Upson front-runner for Commerce post

Donald Upson, Virginia's first secretary of technology, reportedly has been chosen to be the next undersecretary for technology at the Commerce Department.

His office would not comment on the report, but sources say he is the Bush administration's choice for the position.

Upson has been Virginia's technology secretary since May 1998. Before that he was vice president for strategic programs at Litton PRC Inc. and is a former key Hill staff member.

Among other responsibilities, the undersecretary for technology would manage the three agencies in the Commerce Department's Technology Administration: the Office of Technology Policy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Technical Information Service.

The Technology Administration is the administration's focal point for helping U.S. industry compete effectively on a global basis. Commerce Secretary Don Evans said at his confirmation hearing that "fostering America's technological leadership" will be a departmental priority under his leadership.

Sources say the Bush administration is considering how to make the undersecretary for technology position a high-profile position.

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