Note, I’m calling these folks “ACTING ____” because it is simpler and makes sense. BUT, the “acting” title is a term of art defined within the US Code. To avoid some of the legal requirements associated with being an “acting director,” the temporary leadership is using the longer title of someone “Performing the functions and duties of ____”
- Acting Director – Drew Hirshfeld. Hirshfeld started at the PTO back in 1994 as a patent examiner and rose through the ranks. Has held a number of leadership positions within the Office: Director of TC2100 (computer architecture and software), Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy; Chief of Staff to Director Kapps; and Commissioner of Patents. For over 100 years, the position of Commissioner of Patents was the head of the Patent Office. In 1999, the PTO Director / Deputy Director positions were created.
- Acting Deputy Director – Coke Morgan Stewart. Stewart’s permanent role is Senior Counsel to the PTO Director and was previously in the PTO Solicitor’s office where she handled a number of Federal Circuit appeals. She was previously a patent litigator at Kaye Scholer.