Marla Dowell

NIST Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) and NIST Boulder Laboratory

Director of NIST Communications Technology Laboratory and NIST Boulder Laboratory 

Marla Dowell is Director of the NIST Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) and NIST Boulder Laboratory. NIST has a long role in advanced wireless communications going back over 100 years, to the development of the first radios running on AC electricity and radio triangulation techniques used during World War I. Today, NIST CTL serves as the leader for advanced communications standards and measurements, enabling dramatic changes in how consumers, manufacturers, governments, and others provide and consume information, transact business, provide and use essential services, among many other tasks. NIST CTL works closely with its partners in industry, academia, and across the federal government to address the insatiable societal demand for connectivity, one that requires significant advancements in communication technologies. 

Dr. Dowell has served the broader NIST community as a member of the NIST Assessment Review Board, NIST Safety Council, and the NIST People Council. For over 15 years, she has served as a mentor in NIST leadership programs and has learned a great deal from mentees on the changing workforce needs. In addition, she has represented NIST on national and international standards committees for optics and photonics as well as external advisory committees on research innovation, photonics, and communications.  

Dr. Dowell’s breadth of technical expertise and superior people management skills have been recognized by several prestigious awards: Department of Commerce Silver Medal, NIST Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Award, Judson C. French Award, Allen V. Astin Award, and the Arthur S. Flemming Award from George Washington University. 

Dr. Dowell is a senior member of IEEE, as well as a member of AAAS, AAUW, APS, and SPIE.