SPIE names Kent Rochford new CEO
He will succeed Eugene Arthurs, who retires on June 2, after 18 years in that position.
IMAGE. Dr. Kent Rochford, in-coming CEO of SPIE. (Courtesy SPIE)
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (Bellingham, WA), announced that Kent Rochford will be the organization’s new CEO. He succeeds Eugene Arthurs, who retires on June 2, after 18 years in that position. Rochford was associate director for Laboratory Programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), providing direction and operational guidance for NIST’s scientific and technical laboratory programs with 2,800 staff and an $800 million budget.
As associate director, Rochford represented the full breadth of laboratory activity to domestic and international constituencies, collaborators, stakeholders, the U.S. Congress, and advisory boards. He previously headed up NIST-Boulder Labs and the Communication Technology Laboratory (CTL) in Colorado, and served as chief of both the Quantum Electronics and Photonics and Optoelectronics Divisions at NIST, as well as acting director of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory. This work provided measurement R&D and standards support for the optoelectronics and photonics industry, spanning communications, lasers, sensors, quantum optics, and materials.
“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization during such an exciting time for optics and photonics,” said Rochford. “I look forward to working with the SPIE Board, leadership, staff, and volunteers to build on their remarkable accomplishments. I’ve always felt privileged to work in photonics, and I’m thrilled to be part of SPIE’s efforts to advance this extraordinary field.”
Rochford holds a PhD in optical sciences from the University of Arizona, a BS in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, and an MBA from the University of Colorado. He originally joined NIST in 1992 as a postdoctoral research associate. From 2000 to 2002, he managed the engineering department of a startup optical-communications company, working on components for high-performance communication systems. He returned permanently to NIST in 2003.
“I am very delighted to welcome Kent as leader of the SPIE team,” says SPIE President Maryellen Giger. “His many years of working with the science of optics and its real-world applications, as well as his strengths in strategic planning, operational oversight, and organizational management, will enhance the ongoing mission of SPIE involving researchers, educators, government, and industry in advancing light-based research and technologies for the betterment of the human condition. As Kent takes over leadership of SPIE, I want to acknowledge and greatly thank our retiring current CEO, Dr. Eugene Arthurs. Eugene's vision and endless efforts have strategically and continuously grown SPIE as the international leader in photonics and optics.”