LEADERSHIP TEAM

LEADERSHIP

Photo: Vahid Majidi

Vahid Majidi

Laboratory Director

Vahid is the President of Battelle Savannah River Alliance, LLC (BSRA) and the Laboratory Director for Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). Prior to joining BSRA, Vahid served as SRNL’s Laboratory Director for two years and was responsible for full scope of work to successfully deliver SRNL’s scientific and national security missions. During this time, he transformed the strategic direction of the Laboratory, with a focus on programmatic growth and diversification, expanding fundamental science and discovery, ensuring the capability to support NNSA’s pit production mission, and improving the safety and security culture and operational effectiveness to execute these missions. Vahid is the primary SRNL point of contact to DOE-EM, and NNSA, and works with the Undersecretary for Science. He is a recognized subject matter expert in national security and represents SRNL in congressional hearings and inter-agency activities. He serves as the permanent Chair for the Network of National Laboratories for Environmental Management and Stewardship. Prior to joining SRNL, Vahid had several roles with the U.S. Government, including the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters for the Department of Defense; Assistant Director, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Science Advisor for the Department of Justice. Vahid began his career more than 30 years ago as an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky followed by roles at Los Alamos National Laboratory with a focus on plutonium manufacturing. He has received numerous awards including Laboratory Director of the Year, Small Business Award Program; Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, Office of the Secretary of Defense; and the Presidential Rank Award, The White House; among many others. Vahid was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin, received a Ph.D., Chemistry from Wayne State University. and a B.S., Chemistry from Eastern Michigan University.

Bob Webster

Sharon Marra

Deputy Director, Operations

Sharon serves as the Deputy Director, Operations at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). In this role, she is responsible for executive leadership and daily management of the 1,000 employee, $350M multi-program National Laboratory. She leads SRNL in driving down safety and operational events and assuring the Laboratory’s role as one of the safest national laboratories in the DOE complex, and assuring cost effectiveness while conducting its critical missions in support of its customers and the nation. Sharon has more than 30 years of experience at Savannah River Site. Prior to her role as Deputy Director, she held various Director and Management-level roles in technical leadership in chemical and environmental processing and compliance. In these roles she oversaw the development and deployment of critical technologies to advance the Environmental Management and other DOE missions. She is a member and former Chair of the National Laboratory Chief Operations Officers (NLCOO) comprised of Deputies/COOs of each of the 17 National Laboratories that advises the National Laboratory Directors Council (NLDC). She serves on the Ames National Laboratory Operations Review Committee, advising on operational performance plans and recommending best practices. Additionally, she serves on University of South Carolina at Aiken’s Engineering Advisory Board, advising on the University’s new engineering program curriculum. She is actively involved in Aiken community outreach projects on behalf of SRNL, such as Science Bowls, High School Teach-Ins, and Citizens for Nuclear Technology education programs. Sharon has a BS in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University.

John Sarrao

Sue Clark

Deputy Director, Science and Technology

Sue is the Deputy Director, Science and Technology at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). In this role, she serves as SRNL’s Chief Research Officer and is responsible for the Science and Energy Security Mission Initiative, instilling the proper safety culture in the research organizations, and developing and delivering an overall integrated science and technology strategy. Prior to joining SRNL, Sue served as the Chief Science & Technology Officer, Energy & Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), overseeing approximately $265M of annual research with more than 1,100 staff performing research for multiple DOE mission sponsors. In this role, she directed PNNL’s Nuclear Materials Processing initiative, developing a Laboratory-wide vision and strategy that spanned PNNL’s collective nuclear research enterprise and nuclear operations, and defined and executed a strategy for investments that resulted in hiring next generation nuclear science staff. She has also been a faculty member at Washington State University(WSU) in the Chemistry Department since 1996, rising to the rank of Regents Professor. This is the University’s highest academic rank and reserved for the top 30 faculty at the University. As a Joint Appointee between PNNL and WSU, Sue launched the joint Nuclear Science and Technology Institute in 2018 with a focus on workforce development and engaging academic faulty through joint appointments with the Laboratory. Sue began her career more than 30 years ago at Savannah River Site, working as a Staff Scientist for Westinghouse Savannah River Technology Center, followed by four years as a Research Ecologist for the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Sue received a Ph.D. in Chemistry and M.S. in Chemistry from Florida State University and a B.S. in Chemistry from Lander College in Greenwood, SC. She has received numerous awards for her technical contributions including the Garvan-Olin Medal (2012) and the Glenn T. Seaborg Award in Nuclear Science from the American Chemical Society.

Kelly Beierschmitt

Connie Herman

Associate Laboratory Director, Environmental and Legacy Management

Connie is the Associate Laboratory Director, Environmental and Legacy Management for Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). In this position, she is accountable for managing and delivering on the EM and LM commitments of SRNL, supporting DOE’s EM strategies across the complex, developing modern approaches to reduce waste, developing low-cost passive remediation technologies and monitoring strategies for EM and LM implementation, and supporting national needs to minimize global environmental impact. Over the past 30 years, Connie has served in various roles at Savannah River Site. Since beginning her career as an engineer in the Plutonium-238 fabrication facility, she has taken on numerous management and director roles within SRNL. Most recently, she was the Associate Laboratory Director, Environmental, Materials, and Energy Sciences Directorate overseeing nuclear and chemical processing, materials science and engineering, environmental remediation, biology, and risk assessment competencies. Connie has authored more than 150 technical reports and planning documents for SRNL and 68 articles in peer-reviewed publications. She has held numerous leadership roles for the American Ceramic Society, Nuclear & Environmental Technology Division; a member of the U.S. National Laboratory International Advisory Group member for the Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning (TRANSCEND) program; and a member of the National Laboratory Professional Advisory Board for the Nuclear Environmental Engineering and Science Program at Clemson University. Connie received a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Francis Chadwick

Tammy Taylor

Associate Laboratory Director, Global Security

Tammy is the Associate Laboratory Director for Global Security at Savannah River National Laboratory. In this role, she is responsible for delivering on the nonproliferation and global security components of the National Security Initiative, assuring delivery of all nonproliferation program commitments across the Laboratory including reduction of global nuclear threats by developing and managing programs to minimize global inventory of nuclear materials for DOE, and spearheading new research and development (R&D) activities with DoD and civilian governmental agencies. Prior to joining SRNL, Tammy was the Director of International Data Centre for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, where she led an international technical organization of 184 Member States at the United Nations Vienna International Centre responsible for detecting and verifying any nuclear explosion at any time and in any location around the world by developing and implementing complex operations, treaty compliance, budgets, strategy, and capacity-building. Tammy spent the first 19 years of her career working in other DOE national laboratories, including a Deputy Associate Director role at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Chief Operating Officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Tammy is a recognized subject matter expert in global security and has authored more than 70 publications, technical reports, and presentations. She is a member and former Board of Directors appointee of the National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements, and a long-time member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management and the Health Physics Society. She received a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University.

Michael Bernardin

Paul Cloessner

Associate Laboratory Director, Weapons Production Technology

Paul is the Associate Laboratory Director for Weapons Production Technology at Savannah River National Laboratory. In this role, he is responsible for delivering on all SRNL weapons program components of the National Security Initiative, leading SRNL’s R&D efforts to deliver more efficient tritium-based processing technologies, leading materials research to improve the understanding of gas/metal interactions, establishing technical competencies supporting plutonium pit production, and supporting new technologies for more efficient production of helium-3. Paul is a Laboratory Fellow and has spent more than 36 years in various leadership roles at Savannah River Site. Prior to his current role, Paul served as the Manager for Product Definition and Engineering, Weapons Technology where he led the Savannah River Site collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for future pit production technologies. He has also served as VP and Chief Business Officer for Tritium Programs, Deputy Laboratory Director for National Security Programs, Director for Nonproliferation Technology, and Director of Defense Programs Technology. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society, Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, American Physical Society, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. He received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry from Florida State University and a B.S. in Chemistry from Louisiana State University.

James Owens

Dale Sivils

Program Director, Plutonium Processing Program

Dale is the Program Director for Plutonium Processing Program at Savannah River National Laboratory. In this role, he is responsible for the emerging SRNL nuclear weapons program including product engineering, production process development, analytical chemistry, materials characterization, and quality engineering. Prior to this role, Dale was the Director of Science and Technology, Weapons Production Technology Program Office and Executive Team Leader for pit production technology at SRNL, where he served as the pit production technical authority and primary interface with the weapon design agencies for product engineering. Dale spent 20 years in various leadership roles at Los Alamos National Laboratory, including Director for Production Agency Quality Division, Plutonium Science and Manufacturing; Executive Advisor for Plutonium Sciences and Manufacturing; Senior Science and Technology Advisor for NNSA Military Applications and Stockpile Operations, and Group Leader for Applied Chemical Technology. During his career he has been awarded the Defense Programs Award of Excellence four times and is a recipient of R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100 Award”. Dale received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Arkansas-Monticello.