting exercises that further the Biden administration’s cybersecurity executive order.

Below is the full list of the legislation and nominees advanced out of committee:

  1. S.594 Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act of 2021
  2. S.1127 Learning Excellence and Good Examples from New Developers (LEGEND) Act of 2021
  3. S.2699 The American Cybersecurity Literacy Act
  4. Nomination of Laurie E. Locascio, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology (PN909)
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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.