Mary Saunders is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center and vice president for government relations and public policy at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Since 2017, she has led ANSI’s efforts to advocate for a greater use of voluntary consensus standards and conformance programs by government agencies and broader participation by agency personnel in standards development.

Saunders has more than twenty-five years of experience in the standards policy arena, focusing on the importance and value of a private sector-led standards system and the public-private partnership that underpins the US system. Most recently, she has engaged with the US Congress and White House offices on the intersections among standards for critical and emerging technologies, global competition, economic security, innovation, and competitiveness.   

Previously as director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Standards Coordination Office, she represented the agency and its significant interests in the standards and conformity assessment community, advising the NIST director and other officials throughout the administration on policy and strategy as they relate to the federal government’s role in standardization. Over the course of her government career, Saunders briefed a broad range of foreign government officials on US regulatory and standards-related matters. She also previously served as deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and services in the International Trade Administration, managing more than two hundred industry specialists, economists, and international trade experts.