Dr. Willie May

Portrait photo of man wearing glasses and a suit jacket with tie

Dr. Willie E. May serves as Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University where he works to enhance Morgan's research vitality, develop new relationships and expand existing partnerships with government agencies, corporations, and research foundations on major research initiatives. He oversees Morgan’s’ research administration function and works with the Provost, Academic Deans and Department Chairs to develop and support institutional cross-disciplinary research initiatives. He also works to strengthen the management and commercialization of innovations resulting from faculty and student research endeavors.

Prior to coming to Morgan State University, Dr. May served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As Director, Dr. May provided high-level oversight and direction for the NIST portfolio of research, measurement service and other industry facing programs that promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness. Prior to becoming Director, Dr. May served as NIST Associate Director for laboratory Programs and Chief Deputy to the NIST Director. Prior to that, he led NIST's research and measurement service programs in chemistry-related areas for more than 25 years. His personal research activities were focused in the areas of trace organic analytical chemistry and physio-chemical properties of organic compounds, where his work is described in more than 90 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. May earned his B.S degree in Chemistry at Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tenn. And Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park. His numerous honors include Honorary Doctorate’s from Wake Forrest University and the University of Alabama Huntsville; the American Chemical Society Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry Award; Department of Commerce Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Awards; Arthur Flemming Award for Outstanding Federal Service; and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Percy Julian, and Henry Hill Awards for outstanding contributions in Chemistry. In 2015, Dr. May was recognized as the Federal Government’s “Top Chemist” by Chemical and Engineering News Magazine and in 2016 he was recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium as “Laboratory Director of the Year”.