USPTO Director David Kappos circulated an internal e-mail today announcing that Peter Pappas has become the USPTO Chief of Staff. Since 2010, Drew Hirshfeld has been Dir. Kappos' chief of staff. Hirshfeld is staying with the PTO and will return to his post as Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy. Bob Bahr has been the acting Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy during this time. (Note, this is not Robert Bahr of Berkeley and Cisco).
Peter Pappas joined the USPTO as Chief Communications Officer and latter added the official title of "Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary." Secretary Kappos wrote about Mr. Pappas' new role:
In his new role as Chief of Staff, Peter will serve as my principal political advisor, oversee all public engagement functions and manage the interagency coordination process. He will serve as the USPTO's chief liaison to the White House and Department of Commerce and continue to supervise the strategic communications function of the Office. He will also continue to serve as a member of the USPTO's Executive Committee.
Congratulations to Drew on a job well done and congratulations to Peter on your new and expanded role. In a separate shake-up of senior USPTO management, last week, the USPTO announced the retirement of Patent Commissioner Bob Stoll. This is a natural time for a leadership change at the USPTO. The office has been pushing through legislative patent reform measures for the past several years. Now, it is time for implementation. Drew Hirshfeld's new role as head of examination policy will be especially difficult because of the oncoming rash of new law and administrative procedures.