Dr. Timothy M. Persons is a member of the Senior Executive Service of the U.S. federal government and was appointed the Chief Scientist of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2008. In addition to establishing the vision for advanced data analytic activities at GAO, he also serves to direct GAO’s Center for Science, Technology, and Engineering (CSTE), a group of highly specialized scientists, engineers, and operations research staff. In these roles he directs science and technology (S&T) studies and is an expert advisor and chief consultant to the GAO, Congress, and other federal agencies and government programs on cutting-edge S&T, key highly-specialized complex systems, engineering policies and best practices, and original research studies in the fields of engineering, computer, and the physical and biological sciences to ensure strategic and effective use of S&T in the federal sector.
Dr. Persons is a recipient of the Arthur S. Flemming award (2012), a James Madison University (JMU) Distinguished Alumnus Award (2016), a GAO Distinguished Service Award (2014), two GAO Big Picture Awards (2012, 2010), two GAO Results Through Teamwork Awards (2014, 2011), a 2007 Director of National Intelligence Science and Technology Fellow, and was selected as the JMU Physics Alumnus of 2007. He has also served as a radiation physicist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his B.Sc. (Physics) from JMU, a M.Sc. (Nuclear Physics) from Emory University, and a M.Sc. (Computer Science) and Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering) degrees from Wake Forest University. He is a senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), serves as an ex officio council member of the National Academy of Sciences' Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), serves as a Member of the Board of the Senior Executives Association (SEA), and is a member of the World Future Society Global Advisory Council.