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Training and Events in the Library

Past Library Speakers & Presentations


Bloomberg Presents: Telecom's Growth Amidst Covid

John Butler, Senior Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence

Date: November 16, 2021

Join us for a presentation on the telecom industry from Bloomberg’s Senior Telecommunications Analyst. The discussion will focus on telecom’s continued growth despite covid complications, key telecom industry themes and risks heading into 2022, and 5G.

EIU Presents: Semiconductors & Global Supply Chain Challenges

Dexter Thillien and Nick Marro, Senior Analyst, Economist Intelligence Unit

Date: November 4, 2021

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Senior Analysts Dexter Thillien and Nick Marro will discuss the evolving challenges facing the semiconductor supply chain and the broader technology sector. EIU will review:

  • The current supply chain disruptions;
  • The geopolitics of the technology sector, including the introduction of 5G;
  • The outlook for regional and global value chains.

The Role of Asian American Business Leaders in the Recovery from COVID-19

Moderated by:

Mr. Ron Uba, Senior Business Development Specialist at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)


Emily Kessel, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Welcoming Remarks:

Krystal Ka‘ai, White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) Executive Director

Panel Discussion:

  • Aziz Ahmad, Managing Director of Grameen Solutions
  • Tracy Balazs, CEO of Compass Government Solutions
  • Donna Fujimoto Cole, CEO of Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc


Mr. Jean-Robert (JR) Baguidy, Senior Advisor for Access to Capital at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

Date: July 22, 2021

A Fireside Chat with three Asian American Business Leaders on their experiences during COVID-19, how they pivoted, and thoughts on where we go from here.

EIU Global Outlook: What's Next After COVID?

Cailin Birch, Economist Intelligence Unit

Date: April 21, 2021

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Economist, Cailin Birch, presented a Global Outlook on What's Next After COVID. She covered:

  • The impact of the pandemic on global/regional economies in 2020.
  • The pace of the recovery in 2021-2022 and EIU's assumptions around the vaccine rollout.
  • A closer look at the US, China, and the Euro Zone's key economies.
  • Trends that have emerged during the crisis, including geopolitical fragmentation and the shifting US-China rivalry.

A Bloomberg Economist's Take on the Global Economic Outlook

Tom Orlik, Chief Economist, Bloomberg

Date: March 24, 2021

Bloomberg's Chief Economist Tom Orlik discussed his take on the global economic outlook for 2021 and beyond.

  • As Covid cases fall and vaccination rates rise, which economies will recover first?
  • What does the U.S. $1.9 trillion stimulus mean for global growth and markets?
  • What will the post-pandemic economy look like?

Bloomberg Presentation: The Coronavirus Impact on the Chinese Economy

Tom Orlik, Chief Economist, Bloomberg

Date: November 12, 2020

Bloomberg's Chief Economist Tom Orlik discussed how the coronavirus has impacted the Chinese economy and the research conducted for his new book China: the Bubble that Never Pops, answering questions such as:

  • How did China manage through the COVID-19 shock without facing a debt crisis?
  • What’s the outlook for China as domestic stimulus provides a boost, and rising U.S. tensions threaten a drag?

EIU Global Trade Outlook: Post-Pandemic New Normal

Nick Marro, Global Trade Lead, Economist Intelligence Unit

Date: June 16, 2020

The Economist Intelligence Unit's lead for global trade Nick Marro joined us from Hong Kong and discussed the EIU global trade outlook post-pandemic new normal.

COVID-19 has radically upended the global economy. In addition to raising new questions around healthcare adequacy and the human cost of the outbreak, the crisis will reshape international trade and diplomatic links, which will carry new risks (and opportunities) for policymakers as they navigate the post-pandemic new normal.

This was a presentation on the world outlook after COVID-19, including China’s evolving diplomatic and economic role and what this will mean for future US commercial and strategic interests.

Bloomberg on 5G : a new generation of wireless

John Butler, Senior Telecommunications Analyst , Bloomberg Intelligence

Date: February 5, 2020

In this presentation, Bloomberg's Senior Telecommunications Analyst discussed 2020 as the first year of broadscale deployment for 5G services including:

  • Forecasts that 5G subscribers in the U.S. will rise from roughly 200,000 at year-end 2019 to over 4 million by year-end 2020, a figure that may prove to be too low;
  • expectations for 5G subscriber upgrades over the course of this year and next, as well as some thoughts on which carriers are poised to benefit from this activity;
  • and potential new 5G services including enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, massive IoT networks, connected vehicles, smart homes and, ultimately, smart cities.

EIU Presents: Global Trade Outlook

Nick Marro, Global Trade Lead, Economist Intelligence Unit

Date: December 18, 2019

The Economist Intelligence Unit's lead for global trade Nick Marro discussed the EIU global trade outlook for 2020 and beyond. Topics included:

  • the EIU's forecast for the US-China trade war, including EIU's expectations for the dispute to migrate away from just merchandise trade;
  • EIU outlook for emerging trade issues in other parts of the globe, including the conflict between South Korea and Japan, US-EU relations as well as EIU's predictions on future US trade actions;
  • and EIU economic outlook for major markets, including China, East Asia/ASEAN, the US and the Eurozone, and what this means for the future of international trade.

Lexis CLE Class Writing strategies

Brenna Clanton, LexisNexis Client Manager

Date: November 21, 2019

After completing this course, the viewer will be able to: understand how to effectively write for the intended audience and utilize tactics to best serve their readers; implement easy writing and formatting tips to better assist "quick-flip" and non-attorney readers; identify common policy and contract drafting errors and downfalls; and demonstrate how to draft more concise contracts and policies.

ATTORNEYS PLEASE NOTE: CLE credit could only be earned if you participated during the live event.

Bloomberg Presents: Drivers and Disrupters Index

Tom Orlik, Chief Economist, Bloomberg

Date: November 13, 2019

Bloomberg’s Chief Economist Tom Orlik shared the findings of the Drivers and Disrupters Index - a new way of defining country competitiveness in the global economy. Tom also shared Bloomberg Economics’ latest assessment of the outlook for global growth and the trade war.

Tom Orlik is the Chief Economist for Bloomberg Economics. He’s author of Understanding China's Economic Indicators – a guide to China’s economic data. He is based in Washington DC following more than a decade in Beijing.

Bloomberg Presents: Advanced Materials

Julia Attwood, BloombergNEF

Date: October 15, 2019

Bloomberg’s Advanced Materials team examines the material technologies that could speed the transition to a more efficient and more sustainable economy. This talk touched on the industries and applications driving material changes, and who stands to benefit. Our presenter covered:

  • China’s strategic plan for composites and automotive lightweighting
  • How the circular economy could shift material demand
  • 3D printing’s impact on manufacturing and transport
  • New materials vs critical materials: graphene vs lithium

The State Strikes Back: with Nicholas R. Lardy

Mr. Nicholas R. Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Date: August 1, 2019
Date: Author Talk

China’s extraordinarily rapid economic growth since 1978, driven by market-oriented reforms, has set world records and continued unabated, despite predictions of an inevitable slowdown. In The State Strikes Back: The End of Economic Reform in China?, renowned China scholar Nicholas R. Lardy argues that China’s future growth prospects could be equally bright but are shadowed by the specter of resurgent state dominance, which has begun to diminish the vital role of the market and private firms in China’s economy.

Sarah Chayes on Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

Sarah Chayes, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Date: January 22, 2015
Date: Author Talk

In Thieves of State, Sarah Chayes, a former adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explains how government’s oldest problem is its greatest destabilizing force. In a thrilling narrative that includes insider revelations about the conduct of the Afghanistan war, and a provocative argument linking Martin Luther to the Arab Spring, Chayes challenges conventional wisdom about corruption and its implications.

Caitlyn Antrim on the Law of the Sea Convention

Caitlyn Antrim, Executive Director of the Rule of Law Committee for the Oceans

Date: January 21, 2015
Date: Guest Speaker

Caitlyn Antrim discusses the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is surprising that the U.S. is not a party to the current codification of the Law of the Sea — the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This is so despite widespread support for the Convention among U.S. industry, environmental NGOs, academics, Congress, and all U.S. Presidents since the Convention was submitted by President Clinton to the Senate for its advice and consent to accession in 1994 as well as nearly universal global adherence (some 165 States).

Trade Talks

Trade Talks is an ITA employee-led speaker series that delivers exciting conversations and cutting-edge knowledge about international trade and investment to Commerce employees. The Trade Talks program aims to increase opportunities to learn about macro themes and trends in trade and investment from leading experts in the field. Due to the nature of Trade Talks presentations, they are for use by the employees or contractors of the U.S. Department of Commerce only. Access these recordings by signing in with your OpenAthens account or while on a Commerce network.

Gender Dynamics in International Trade


Terri Batch, Director, Global Diversity Export Initiative for ITA


Diane Farrell, Acting Under Secretary for ITA


  • Mary Allen, Founder, Natural Brand Works, Savvy Green LLC
  • Nadia Rocha, World Bank, Senior Economist in the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
  • Nicole Woods, EXIM, VP of Minority & Women-Owned Business Development [Acting], and Client Care Unit Director
  • Candace Chen, Founder & Chief Goddess, Facelube For Men & Goddess Cosmetics

Date: October 26, 2021

Join us for the next ITA Trade Talks event to discuss barriers to international trade for women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses, as well as the broader implications of gender equality in trade for U.S. and global economic growth. It will broadly address the gender dynamics of international cross-border trade, with a primary focus on women-owned businesses and women exporters based in the United States. The session will also address the roles the U.S. Government (USG), and particularly ITA, can play in supporting women in cross-border trade.

In cross-border trade, women entrepreneurs and business-owners face challenges that are unique from those faced by their male counterparts, beginning before the border and continuing at and beyond the border. If women achieved gender parity in the global economy, they have the potential to add $12 trillion to the global economy, according to a 2015 McKinsey Global Institute report. A 2020 update to that report stated that, in the wake of Covid-19, governments acting now to advance gender equality in the economy could add up to $13 trillion to global GDP by 2030, compared with taking no action to advance gender equality.

The Biden Administration has clearly signaled an increased focus on gender equality and global women’s issues, for example by creating the White House Gender Policy Council. Participants in this program can expect to raise their awareness of how gender dynamics impact international trade with a focus on bolstering women’s participation. Experts will discuss the implications for U.S. economic development of addressing gender barriers to cross-border trade, current programmatic efforts by the U.S. Government and trading partners, and potential future policy options for addressing these challenges. This event will serve as a starting point for internal conversations on promoting gender equity in international trade.

Exploring U.S. Policy Priorities and Key Factors Influencing the Critical Supply Chain Landscape

Moderated by:

Monica Gorman, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Manufacturing, Industry & Analysis

Keynote Remarks:

Emily Blanchard, Associate Professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

Panel Discussion:

  • Simon Moores, Managing Director Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
  • David Schwietert, Chief Policy Officer, Alliance for Automotive Innovation
  • (Mr. Schwietert is registered with the U.S. House of Representatives under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 2016-2021 and in 2004)
  • Meghan Biery, Director of Global Technology and Security Policy, Semiconductor Industry Association

Date: July 15, 2021

Governments worldwide now recognize that access to critical resources and resilient supply chains are both important to economic and national security policymaking. Beginning early 2020, when the United States and other countries scrambled to acquire needed supplies in the face of COVID-19, we saw firsthand how shortcomings in critical supply chains can weaken the ability to respond to a crisis. The Biden Administration has determined that securing U.S. supply chains is a major policy priority. Steps toward this goal include identifying vulnerabilities in supply chains for critical minerals, semiconductors, and large capacity batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles.

The pandemic has laid bare complex geopolitics and political pressures that affect utilization and deployment of resources that drive economic growth and technological innovation. This event will feature keynote remarks and a panel of industry experts exploring U.S. policy priorities and key factors in the critical resource and supply chain landscape; challenges in sourcing critical minerals and ensuring U.S. production capacity of products like batteries and semiconductors; and the pandemic’s lasting effects on these industries. Event participants will gain a better understanding of how critical resources and supply chains factor into U.S. economic and trade policymaking.

Trade Talks – Demystifying Black-Owned Businesses: A Conversation to Foster Inclusive Global Expansion

Moderated by: Rhonda Sinkfield, Commercial Service Officer

Keynote Remarks: Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios

Panel Discussion:
Larry White, President, AA Calibration Services, LLC
Dr. Sharon Freeman, President, Gems of Wisdom Consulting, Inc.,, and the Gemini Ethics Movement (GEM) Foundation
Michael Lawson, President/CEO - Los Angeles Urban League

Date: May 11, 2021

Please join this discussion (a partnership between Blacks Building Opportunities to Leverage Diversity—B-BOLD—and ITA Trade Talks) featuring speakers from the African American community that will focus on the current state of affairs for Black-owned businesses and strategies for engaging companies in international trade. As the Department of Commerce develops strategies to implement the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Agenda, a better understanding of the Black-owned business landscape and how DOC can assist with outreach and service will be critical elements in meeting this objective.

The discussion will focus on the latest research available about Black-owned businesses and the impact of COVID-19 on Black business owners. The discussion will also focus on successful Black-owned businesses, what they have done to survive during COVID-19, and whether exporting has been part of their growth strategy. There will be representatives from both the service and product manufacturing sectors to give a fuller perspective on the type of businesses that can utilize DOC for support in international markets. A national organization will also participate to discuss how Commerce employees can utilize partnerships within the African American business community to reach target clients. Lessons from this session should be illustrative and helpful as DOC increases outreach with other minority- and women-owned businesses, where DOC has not consistently engaged in the past.

Trade Talks – The Future of Global e-Commerce & Digital Service Taxes

Moderated by: Paulette Hernandez, Team Lead for Digital and Internet Services, ITA/I&A/SVCS/Office of Digital Services Industries

Jennifer Smith McCloskey, Senior Manager, Tax Policy, Google
Megan Funkhouser, Director of Policy, Tax and Trade, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)
William Morris, Deputy Global Tax Policy Leader, PwC

Date: March 2, 2021

The issue of digital services taxes (DSTs) has become hotly debated worldwide in the decade-plus since the first moratorium on taxing e-commerce transactions. DSTs are becoming a prominent policy consideration in many countries that have begun collecting such taxes, causing objections by U.S. and foreign companies, and some governments.

One example is France and their 2019 “digital tax” which targets services provided by U.S. tech conglomerates such as Google and Amazon. The French action and the absence of the widely accepted global rules for the taxation of e-commerce have put the U.S. on a potential collision course with the European Union (EU). Other countries have also recently introduced digital taxes, creating potential investment trade barriers for U.S. e-commerce transactions and service providers.

Digital trade represents 70 percent of U.S. services exports, approximately $439 billion as of 2017 (Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)). Services account for approximately 70 percent of U.S. GDP, so therefore much of the U.S. economy could potentially be subject to DSTs. The OECD and the United Nations have recently submitted proposals pertaining to DSTs and the digital economy, yet the two multinational bodies are not in agreement. Meanwhile, the global implementation of DSTs are contributing to escalating trade tensions and raising questions with trading partners about the future of e-commerce and digital services taxation. This panel explored the questions and potential solutions.

Trade Talk: Understanding the Trade and Competitiveness Landscape Between the U.S. and China

Moderated by: Nazak Nikakhtar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis, ITA

Charles Freeman, Senior Vice President for Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Brian McCarthy, Chief Strategist, MacroLens
Michael Pettis, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

Date: December 1, 2020

Ongoing U.S.-China trade relations (influenced by the Phase 1 trade deal) have exposed vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain and amplified matters of national security between the two countries. Three experts with backgrounds in industry, government, and academia will share their thoughts on U.S.-Chinese competitiveness and how the U.S. government can effectively respond to Chinese trade policies to bolster the bilateral relationship. Topics which may be covered include key U.S. economic issues such as the trade deficit, capital flows, Research & Development, along with onshoring and diversifying product supply chains.

Around the Bureaus

The Around the Bureaus series provides a forum for DOC staff from all 12 bureaus to share their work and accomplishments with each other.

Past Events by Bureau      

A State-by-State Peek into Americans’ Shopping Carts

Mr. Ian Mead, Chief, Regional Product Division, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Date: July 21, 2015

Consumers are a major force shaping the overall performance of the U.S. economy but until recently there were no official government statistics tracking how much consumers spend and what they buy state by state. Ian Mead, an economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, will talk about state-by-state differences as well as trends in shoppers’ buying behavior revealed with the release of BEA’s new statistics. This state-by-state peek into consumers’ shopping carts has implications for hiring, business investment and consumer confidence.

How BEA Tracks the Health of America’s Businesses

Erich Strassner, Chief, Industry Applications Division, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

Date: April 30, 2015

Did you ever wonder how much economic activity is generated at factories, retail stores, educational outlets, and other industries? Which industries are helping the U.S. economy to grow and which ones are restraining growth. For decades, BEA has taken the pulse of the U.S. economy and reported on it each quarter. But what wasn’t known – until recently – is how industries factor into the economy’s performance each quarter. Armed with this new economic intel, businesses, jobseekers and policymakers can make more informed decisions.

The Impact of Arts and Culture on the Economy

Paul Kern, Branch Chief, Travel and Tourism, Bureau of Economic Analysis, BEA

Date: January 29, 2015

Arts and Culture – they’re not only good for the soul, but for the economy, too. Paul Kern, an economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, discusses the economic impact of arts and culture on the U.S. economy – from the billions generated to the jobs spurred.


Census Data for Business Insights

Andrew Hait, Economist; International Trade Management Division at the U.S. Census Bureau

Date: August 1, 2018

Learn how to use the Census Business Builder (CBB) to help your clients harness the power of Census data to identify business opportunities and understand the U.S. business landscape. The CBB is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use map-based format.

This presentation will:

  • Demonstrate live real-life use cases to showcase how user data can help businesses and communities thrive by helping them make informed decisions.
  • Help Commerce employees find, access, and use unknown tools and programs to make accessible amazing amounts of Commerce produced data that can be useful for customers.
  • Feature tools which include mapping software overlaid with U.S. demographic and economic data.
  • Explore the newly updated features and content and provide a brief summary of the tech behind CBB.

Making Key Data User-Friendly

Andrew Hait, Data Product & Data User Liaison for the International Trade Management Division, US Census Bureau

Date: March 8, 2017

For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has collected and disseminated data, and now, with the implementation of new technologies under the Census Business Builder (CBB), users are able to access and use this data in ways never seen before. This presentation will feature new tools that include mapping software overlaid with U.S. demographic and economic data; help Commerce employees find, access, and use unknown tools and programs to make accessible amazing amounts of Commerce produced data that can be useful for customers; and highlight how user data can help businesses and communities thrive by helping them make informed decisions.

A World Apart - Comparing Today’s Young Adults to Baby Boomers

Dr. Jonathan Vespa, Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, U.S. Census Bureau

Date: July 14, 2015

This talk features an interactive app, Census Explorer, that showcases how today’s young adults compare to baby boomers. Using the app, Jonathan Vespa, a demographer at the Census Bureau, discusses how our cities and neighborhoods have transformed since 1980, by mapping changes in where young adults live and their shifting demographic characteristics.Today’s young adults look different from their parents’ generation, but their experiences aren’t the same across the country.

Is Demography Destiny? Population Projections Provide a New Sneak Peak into How the Future May Unfold

Dr. Jennifer Ortman, Assistant Division Chief for Social Characteristics, Social, Economic, & Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Date: May 21, 2015

This presentation provides an introduction to the Census Bureau’s Population Projections program and includes results from the 2014 National Projections, with a focus on the aging of the U.S. population.


Commerce Data In Action: Creating Jobs & Saving Lives

Ian Kalin, Chief Data Officer, US Department of Commerce

Date: May 25, 2016

Ian Kalin, DOC's first-ever Chief Data Officer, shares the Department's Data Strategy and also his vision for how our data resources can create jobs and save lives. Ian shares examples from every Commerce Bureau that demonstrates how our data is being used by companies and also how modernization initiatives within Commerce are empowering our teams to better accomplish their missions.


DOC's Chief Economist on The White House Supply Chain Innovation Initiative

Dr. Susan Helper, Chief Economist, Economics & Statistics Administration

Date: May 6, 2015

Chief Economist Dr. Sue Helper discusses the supply chain innovation initiative recently announced by the President, in which the Department of Commerce is playing a key role. White House-Department of Commerce report, Supply Chain Innovation: Strengthening America's Small Manufacturers.


Supporting Cybersecurity Education at NIST

Rodney Petersen, Director, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), NIST

Date: October 25, 2018

Mr. Petersen spoke about how NICE seeks to energize and promote a robust network and an ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.

Watch the recording to learn more:

  • What is NICE and how does it fit into NIST?
  • How has NICE responded to Executive Order 13800 on Protecting the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructures?
  • What are the benefits of an “earn while you learn” model to develop a highly-skilled cybersecurity workforce?

See Differently with Neutrons at NIST

Robert M. Dimeo, Director, NIST Center for Neutron Research

Date: March 15, 2016

NIST is home to the NIST Center for Neutron Research, a major multidisciplinary research facility serving over 2000 researchers from U.S. industry, academia, and government agencies. In this presentation Dr. Dimeo describes why neutrons are indispensable in research, why neutrons are in such high demand from the research community, how NIST operates the NCNR as a national user facility, and the policy environment for neutron scattering user facilities.

Flexible Electronics

Dr. Dean DeLongchamp, Project Leader: Organic Electronics and Photovoltaics, NIST

Date: October 20, 2015

Since the invention of semiconducting organic molecules in the 70’s, they have enabled the development of a wide variety of new flexible electronics devices including transistors, solar cells, and displays. Dr. DeLongchamp discusses the fundamentals of this technology and the important properties of materials that drive these exciting new applications.

Magnetism in the Nano World

Dr. Robert Shull, NIST Fellow, Material Measurement Laboratory, NIST

Date: July 30, 2015

Learn how these nanostructured materials are one of the reasons for the excitement surrounding today’s global “Nanotechnology Revolution.” You will also learn about the unique domain kinetics of these materials, their “Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR)” effects, and their "Enhanced Magnetocaloric Effects."

Using Fire Dynamics Research to Save Firefighters

Daniel Madrzykowski, Engineering Laboratory/Fire Research Division, NIST


Date:March 26, 2015

The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 provided NIST with the mission to conduct basic and applied fire research for the purposes of understanding fire behavior and to reduce losses from fire. Since the program began in the 70’s great strides have been made in improving the fire safety of civilians and reducing the number of structure fires. Unfortunately injuries and fatalities of firefighters are not being reduced at the same rate, in fact the rate of firefighter fatalities on the fire ground has increased. Why? The presentation will explore this topic and features videos of real scale fire experiments.

Human Identity Testing Using DNA

Dr. Peter Vallone, Leader, Applied Genetics Group, Biomolecular Measurement Division, NIST

Date: March 12, 2015

Learn how NIST's Applied Genetics Group is providing standards for forensic laboratories, developing new DNA typing technologies, and evaluating novel genetic markers to assist the forensic community.

Nanotechnology Standardization: Sweating the Small Stuff

Ajit Jillavenkatesa, Senior Standards Policy Adviser, NIST

Date: February 19, 2015

Nanomaterials are all around us – from naturally occurring soot particles, to aircraft components, and as a key element of many sunscreens. Nanomaterials were even used by ancient Romans more than 1,500 years ago to create beautiful goblets. Yet, today, “nano” generate both excitement and concern. While nanotechnology offers the promise of stronger and lighter materials, new approaches to medical treatment, etc., many are concerned about the safety of these materials. International standardization often brings out the best and worst aspects of cooperation and competition. This talk takes a lighthearted look at how processes for developing what have been traditionally science and technology-focused tools are being asked to consider and address societal and consumer issues, and how this may impact us as both citizens and DOC employees.

NIST's Pocket-Sized Chemistry

Dr. Wyatt N. Vreeland, Research Chemical Engineer, Material Measurement Laboratory, NIST

Date: November 12, 2014

Right now you probably have a computer in your pocket that's more powerful than the sum total of the entire world’s computing power available just 40 years ago. But you probably don't have a "chemistry lab" in your pocket with the capability of all the chemistry labs in the world 40 years ago...yet. Today we can sequence a human genome in a few days for a few thousand dollars, a task that at the turn of the century took 13 years and cost almost $3 billion. This is made possible as we make “microchips” that do what was previously done in beakers and test tubes. During this presentation, you will learn how research at NIST is helping us move closer to putting that “chemistry lab” in your pocket.

NIST and the Lightweight Auto Body of the Future: Next-Generation Tools To Make Road Vehicles Safer and More Efficient

Dr. Tim Foecke, Director, Center for Automotive Lightweighting, NIST

Date: November 06, 2014

Learn how NIST’s Center for Automotive Lightweighting (NCAL) is helping to create a set of tools that will enable a more efficient design process for the lightweight, multimaterial auto body of the future, saving fuel, emissions and cost.

Can You Build a House That Provides Free Energy to a Family of Four for an Entire Year?

Dr. A. Hunter Fanney, Engineering Laboratory/Energy and Environment Division, NIST

Date: October 24, 2014

The NZERTF (Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility) was constructed on NIST's Gaithersburg, Maryland campus. During the past year, this lab-in-disguise was used to demonstrate that a home similar in size, aesthetics, and amenities to those found in the Washington D.C. area can generate as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis while meeting the needs of a virtual family of four. During this presentation, you will discover just how many virtual dollars NIST's virtual family of four saved on their energy bills, and what environmentally-friendly technology, building materials, and construction techniques got them there. You will also learn of NIST's future plans for the home and its virtual family.


Forecasting the Ferocious: The Predictive Science Behind NWS Forecasts for Tornadoes and Floods

Greg Carbin, Chief of Forecast Operations for the NWS Weather Prediction Center, NOAA

Date: October 25, 2016

Despite tremendous advances in technology, meteorological prediction is still a mix of art and science. This presentation will describe the challenges of forecasting Nature's most destructive and deadly storms. The Department of Commerce's NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC), in Norman, Oklahoma, is the nation's leading operational center for tornado and severe thunderstorm forecasting. The talk will focus on how our scientific understanding of thunderstorm formation is used at SPC to predict the occurrence of tornadoes through human pattern recognition and massive data assimilation. Similar techniques are also applied to the challenge of predicting deadly flash flood events. The NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC), in College Park, Maryland, is the operational hub and center of expertise responsible for heavy precipitation prediction. The talk will conclude with a look at the many other services provided by WPC, as well as a summary of the six other National Centers for Environmental Prediction located in the D.C. area, Boulder, Miami, and Kansas City.

Protecting Peru's Precious Ocean & Coastal Resources

Ole Varmer, Attorney-Advisor, NOAA

Date: May 4, 2016

Ole Varmer discusses the recent opportunity he had to travel to Peru through our US Embassy in Lima and assist Peru's Ministry of Environment. His work on integrated coastal management and marine spatial planning, particularly plans for marine protected areas, highlight the importance to the world that these areas are preserved and sustainably developed, and thus the reason DoS and NOAA provide a lot of technical assistance and capacity building, including legal assistance.

NOAA’s Digital Coast: Actionable Information for Coastal Communities

Josh Murphy, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Date: April 19, 2016

The Digital Coast is an information resource developed for those who manage the nation's coasts. This web-based enabling platform provides access to the geospatial data, tools, training, and case studies that can be used by communities to address such issues as coastal hazards, land use planning, and climate change. The effort is supported by the Digital Coast Partnership, composed of national-level organizations representing coastal managers at the local, state, and national scales, who provide content for the website, information on priority issues, and feedback on decision support tools.

Mapping the Ocean Floor from Space

Dr. Walter H.F. Smith, Geophysicist, Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, NOAA

Date: November 19, 2015

Depth measurements cover only about ten percent of Earth’s ocean floor. The topography of the bottom in unmeasured areas has been inferred indirectly, using satellite radar measurements of sea level to measure gravity anomalies on the ocean surface that reveal the presence of mountains and valleys on the sea floor. This talk looks at the present state of knowledge of global ocean bottom depth, shape and roughness, what is and isn’t known, what the consequences are, why they matter, and what the prospects are for improvements in the future.

NOAA's Law of the Sea: Reclaiming Buried Treasure in the "Black Swan" Case

James A. Goold, Covington and Burling LLP and Dr. James P. Delgado, NOAA

Date: June 4, 2015

Mr. Goold and Dr. Delgado describe their work on the famous landmark legal case concerning more than half a million silver coins recovered from a deep water site off the coast of Portugal by a commercial salvage firm, Odyssey Marine Exploration.

NOAA's Law of the Sea: Titanic Revisited

Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Date: April 9, 2015

Craig McLean chronicles the story of RMS Titanic. Learn about his research on the Californian's proximity to Titanic that fateful night, NOAA's Titanic Guidelines for Exploration, Research & Salvage, and NOAA's joint expeditions with Dr. Robert Ballard. In this lively and engaging presentation, you will learn some first hand experiences about NOAA's work on perhaps the most famous shipwreck and about ocean exploration that has had an impact on our culture, law, and the world for generations

The Quest for the Northwest Passage

James P. Delgado, PhD, Director of Maritime Heritage, NOAA

Date: February 10, 2015

In an illustrated presentation, James Delgado tells the story of the ships, people and the landscape of the Northwest Passage, linking images and old charts to the surviving relics of one of the longest and costliest endeavors in the annals of exploration.

NOAA's Journey In Ocean Exploration

Craig McLean, Acting Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Date: October 30, 2014

Join Craig McLean as he chronicles the story of ocean exploration from its humble, noble beginnings through its modern-day landmark achievements to a glimpse of the future-forward, ground-breaking research propelling this program for the years ahead. In this lively and engaging presentation, you will learn what we know--and yet still don't know--about the ocean and its inhabitants and what methods scientists take to coax out new discoveries. You will also find out just how much ocean exploration impacts you, the economy, and nation as a whole.

The Coast Survey (Part Two: The World Wars)

Captain Albert E. "Skip" Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.)

Date: October 07, 2014

The Second World War marked the finest hour of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS). Following in the wake of the World War I law that established a commissioned service in the C&GS, over half of the officer contingent as well as 1100 civilians from the Survey served in the armed forces of the United States. Three major ships of the Survey were transferred into the Navy and served from the Aleutians to Guadalcanal. On the homefront, Coast Surveyors produced nearly 100 million maps and charts for Allied operations. For good measure, they also designed a world aeronautical chart system that was adopted by the International Civil Aeronautical Organization following the war. Join the Coast Survey as it helps put "iron on target", map uncharted reefs and islands of the Pacific, and help bring the world into a new era following the war.

The Coast Survey (Part One: The Civil War)

Captain Albert E. "Skip" Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.)

Date: September 9, 2014

Dating from 1807, the United States Coast Survey is the oldest science agency in the United States Federal Government and served the Union Cause during the American Civil War. Coast Surveyors marched with the Union Army, serving under fire as topographers, scouts, and aides-de-camp in all major theaters of the conflict, and produced some of the most outstanding maps and graphics of the War. The Coast Survey was instrumental in formulating Union strategy, from its involvement on the Blockade Strategy Board, to conducting artillery surveys, to the famous “ Slavery Map”, which both garnered support for the Union cause and was consulted by Lincoln as he attacked the heart of the Confederacy.



Allan Friedman, PhD, Director of Cybersecurity, NTIA

Date: October 26, 2017

In this session, Allan will cover the following:

  • What do we mean by ‘cybersecurity’?
  • How does cybersecurity affect your field, and how can you engage?
  • What is NTIA doing on cybersecurity policy?

Radio Spectrum: the Oxygen for Our Everyday Lives

Paige Atkins, Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA

Date: January 14, 2016

In managing all Federal government use of wireless spectrum, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) plays a unique role by meeting the increasing radio spectrum needs of the government and non-Federal users. Paige Atkins discusses wireless (or radio frequency) spectrum and spectrum management - what it is, how it is used, and the Department’s role in supporting and balancing the national and economic security interests of our nation.


Rising to the Challenge

Stephanie Mendez, Senior Management & Efficiency Analyst

Date: April 30, 2019

Commit to challenges, test your limit, and force yourself to achieve. This talk will emphasize ways to teach ourselves to break self-made barriers, reduce self-doubt, and allow ourselves to succeed at higher levels in the workplace and in life. Senior Management & Efficiency Analyst Stephanie Mendez will explain how ANYONE can make meaningful improvements to rise to greater challenges.

Join the Commerce Research Library for a presentation on inspiring personal and professional growth. Learn practical tips to increase productivity and lean into new challenges and allowing yourself to succeed. Stephanie will discuss:

  • Identifying self-barriers
  • Working through challenges, fears and self-doubt to lean into goals
  • Raising the bar, committing and allowing yourself to rise to the challenge
  • Applying to the real world, personally and professionally

Boosting Office Efficiency

Stephanie Mendez, Senior Management & Efficiency Analyst

Date: September 25, 2018

Caught in the web of inefficient office workflows? Don’t let the tangle of complex procedures, measures, and statistics overwhelm you from making process improvements! Senior Management & Efficiency Analyst Stephanie Mendez will explain how ANYONE can make meaningful improvements in the workplace.

Join the Commerce Research Library for a presentation on inspiring efficiency. Learn practical tips to increase productivity and improve employee morale in your office. Stephanie will discuss:

  • Symptoms of a dysfunctional process (or symptoms of a process in need)
  • Anyone can do it, so where do we start?
  • Simple steps to identify, analyze and improve existing business processes
  • Practical guidance and examples for use in the everyday workplace

Moving DOC IT into the 21st Century

Steve Cooper, Chief Information Officer

Date: February 23, 2016

Secretary Pritzker charged CIO Steve Cooper with transforming the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) organization to address key deficiencies in information technology (IT) services provided to DOC headquarters and Bureaus. Those key deficiencies included operational performance at the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB) in wireless, teleconferencing and printing services for organizational performance as a result of a lack of collaboration across the Department. Mr. Cooper discusses the IT transformation agenda, capabilities, and operations across DOC to drive the business in a cost-effective and timely way.

(audio only)


Everyone is a Leader: How Leadership Development Training Can Help Your Career

Dr. Bill Brantley, Human Resources Specialist, Enterprise Training Division, USPTO

Date: October 4, 2017

What is Leadership Development Training? Learn how leadership development fits into your career and what courses PTO offers to strengthen the skills of employees.

The Patent Office and China: 130 Years of Advocacy and Engagement

Mark Cohen, Senior Counsel, China, USPTO and Elaine Wu, Attorney, Office of Policy and External Affairs, USPTO

Date: February 2, 2016

Learn about USPTO’s China team and the work they do to serve as a resource and leader on Intellectual Property (IP) issues concerning China.

Unleashing American Innovation

Vikrum Aiyer, Deputy Chief of Staff, US Patent and Trademark Office

Date: September 18, 2014

As the USPTO oversees reforms and challenges to the world’s strongest patent system, PTO Deputy Chief of Staff Vikrum Aiyer will discuss how the Department of Commerce's intellectual property agenda is helping unleash innovation in America, and advancing the President’s commitment to aligning federal policy to ensure entrepreneurs can flourish.

Enterprising Women of Commerce

Enterprising Women of Commerce was a fireside-chat series that showcased the senior women of the Commerce Department. It ran from 2014-2016.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Secretary Penny Pritzker

Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce

Date: June 9, 2016
Bureau: DOC

Penny Pritzker has served as the 38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce since June 2013. In this role, she is focused on providing American businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to grow and hire. Since taking office, she has worked closely with the business community and helped advance the president’s priorities of expanding growth and opportunity for all Americans.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Izella Dornell

Izella Dornell, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Management and Business, U.S. Department of Commerce

Date: November 18, 2015
Bureau: DOC

Izella Dornell was named Deputy Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce in July 2010. Selected based on her proven ability to lead and manage while achieving efficiency and results, she serves as a member on the OCIO senior leadership team responsible for providing leadership, establishing policy, and maintaining oversight for the information technology investments that support the diverse portfolio of programs across the Commerce Department’s dozen bureaus.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Judy Rising Reinke

Judy Rising Reinke, Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade Administration

Date: July 15, 2015
Bureau: ITA

Judy Reinke assumed the position of Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) on June 3, 2013. In this role, Judy serves as the chief operating officer of the U.S. Government’s premier export promotion agency managing its domestic and overseas trade offices. From August 2010 to June 2013, Judy served as the Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs in New Delhi, India. In this capacity, she was the senior representative of the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for the operations of the US&FCS in India, supervising the strategic program of seven trade promotion offices and four related agencies. Prior to this position, Judy served as the Regional Director for Western Europe overseeing the operations of the US&FCS at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 14 countries in Europe, as well as the US&FCS liaison office at the European Union.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Bruce Andrews and Jay Williams

Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary, Economic Development

Date: June 25, 2015
Bureau: DOC, EDA

Bruce Andrews was confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce on July 24, 2014. Andrews was named Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce by President Obama and Secretary Penny Pritzker on June 9, 2014. Prior to this, Andrews served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, a post which he began in October 2011. Prior to joining Commerce, Andrews served as General Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where he served as the chief counsel for the Committee and was responsible for policy, legal and jurisdiction issues.

Jay Williams was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and was sworn into office on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Jay served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. In this capacity, he worked directly with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to deliver federal support to ensure they returned to better economic condition.

Ellen Herbst was confirmed as the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Administration at the Department of Commerce on August 7, 2013. Ms. Herbst oversees the establishment and execution of Departmental policies and procedures for administrative functions affecting program operation in Commerce’s operating units. These administrative functions include: budget and financial management, strategic planning and performance management, human resources management and civil rights, employee safety and health, procurement and small business utilization, grants management, travel and transportation, real property and facilities management, directives management, and security.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Michelle Lee

Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

Date: April 22, 2015
Bureau: USPTO

As Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Michelle K. Lee provides leadership and oversight to one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world. Ms. Lee serves as a principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on both domestic and international intellectual property matters, and provides leadership and oversight of the day-to-day management of the policy, budget, and operations for an agency of over 12,000 employees. She also promotes innovation domestically and drives international harmonization efforts, in support of the administration's top economic priorities to increase economic growth.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Dr. Kathryn Sullivan

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

Date: February 24, 2015
Bureau: NOAA

Dr. Kathryn Sullivanis the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut, and intrepid explorer. Her impressive expertise spans the frontiers of space and sea. An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA’s Chief Scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Dr. Laurie Locascio

Dr. Laurie E. Locascio, Director, Material Measurement Laboratory, NIST

Date: January 14, 2015
Bureau: NIST

Dr. Laurie E. Locascio is the director of the Material Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Material Measurement Lab has more than 900 staff members and visiting scientists, an annual budget of more than $160 million, and serves as the nation's reference laboratory for measurements in the chemical, biological and materials sciences through activities ranging from fundamental research in the composition, structure and properties of industrial, biological, and environmental materials and processes, to the development and dissemination of certified reference materials, critically evaluated data and other measurement quality assurance programs.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Alejandra Castillo

Alejandra Castillo, National Director of Minority Business Development Agency

Date: December 4, 2014
Bureau: MBDA

In 2014, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Ms. Alejandra Y. Castillo to serve as the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Ms. Castillo is the first Hispanic-American woman to lead the Agency since its creation. In this capacity, Ms. Castillo directs the Agency’s strategic efforts to enhance the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs). Under Ms. Castillo’s leadership, the Agency has expanded its effort to help MBEs grow and succeed through access to capital, access to contract and access to business opportunities both domestically and abroad.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Dr. Nancy Potok

Dr. Nancy Potok, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Census Bureau

Date: November 5, 2014
Bureau: Census

Dr. Potok previously served at the U.S. Department of Commerce as Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, the Census Bureau's Associate Director for Demographic Programs, and the Principal Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer in charge of Field Operations, Information Technology, and Administration during the 2000 Census.

Enterprising Women of Commerce: Ellen Herbst

Ellen Herbst, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Administration

Date: October 15, 2014
Bureau: DOC

Ms. Ellen Herbst is Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Administration for the Department of Commerce. She oversees the establishment and execution of Departmental policies and procedures for administrative functions affecting program operations in Commerce’s operating units. These administrative functions include: budget and financial management, strategic planning and performance management, human resources management and civil rights, employee safety and health, procurement and small business utilization, grants management, travel and transportation, real property and facilities management, directives management, and security. Ms. Herbst will share her career path and experience as a senior woman leader.