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 December 2007
ASTM International News

Guangzhou Officials Discuss Technical Barriers to Trade at ASTM Headquarters

On Oct. 22, ASTM International welcomed a delegation from the Guangzhou System for Concerted Action Against Technical Barriers to Trade to ASTM Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. While the individuals within the group are executives at a variety of organizations in Guangzhou, China, they share an interest in learning more about eliminating technical barriers to trade.

Guangzhou Officials

A delegation from Guangzhou, China, discussed technical barriers to trade with staff at ASTM International Headquarters on Oct. 22.

The Guangzhou delegation wanted to learn how ASTM International manages standards development, how it operates in China, how it deals with intellectual property rights and what it has done to promote standardization. The group also wanted to explore ways in which it and ASTM could work together on standards promotion and information exchange. Finally, the Guangzhou delegation wanted to learn more about other organizations in the United States that are dealing with technical barriers to trade and how those organizations work.

During the visit, Kevin Shanahan, manager, ASTM International, presented an overview of ASTM, while James Olshefsky, director, external relations, ASTM, spoke on government interface and corporate outreach programs in place at ASTM. In addition, Pat Harris, National Center for Standards and Certification Information at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, provided a virtual presentation on World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade issues.

Participants learned how standards are developed and revised through ASTM International and discussed the possibility of future collaborations between ASTM International and the Guangzhou group. //

Chinese Environmental Officials Visit ASTM International

During a weeklong trip to the United States, a delegation of Chinese officials concerned about environmental issues visited ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., on Oct. 29. The purpose of the meeting was to learn more about ASTM and how its committees interact with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Delegation members included officials from the State Administration of Environmental Protection, the China Academy of Environmental Sciences, the National People’s Congress and the agriculture and environmental department of the State Council.

ASTM staff discussed environmental assessment and petroleum-related issues with a delegation concerned with environmental issues.

Jeffrey Grove, vice president, global policy and industry affairs, ASTM International, provided an overview of ASTM International, while Daniel Smith, director, standards development, ASTM, spoke about the interactions of ASTM Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action. David Bradley, director of ASTM’s proficiency testing program and manager of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants, presented information about D02 and its continuing work in the area of biodiesel and bioethanol. //

Kono Receives ANSI’s Astin-Polk Award

Kitty Kono, recently retired as vice president of global cooperation at ASTM International, received the Astin-Polk International Standards Medal from the American National Standards Institute at a reception and dinner held in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17.

ANSI honored Kono, who had filled the global cooperation position since its creation in 2001, for expanding the role of standards in international trade and regulation and establishing networks among standards development organizations worldwide, particularly in developing nations.

Kitty Kono

Jennifer Stradtman, trade specialist, International Trade Administration, Robert W. Noth, Kitty Kono, and James A. Thomas, president, ASTM International (left to right), pose after the Astin-Polk Medal presentation.

In an interview in the August 2007 issue of SN, Kono said of her tenure in global cooperation, “We have opened an office in Mexico, reopened the Washington, D.C., office, created the China Consortium on Standards and Conformity Assessment, and opened our own ASTM International Office in Beijing. We have built relationships with over 50 mostly developing countries through our memorandum of understanding program. This year we created a technical assistance program, in which we are providing training in the use of ASTM standards to our MOU partners.”

Kono’s ASTM International career included positions as the ASTM Washington representative, executive director of the ASTM Institute for Standards Research, editor of SN and staff manager.

The Astin-Polk International Standards Medal honors distinguished service in promoting trade and understanding among nations through participation in the advancement, development and administration of international standardization, measurement and certification. The award takes its name from two advocates of international standardization and metrology: the late Allen V. Astin, retired from the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Louis F. Polk, Sr., who was chairman of the U.S. Metric Board. //

Azzara Retires from ASTM International

Drew C. Azzara, vice president, corporate development, has retired from ASTM International effective Nov. 30 after 27 years of service. As vice president, corporate development, Azzara oversaw ASTM’s new standards development activities, corporate communications, membership services and promotion and outsourcing services.


Drew Azzara

Azzara was hired as a staff manager by ASTM in 1980 and became a senior staff manager in 1983. Beginning in 1987, Azzara worked as a manager in the developmental operations department and became a director in 1989.

In 1994, Azzara was promoted to assistant vice president. In 2002, after a short period as assistant vice president, technical committee support, Azzara became assistant vice president, corporate marketing and development. Azzara assumed his most recent position in early 2003.

In addition to serving on the board of directors of the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, Azzara is a member of the Council for Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.

Azzara holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from New York Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. He also has pursued further studies in executive management at the Wharton School.

Azzara has accepted the position of vice president, international services, at the International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention globally. //

ASTM Welcomes New Director of Public Policy and International Trade

Kevin Cummins has joined ASTM International as director, public policy and international trade, in the ASTM Washington, D.C., office.


Kevin Cummins

Prior to starting at ASTM International, Cummins was part of the legislative staff of U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) where he completed a congressional fellowship on trade and national security. He also worked as a client communications project assistant for IBM in Washington, D.C. In addition, Kevin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, working as an environmental education advocate for more than two years in Dakar, Senegal.

Cummins received a B.A. in French and international studies from the University of Washington and an M.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Cummins has dual citizenship in the United States and the European Union and is fluent in English, French and Wolof, the most widely spoken language in Senegal. //

ASTM Visits University of SouthFlorida

As ASTM International’s Year of the Student continues, Dean Alberson, assistant agency director, Texas Transportation Institute, and member of ASTM International Committee F12 on Security Systems and Equipment, and Joseph Hugo, manager, ASTM, met with 30 students at the University of South Florida School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The meeting took place Oct. 30 in conjunction with ASTM International’s October Committee Week in Tampa, Fla.


Dean Alberson spoke about the use of standards in testing vehicle crash barriers at the University of South Florida.

Alberson, a task group chair within Subcommittee F12.10 on Systems, Products and Services, spoke on the use of standards in the testing of vehicle crash barriers. Alberson’s presentation included high-speed video footage of crash tests.

Also during the program, Hugo discussed the student membership program at ASTM and the use of standards in the fields of structural, civil and environmental engineering. According to Hugo, the students responded enthusiastically to the presentation.

For more information on ASTM International’s Year of the Student, visit the “ASTM Campus” section of the ASTM Web site. //