Michael Newman


Senior Communications Officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology Public Affairs Office

Michael E. Newman is a broad-based communicator with an extensive and award-winning record in three branches of communications – public relations, journalism and broadcast media. His 32-year career – the past 22 years with the federal government – has included full-time positions and freelance work in science and medical communications, corporate PR, broadcast TV and radio, and mass market publications.

From 1991 to 2007, Newman served as director of media relations for the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Leading a team of public affairs specialists, he directed all internal and external activities involving the print, broadcast and online media for NIST, the nation’s measurement and standards laboratory and the federal agency charged with helping U.S. industry become more competitive in the global marketplace. Additionally, Newman served from 2002 to 2008 as communications director and spokesman for NIST’s high-profile investigation into the collapses of three World Trade Center buildings following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. For this work, Newman received both the Commerce Department Bronze and Gold Medals, the highest honors awarded by NIST and Commerce respectively.

Newman’s current assignment at NIST is senior communications officer. In this role, he continues to perform many of his past duties involving media relations and science writing. Additionally, his responsibilities now include writing and updating content on the NIST Web pages, and writing and producing video news features to support NIST’s public outreach.

Newman also has been a successful, award-winning freelance writer for more than 25 years, primarily on medical and science topics. His clients have included Krames StayWell Custom Communications (for whom he has written since 1984), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Psychological Society, the Encyclopedia Britannica, NASA, National Public Radio, the National Cancer Institute, Rosen Publishing (his first book for them, Soft Tissue Sarcomas, was published in August 2011) and numerous hospitals. He penned the popular “Answer Line” question-and-answer column for the Examiner (formerly the Journal) newspapers in the Greater Washington, D.C., area from 1990 until 2006.

Newman manages WRITEFUL SHARE, a group on the Linkedin professional social media site that he created in July 2009. WRITEFUL SHARE serves as an overflow job sharing resource for freelance writers and editors. Writers and editors with overflow work post the assignments and required qualifications for a fill-in freelancer on WRITEFUL SHARE. Interested parties then contact the requester with their credentials, samples and references. Deals are brokered privately.

A native of Houston, Newman originally planned a career as a research scientist but detoured into communications after his first year of graduate school. His public affairs, journalistic and AV experiences include time as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, a medical TV writer/producer for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, a features reporter at a NPR affiliate, an ABC-TV news producer, an audiovisual production manager and media spokesman for a Fortune 500 oil and gas company, and a public affairs specialist for the National Cancer Institute.

Newman holds bachelor’s degrees in microbiology from Clemson University and communications from the University of Houston, and completed one year toward a Ph.D. in virology at Baylor College of Medicine.

He is a member of the D.C. Science Writers Association and the National Association of Science Writers, serves on the board of directors for the Baltimore-Washington Clemson Alumni Club, plays indoor soccer and basketball, and has been involved for many years with the Boy Scouts of America and local youth soccer.