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Dr. Richard F. Kayser

Richard F. Kayser, Ph.D. is the Chief Safety Officer (CSO) of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

As the CSO, Kayser is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a robust, integrated, and risk-based safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) management system, which includes providing executive leadership of the SH&E functions at the Institute; planning, developing, organizing, and directing SH&E functions and staff; establishing and managing agency SH&E requirements; developing and maintaining SH&E programs needed to meet requirements; ensuring the availability of appropriate training on SH&E programs; assessing and reporting on NIST’s SH&E performance; and providing quality SH&E services to the NIST organization.

After receiving a Sc.B. from Brown University in 1973 and a Ph.D. from Rice University in 1976, both in physical chemistry, Kayser took a position at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST). Over the next 10 years, he conducted theoretical and experimental research in thermophysics, publishing approximately 40 peer-reviewed papers and editing several books. Kayser became Chief of the Thermophysics Division in 1989 and Chief of the Physical and Chemical Properties Division in 1996. He assumed the position of Director of Technology Services in 1999; the position of Acting Deputy Director of NIST in 2004; and the position of Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory in 2005. He began a second stint as the Acting Deputy Director of NIST in September 2007 and was named Chief Scientist in May 2008. He assumed his current role in June 2009.

In recognition of his service, the Department of Commerce has awarded Kayser with Bronze (1983) and Silver Medals (1996 and 1999). Kayser also received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 1997 and 2007, the Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Scientist Award in 1987, and the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation Outstanding Achievement Award in 2000. In addition to having held a variety of external positions, he is a past Chairman of the Board of ASTM International.

Dr. Richard F. Kayser


Chief Safety Officer (CSO)
Office of the Director

Phone: 301-975-4502
Email: richard.kayser@nist.gov