Selection Committee Announces Leaders to Manage CHIPS for the US National Center for Semiconductor Technology

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, an independent selection committee announced the upcoming board of trustees expected to oversee the nonprofit organization that will operate the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC). The NSTC is the primary research and development (R&D) component of the Commerce Department’s Americas CHIPS program.

The NSTC will be a hub of collaboration for members of the entire semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem and suppliers and will accelerate the pace of innovation and help reduce the cost and time required to bring new technologies to market.

The newly elected board members will now begin the process of creating a non-profit organization that is expected to manage the NSTC and hire executive leadership. The Department of Commerce expects to enter into a funding agreement with the newly formed nonprofit to begin operating the NSTC.

In a joint statement, selection committee members Janet Fouty, John Hennessy, Jason Matheny, Donald J. Rosenberg and Brenda Darden Wilkerson said, “We are honored to serve in this capacity to help build NSTC, which will be a truly transformative institution for the semiconductor industry.” The new board members are distinguished by their expertise, experience and leadership abilities. We appreciate their generosity in giving back to the American microelectronics sector to make it the best in the world.”

“We are on a mission to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to America and ensure our national and economic security, and to do that, we must continue to lead the world in semiconductor R&D.” NSTC will strengthen chip technology and innovation ecosystems across the country so that cutting-edge developments in semiconductor design and manufacturing happen here in the U.S.,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “I am grateful to this extraordinary group of leaders for answering the call to serve our nation and advance America’s technology leadership.”

“Board members will help create an NSTC that is forward-thinking, flexible and responsive to the needs of the semiconductor ecosystem,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Laurie E. Locascio. “NSTC will provide our local manufacturing industry with technological advances that will keep American-made products competitive and help train the next generation workforce to produce these products in the world’s most advanced facilities.”

“President Biden secured historic legislation to revitalize America’s leadership in semiconductors, and today’s milestone is a critical step in supporting cutting-edge research and development in the next generation of chip technologies,” said National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard.

In the Federal Register notice calling for nominations for the selection committee, they were tasked with identifying “outstanding, purposeful, visionary leaders” for the NSTC. The initial members of the upcoming board are:

  • Robin Abrams has over four decades of experience building and managing technology companies and startups. Previous leadership roles include serving as Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ZILOG Inc., a supplier of integrated microcontroller products; CEO of Firefly Communications Inc.; CEO of VeriFone, a global leader in payment and commerce solutions; and President of Apple Americas. Abrams received his BA and PhD from the University of Nebraska.
  • Craig R. Barrett is the retired CEO and Chairman of Intel Corporation, where he rose through the ranks to become Chief Operating Officer in 1993, President in 1997, Chief Executive Officer in 1998, and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2009. Today, he is an advocate for improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Barrett earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
  • L. Brothers Reginald (Reggie). is director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory and an operating partner at AE Industrial. He was CEO of BigBear.ai, Chief Technology Officer of Peraton and Director of The Chertoff Group. Prior to these roles, he served as Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the US Department of Homeland Security; Deputy Assistant Secretary, Research, US Department of Defense; and has held leadership positions at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, BAE Systems, Draper Laboratory, Envoy Networks, and Lincoln Laboratory. Brothers earned a BSEE from Tufts University, an MSEE from Southern Methodist University, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Nicholas (Nick) Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran who led IBM’s technology and innovation strategies from 1997 until his retirement in October 2008. He also served as vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation and chairman of the board of the IBM Technology Academy. His most recent responsibilities included IBM research, government programs, technical support and quality, corporate community relations, and environmental health and product safety. He holds seven technology patents and is a member of numerous technical and scientific honor societies. Donofrio earned a BSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MSEE from Syracuse University.
  • Donna L. Dubinsky is an entrepreneur best known as the CEO of Palm Computing and Handspring, pioneers of the first successful handheld computers and smartphones. She co-founded and served as Chairman/CEO of Numenta since 2005, where she continues to serve as Chairman. Donna was most recently Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of Commerce. She also served on the board of Yale University from 2006-2018, including two years as Senior Trustee; and was a director of Intuit from 1999-2006. Dubinsky received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • Erica RH Fuchs is Professor of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and, courtesy of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. She is the founding director of the National Critical Technology Assessment Network and is the founding director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, which is now an endowed institute. She serves on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation Visiting Committee at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. Fuchs received his PhD, SM, and SB degrees from MIT.
  • James D. (Jim) Plummer is John M. Fluke, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University. He was dean of the Stanford School of Engineering from 1999-2014. His technical work is in semiconductor devices and technology with contributions to CMOS logic and high voltage devices. His textbooks on chip technology are used worldwide. He has served on the board of directors of companies including Intel and Cadence. He received his BA from UCLA and his MA and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Plummer will serve as the inaugural chair.

To learn more about NSTC’s structure, see Vision and Strategy for the National Semiconductor Technology Center, published in April 2023.

The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act created four research and development programs in the Department of Commerce that are overseen by the CHIPS Office of Research and Development within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): the National Center for Semiconductor Technology, the National the Center for Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, to three new U.S. manufacturing institutes dedicated to semiconductors, and the CHIPS Metrology R&D Program.

For CHIPS for America

CHIPS for America is part of President Biden’s economic plan to invest in America, spur private sector investment, create good-paying jobs and make America competitive in the 21st century. CHIPS for America includes the CHIPS Program Office, responsible for manufacturing incentives, and the CHIPS Office of Research and Development, responsible for research and development programs. Both offices are within NIST at the Department of Commerce. NIST promotes innovation and U.S. industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that increase economic security and improve our quality of life.

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