Mary Critharis

Acting Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs

Mary Critharis is the Acting Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at the USPTO. In that position, she serves as a policy advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, and oversees the USPTO’s domestic and international IP policy activities; legislative engagement, through the Office of Governmental Affairs; education and training, through the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA); global advocacy, through the IP Attaché Program; and economic analysis, through the Office of the Chief Economist.

Ms. Critharis first joined the USPTO as a patent examiner in 1992 before progressing to Assistant Solicitor in 2000. From 2001 to 2002, she served as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee before returning to the USPTO as Attorney Advisor (2002-2004) and Senior Patent Counsel (2004-2011). Most recently, Ms. Critharis served as Deputy Chief Policy Officer and Senior Counsel.

Ms. Critharis has lectured worldwide on a variety of industrial property issues, focusing on patenting emerging technologies.  She is the recipient of the 2008 Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional for her demonstrated leadership in advancing the intellectual property interests of American enterprises in the global economy. 

Ms. Critharis received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where she was the executive editor of the international law journal.  Ms. Critharis also has an MS in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and an MS in physical chemistry from New York University, where she studied the effects of stereochemistry on carcinogenicity.  Prior to graduate school, Ms. Critharis received her BA in chemistry and political science from New York University.