Located in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Quantum Coordination Office (NQCO) carries out the daily activities needed for coordinating and supporting the National Quantum Initiative. The NQCO was established to:

    • provide technical and administrative support to the SCQIS and the NQIAC;
    • oversee interagency coordination of the NQI Program;
    • serve as a central point of contact regarding Federal civilian quantum information science and technology activities;
    • ensure coordination among the consortia and various quantum centers;
    • conduct public outreach, including dissemination of findings and recommendations of the Advisory Committee, as appropriate;
    • and promote access to and early application of the technologies, innovations, and expertise derived from NQI Program activities in pursuit of discoveries and new applications invoking quantum systems.

The NQCO staff are federal employees on detail assignments from across the government. NQCO staff serve as co-chairs of the various interagency working groups established by the SCQIS.

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The National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018 launched the National Quantum Coordination Office (NQCO) to lead the coordination of the Federal government’s exploration of quantum information science (QIS) through the National Quantum Initiative and America’s QIS activities. Each aspect of the NQCO seal is representative of key drivers of this initiative and the office’s mission:

The NQCO Seal

  • The inner medallion of the seal features 13 stars, representing the 13 Federal agencies and offices that constitute the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science.
  • The American Bald Eagle, derived from the Great Seal of the United States, represents the inviolable sovereignty, strength, and spirit of our Nation.
  • The Eagle resides in a “ket” (denoted by | and >). In quantum physics, the ket represents the state of a quantum system.
  • The olive branch represents the NQCO’s role to coordinate and harmonize American QIS research and policy.
  • The gold rings and the “National Quantum Coordination Office” lettering that encircle the seal symbolize integrity and the NQCO’s mission to support the collection of Federal agencies, industry partners, and academic institutions across the United States pursuing quantum information science.
  • The single blue star represents “E Pluribus Unum” and signifies this new coordination body, which unites the many agency and department activities across the Federal government.

As a whole, the NQCO seal symbolizes the office’s commitment to promote scientific advancement in the Federal government and the private sector and to drive American leadership in QIS.

Description of NQCO Seal

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Perspectives on progress coordinating the National Quantum Initiative from across US QIS R&D activities.

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Dr. Charles Tahan

Assistant Director for QIS at OSTP, and Director of the NQCO

Dr. Charles Tahan is the Assistant Director for Quantum Information Science (QIS) and the Director of the National Quantum Coordination Office (NQCO) within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The NQCO ensures coordination of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) and QIS activities across the federal government, industry, and academia.

Dr. Tahan is on detail from the Laboratory for Physical Sciences where he drove technical progress in the future of information technology as Technical Director. Research at LPS spans computing, communications, and sensing, from novel device physics to high-performance computer architectures. As a technical lead, Dr. Tahan stood up new research initiatives in silicon and superconducting quantum computing; quantum characterization, verification, and validation; and new and emerging qubit science and technology. As a practicing physicist, he is Chief of the intramural QIS research programs at LPS and works with students and postdocs from the University of Maryland-College Park to conduct original research in quantum information and device theory. His contributions have been recognized by the Researcher of the Year Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, election as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and as an ODNI Science and Technology Fellow. He continues to serve as Chief Scientist of LPS.

Dr. Tahan earned a PhD in Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005 and a B.Sc. in Physics and Computer Science with Highest Honors from the College of William & Mary in 2000. From 2005-2007 he was a National Science Foundation Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK; the Center for Quantum Computing Technology, Australia; and the University of Tokyo, Japan. He served as chief technical consultant for quantum information science and technology programs in DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) while at Booz Allen Hamilton from 2007-2009. He has a long-term commitment to science and society including creating one of the first games meant to build intuition about quantum computing.

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Dr. Alexander Cronin

Senior Quantum Coordinator for the NQCO

Alex Cronin is the Senior Quantum Coordinator for the National Quantum Coordination Office at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he helps coordinate QIS Programs across the Federal Government. Cronin is on detail from the National Science Foundation where he is a Program Director in the Physics Division. Cronin received a BS in Physics in from Stanford University in 1993, a PhD in Physics from the University of Washington in 1999, and was a postdoc at MIT from 1999-2002. Cronin was a Professor at the University of Arizona from 2002-2019 in the Department of Physics with a joint appointment in the College of Optical Sciences. Cronin’s research includes atom interferometry measurements of atom-surface van der Waals interactions, atomic polarizabilities, tune-out wavelengths, and quantum decoherence. Cronin has authored over 60 articles, and won the University of Arizona Koffler Prize for teaching in 2009, the Early Career Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Arizona College of Science in 2008, and the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award from the UA Department of Physics in 2005. Cronin received an NSF Director’s Award in 2019 for serving on the NSF Quantum Leap Working Group.

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Dr. Corey Stambaugh

Industrial Liaison for the NQCO

Corey Stambaugh is the Industrial Liaison for the National Quantum Coordination Office at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he leads activities around workforce development and industry engagement for QIS. He is currently on detail from the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he is a staff physicist in the Quantum Measurement Division. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Florida and a B.Sc. in physics with a minor in Computer Science from the Ohio State University. Corey has co-authored more than 40 papers on a variety of topics focused around precision measurement, micro-fabricated devices, and mass metrology. As a NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow, he carried out research at Seoul National University in South Korea. Corey is a past NIST-NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate and recipient of the NIST Allen V. Astin Measurement Science Award. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Montgomery College.

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Please use the form below to connect with the NQCO on policy issues related to the National Quantum Initiative. The multiple choice categories are centered on the main policy areas of the NQI and help us insure that your comments are directed to the correct person.

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