IN HONOR OF AN OUTSTANDING AMERICAN AND HIS WORK AS PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS ORGANIZATION: OLIVER R. SMOOT -- HON. RALPH M. HALL (Extensions of Remarks - February 27, 2003)

HON. RALPH M. HALL
OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2003

 
bulletMr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today for myself and for Chairman BOEHLERT of the House Committee on Science to recognize Oliver R. Smoot , vice-president for external voluntary standards relations at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), as he begins his term as the President of the International Standards Organization (ISO). It is a high honor and a major achievement to be asked to be the leader of the World's standards community but it is not surprising that Ollie Smoot is the one chosen. Mr. Smoot has long been a pillar of the standards community, most recently as President-elect of ISO and as Chairman of the American National Standards Institute, the organization which represents the United States in international standards matters and oversees the establishment of U.S. national standards. The ISO, which was established in 1947, serves as the world's primary entity for the adoption of uniform international standards that are relied by all of us every day. Without international agreement on how we measure, determine quality, and provide for health and safety life as we know it today would not be possible. ISO quietly, but effectively, has spent over 50 years helping over 140 nations reach agreement on the standards that underlie world trade, manufacturing, scientific research, and many other aspects of our lives. Since its founding only three other Americans have held the office of President of this worldwide federation.

 
bulletWe are fortunate that Oliver Smoot is ready, willing, and able to undertake major challenges since his service comes at a pivotal time when the importance of international standards is rapidly increasing. There may never have been a time when ISO faced bigger challenges. As tariffs and other trade barriers wane and world trade increases, the pressures to harmonize standards in many fields increases. As the world becomes more interdependent, the importance of international standards grows. As challenges to ISO's one-country, one vote system of representation mount, having a strong leader at the head of ISO becomes more and more essential. Fortunately, Mr. Smoot has an extensive background in standardization and conformity assessment policies both at the national and international level; he has been a strong leader in numerous ANSI Board-level committees and task forces and has served as chairman of the Institute's Finance Committee and Patent Group. As chairman of the ANSI Organization Member Council, he facilitated ANSI's policy-setting activities affecting more than 250 standard developers, professional societies, trade associations and academic institutions interested in standards, certification and conformity assessment. Balancing the needs of 140 nations can't be that much harder than presiding over the conflicting needs of everyone in the United States who has an interest in standards. If anyone is prepared for the challenge of running the ISO, we assume Oliver Smoot is. He has come a long way from the establishment of the standard ``Smoot'' as an undergraduate at MIT.

 
bulletMr. Smoot will be the guest of honor, on Wednesday the 26th of February at a House of Representatives reception to celebrate his new tenure as President of the ISO. I hope that many of you will take the opportunity at that point to congratulate Mr. Smoot personally. Oliver R. Smoot is a great American who has labored long for the betterment of Science and the global economy and I am pleased that this week he is getting long-deserved recognition of this service.

 

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