||Colleagues and Friends Mourn ISOs Lawrence D. Eicher
ASTM International joins the world standards developing community
in mourning the loss of International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) Secretary-General Lawrence D. Eicher, who died March 21
at the age of 63. Eicher passed away several weeks after emergency
heart surgery in Geneva, Switzerland.
An American citizen, Eicher was appointed ISO secretary-general
in May 1986, having joined the organization as assistant secretary-general
six years previously. His 38-year career spanned education, science,
technology, administration, and management.
As secretary-general, based at the ISO Central Secretariat in
Geneva, Eicher was responsible for the orderly conduct of technical,
organizational and financial matters.
During his 16-year tenure, ISO evolved from an institution with
a predominantly technological focus to a market-oriented organization
whose standards are increasingly recognized as bringing, in addition
to the technical problems they solve, wider social and economic
benefits. This evolution has been accompanied by the recognition
of ISOs leading role in international standardization and the
contributions its standards make to facilitating world trade and
economic development, and to raising levels of quality, care of
the environment, consumer protection, health, and safety.
Along with overseeing internal evolutions in business orientation,
Eichers period of service was marked by the launching of ISOs
two families of management systems standards, ISO 9000 (quality)
and ISO 14000 (environment), which have had a tremendous impact
on enterprises and organizations of all types worldwide, as well
as making ISO known to a far wider business audience than ever
before. Eicher was personally responsible for having initiated
the groundwork that allowed development of the first ISO 14000
standards in only three years.
Eicher received a doctorate in physical chemistry at Texas A&M
University in 1972 and went on to work for the National Science
Foundation in Washington, D.C. He was the author of numerous scientific
papers and a textbook on chemical analysis.
In 1974, he joined the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (now
the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and from then
on remained in standardization, soon becoming involved at the
international level. As the head of the NBS Office of Standards
Information, Analysis, and Development from 1975 to 1979, his
international work included chairmanship of the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) Advisory Group on the ISO International
Standards Information Network (ISONET) and membership on the ISONET
Appointed director of the NBS Office of Engineering Standards
in 1979, he represented NBS on the board of directors of ANSI
and was a member of the ANSI International Standards Council.
He was, therefore, already well known in international standardization
when he joined ISO in 1980.
Eicher was a recipient of many awards and honors in his long career,
including the ASTM W.T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award (1989), the Top
100 Alumni Award, University of Northern Colorado (1989), and
the Standards Engineering Society Leo B. Moore Medal (1991).
Messages of condolence are best addressed to Francine Forrest, Eichers personal assistant. Contributions in his memory may
be made to Doctors Without Borders, Union Bank of Switzerland
(UBS SA), rue de la Confederation 2, 1204 Geneve/GE, Switzerland
(account number 240-376066-00Q). //