WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Director Emeritus Bruce Tarter was awarded the Department of Energy's Gold Award, its highest honorary award, during a special ceremony Monday at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham presented the award to Tarter, as well as additional Gold Awards to former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Charles Shank and six other former or current DOE laboratory directors.
The award, consisting of a plaque with citation, a medallion and rosette, is in recognition of Tarter's "achievements and services" and "outstanding leadership."
"I feel honored to receive this kind of recognition," said Tarter. "To be included among such a distinctive group is quite an honor."
Tarter's award is given in recognition of "outstanding contributions to the Department of Energy" while serving as director of the Laboratory from 1994 through 2002. Under Tarter's leadership, the citation reads, "the Lab demonstrated extraordinary achievement in its mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important problems of our time. A driving force in the Lab's transition to a post-Cold War nuclear weapons world, (Tarter) helped transform the nuclear weapons program from a 'design, test and build' approach to a science-based Stockpile Stewardship effort focused on assessment, safety, reliability, and performance of the Lab's designed warheads.
Tarter "also initiated impressive programs in the areas of nonproliferation and counter-terrorism and in energy, environment and bioscience."
Other recipients of the Gold Award include: Hermann Grunder, director of Argonne National Laboratory and former director of Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility; William Madia, former director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory; John Marburger, former director, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Lura Powell, former director, PNNL; Richard Truly, director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and Michael Witherell, director, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
"I'm proud to recognize the people whose hard work and dedication contribute so much to the Department of Energy's vital missions," Abraham said. "Our world-class laboratories are a marvelous resource and have made far-reaching contributions - not only to the Department of Energy, but to our nation and indeed the world. The incredible work done in the laboratories is made possible by the strong, steady, and responsible leadership of these directors."
"Dr. Tarter and Dr. Shank have demonstrated exceptional leadership in guiding their respective laboratories," said University of California President Robert C. Dynes. UC manages LLNL and LBNL for DOE. "Both were strong and imaginative managers, and it is through their vision and guidance that their laboratories remain among the crown jewels of science and technology."
Tarter stepped down as director in June 2002 and retired from the Lab earlier this year. He continues to work on various Laboratory projects, including the History Project. He also is representing the Laboratory on a National Academy of Science study entitled : "Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons."
Following the Gold Awards ceremony, Tarter was the moderator at a symposium, "Edward Teller: Science and National Security," also held Monday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. An examination of Teller's legacy on the scientific community, Tarter served as moderator of a special panel discussion that included Director Emeritus John Foster, Lowell Wood and Steve Libby, both of LLNL; Frederick Seitz; president emeritus of Rockefeller University and Hans Mark, of the University of Texas.
After presenting the Gold Awards, Abraham also spoke at the Teller symposium. Abraham presented Teller with a Gold Award in 2002.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration/U.S. Department of Energy.