Elham Tabassi is the Chief of Staff in the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). ITL, one of six research Laboratories within NIST, supports NIST’s mission, to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. ITL conducts fundamental and applied research in computer science and engineering, mathematics, and statistics that cultivates trust in information technology and metrology by developing and disseminating standards, measurements, and testing for interoperability, security, usability, and reliability of information systems.
As a scientist she has been working on various computer vision research projects with applications in biometrics evaluation and standards since 1999. She is the principal architect of NIST Fingerprint Image Quality (NFIQ) which is now an international standard for measuring fingerprint image quality and has been deployed in many large scale biometric applications worldwide. She received the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2003, the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2007, and 2010, ANSI’s 2012 Next Generation Award, and the Women in Biometrics Award in 2016 for her contributions to biometrics. She is a member of OSAC Friction Ridge subcommittee and co-chairs FIDO Biometrics Certification working group.