ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) has launched a researcher registry.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Understanding the "who" and "what" of research has been hampered by lack of data standards, and in particular a standard for identifying individuals. Universities and other research organizations, as well as membership organizations like the American Physical Society (APS) are working to integrate ORCID identifiers into their systems. "For scholars, ORCID provides a persistent identifier that unambiguously distinguishes you as the author or creator of your published works in systems that adopt ORCID. Through integration in workflows such as manuscript and grant submission as well as researcher profiles, ORCID promises to help scholars and institutions manage academic information and, ultimately, to provide both with more control over their own record of scholarship," said Amy Brand, Assistant Provost for Faculty Appointments and Information at Harvard University. Currently, Boston University, New York University Langone Medical Center, Cornell University, and the California Institute of Technology, and the research information system vendors Avedas, Symplectic, and Thomson Reuters are actively working on integration with the ORCID registry.