LIVERMORE , Calif. — Melissa M. Allain, an attorney with extensive experience in business enterprises, has been selected as Laboratory Counsel at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The selection was announced by Director Michael Anastasio and University of California General Counsel James Holst. Her appointment has been approved by the University of California Board of Regents and the Department of Energy. Allain will report to both Anastasio and Holst.
“Melissa is highly qualified to take on the role of Lab Counsel,” Anastasio said. “Her expertise and strong professional credentials are well suited to the various issues our Laboratory faces. I am very pleased to have Melissa as part of our senior management team."
As Lab Counsel, Allain will provide legal advice to and representation of the Laboratory on all legal matters arising from management and operation of a large R&D facility. Key responsibilities include advising Laboratory senior management on a broad range of legal matters; managing litigation arising from management and operation of the Laboratory; analyzing pending legislation and rulemaking affecting the US Department of Energy, UC and national laboratories; and reviewing and interpreting federal and state statutes and regulations, among other duties.
The Laboratory Counsel is a member of the Laboratory’s senior management team, and, as such, participates in the leadership of the institution. The Lab Counsel also manages the LLNL Office of Laboratory Counsel, supervising a staff of approximately 30 with a budget of $4.5 million.
Allain replaces Jan Tulk, who has served as the Lab’s chief legal counsel for more than 11 years. Approximately four years ago, Tulk was promoted to associate director of Administration and Human Resources, while continuing her role as legal counsel as an interim measure.
“I also want to thank Jan Tulk for her exceptional leadership and willingness to take on two positions these past four years. She will assist Melissa in the transition of this important position,” said Anastasio.
“This is a unique and exciting opportunity to support a top-notch research and development laboratory that is responsible for national and global security, and developing cutting-edge technology on a number of vital scientific fronts,” Allain said. “I feel honored and privileged by this appointment.”
“Melissa’s background and skills are an excellent fit with the legal issues confronting the University and the Laboratory, and my colleagues and I look forward to working closely with her as she assumes this important function,” said Holst. “In addition to being the principal source of legal advice and representation for the Laboratory, the Laboratory Counsel has a critical role as a part of the University General Counsel's office.”
Allain’s areas of expertise include governance, ethics and compliance; environment, safety and health; labor and employment; compliance and operations training; litigation and enforcement proceedings; audits and investigations; and risk management and loss prevention. She served as chief compliance counsel with Tyco Fire & Security prior to joining the Lab.
Before accepting the chief compliance counsel position with Tyco, Allain was vice president, law, at AutoNation, the largest automotive retailer in the country. As part of that experience, she also served as vice president of environmental and real property law. Previously, Allain was senior assistant counsel at Union Oil Company of California (Unocal). There, she provided legal support for the Carbon and Minerals Division, which consisted of multiple, independently operated business units engaged in domestic and international operations in mining, product development, and manufacturing, as well as distribution of specialty products.
Before her corporate positions, Allain engaged in private practice at several law firms, including principal at Parker, Milliken, Clark, OHara & Samuelian, one of the oldest firms in Los Angeles.
She began her career as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court in Boston.
Allain obtained her law degree from Harvard and served on the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount in California. She is a member of the State Bar of California [and Authorized House Counsel with the Florida State Bar]. She is conversant in French and Spanish and has studied Mandarin Chinese.
As Lab Counsel, she will earn a salary of approximately $230,000.
Allain is married with two daughters. She enjoys tennis, yoga and cooking.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to ensure national security and to apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.