June 28, 2002

Gordon leaving NNSA to join the White House as national security adviser

Gen. John Gordon, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, is leaving the agency to join the White House as deputy assistant to the president, national director and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism.

There was no word when the move would take place.

"I am honored that the president has selected me for this important position, but saddened that I must leave NNSA before the entire job is done," Gordon said in a memo to employees Thursday.

In his memo thanking employees, Gordon outlined the progress of NNSA since it was created two years ago. "We are stronger in all mission areas. Stockpile stewardship continues to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of our weapons — and the entire enterprise — while building a solid foundation for the decades to come.

"Our nonproliferation programs are accelerating cooperative programs with Russia, realizing new successes, and reaching into critical new arenas to make us all safer. And I am particularly proud of the response of the entire NNSA family to the events immediately following Sept. 11 and the creative and energetic support to homeland security ever since."

"The great accomplishments in establishing the NNSA and executing its missions are a direct result of Gen. Gordon’s extraordinary leadership," said Director Designate Michael Anastasio. "His commitment to national security and the people across all of NNSA has been tireless. We will greatly miss him."

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham also praised Gordon’s efforts in establishing the NNSA. "We have been able to get our national security programs back on track with a renewed focus and mission as a result of his dedication and hard work," Abraham said. "While we are sorry to lose John, the president has made an excellent choice and John leaves the NNSA on firm footing to continue to perform its vital missions."

Added John McTague, vice president of Laboratory Management for the University of California, "Few people get the opportunity to set the tone of an organization by serving as its founding leader. John Gordon has played that role in the past two years, putting a firm and very positive imprint on the new NNSA organization. John established important managerial features such as a five-year budgeting process. He successfully encouraged cooperation across the NNSA complex for higher efficiency and more effective performance.

"He showed a fine strategic vision of the role of science and technology in both traditional defense programs and the emerging homeland security effort," Mctague added. "His positive personality carried over into his approach to management, making the transition to the new NNSA a cooperative and constructive process. We will miss him."