Patrick D. Gallagher

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Patrick D. Gallagher
Patrick D. Gallagher official photo.jpg
18th Chancellor of the
University of Pittsburgh
Assumed office
August 1, 2014
Preceded by Mark Nordenberg
Acting United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce
In office
June 1, 2013 – July 24, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Rebecca Blank
Succeeded by Bruce H. Andrews
14th Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
In office
November 5, 2009 – June 19, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by William A. Jeffrey
Succeeded by Willie E. May
Personal details
Born (1969-09-23) September 23, 1969 (age 48)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
Alma mater Benedictine College (BS)
University of Pittsburgh (PhD)
Boston University (post-doc)
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions National Institute of Standards and Technology
Thesis The interaction of colloidal polystyrene latex spheres with a critical binary liquid mixture (1991)
Doctoral advisor James V. Maher

Patrick David Gallagher (born March 29, 1963) is an American physicist and the eighteenth chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. He was formerly the 14th director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and had served as the Acting United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce.[1] On February 8, 2014, he was named the Chancellor-elect of the University of Pittsburgh and assumed the position of Chancellor on August 1, 2014.


Gallagher was born and raised in Albuquerque to Claire A. Gallagher (née Selter; born in Sunbury, PA to Agnes J. Selter (née Karb) and Adolf P. Selter) and John Gallagher (born in Ireland, having moved to Philadelphia at the age of 2).[2] His father, worked at Sandia National Laboratories. During high school, the young Gallagher spent summers working on public health and sanitation projects in Mexico, Ecuador, and Honduras under sponsorship of Amigos de las Américas. He graduated from St. Pius High School.

Gallagher studied Physics and Philosophy at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. After graduating in 1985, he taught math and science for a year at Bishop LeBlond High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he also served as head coach for the cross-country track team. Returning to graduate school, he received his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991,[3] and did post-doctoral research at Boston University. He joined NIST as an instrumental scientist in 1993. His research interests have included neutron and X-ray instrumentation and studies of soft condensed matter systems such as liquids, polymers, and gels.[4]

In 2000, Gallagher was selected as NIST agency representative at the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Then, starting in 2004, he served for four years as Director of the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), a national user facility for neutron scattering on the NIST Gaithersburg campus. In 2008, he became deputy director of NIST.[5][6]

Nominated by President Obama, Gallagher was confirmed as the 14th Director of NIST on Nov. 5, 2009. He also served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, a new position created in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011.

Gallagher has been active in the area of U.S. policy for scientific user facilities and was chair of the Interagency Working Group on neutron and light source facilities under the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Currently, he serves as co-chair of the Standards Subcommittee under the White House National Science and Technology Council.[5]

Gallagher and his wife, Karen Jane (Abrahamson) Gallagher, an occupational therapist, have three sons, Sean, Devin, and Ryan.[7]


  1. ^ "Patrick D. Gallagher, Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce". April 25, 2013. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Patrick Gallagher's Pittsburgh Roots". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ Gallagher, Patrick David (1991). The interaction of colloidal polystyrene latex spheres with a critical binary liquid mixture (Ph.D.). University of Pittsburgh – via ProQuest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ AllGov, "Gallagher, Patrick"
  5. ^ a b NIST, "Patrick D. Gallagher" Archived 2014-09-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Political Appointee Project, "Director, NIST" Archived 2014-02-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate" (October 15, 2009)

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
William A. Jeffrey
Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
2009 - 2014
Succeeded by
Willie E. May
Academic offices
Preceded by
Mark Nordenberg
Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh
2014 – present

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the NIST.