In a televised talk on the state of the Lab, Director Bruce Tarter discussed the budget prospects for the upcoming fiscal year, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the UC contract and the recent appointment of John McTague as Vice President-Lab Management, and the appointment of a new deputy director for Strategic Operations, along with six associate directors.
While most of Tarter’s talk last Friday was devoted to the appointment of new senior managers, Tarter spent the first portion of his speech discussing the recently proposed budget.
The budget requests more than $1.08 billion for the Lab, with the majority of that money going toward stockpile stewardship. However, many areas of Laboratory research may undergo budget revisions following various administration and congressional committee reviews.
“It’s a pretty good budget for stockpile stewardship, and a go-ahead budget for NIF,” Tarter explained. “But we expect the budgets will be rethought, revised and reproduced” as the review process plays out during the summer, Tarter added. Until then, “all budgets have place holders and will most likely change following the reviews.”
Areas of research initially targeted for budget cuts include nonproliferation and international security and environmental remediation. While areas of research such as the biosciences and energy should be on the same level as the FY01 budget, Tarter said even some of those areas could also see dramatic change, particularly in energy research. The current energy crisis and the need for emerging technology could mean significant changes in the initial FY02 budget allotment, Tarter said.
“It should be a pretty interesting summer as we watch the review process play out,” Tarter said. “In the end I expect the Lab to be on course.”
Tarter also spent a few moments talking about the formation of the National Nuclear Security Administration. He praised Gen. John Gordon, NNSA Administrator, for building the organization and a long-term stable budget during the transition between two administrations. Approximately 82 percent of the Lab’s funds are now controlled by NNSA.
“The NNSA has had a slow start because of transitional difficulties that come from changing administrations,” Tarter explained. Now that Gordon is on the way to building “a good, strong five year budget,” he must continue to build the organization and “fill positions,” Tarter said, adding that the Lab’s “contribution to that is Bob Kuckuck,” who recently retired as deputy director and was then appointed NNSA’s acting principal deputy administrator.
Tarter then turned to the recently signed contract between the University of California and the Department of Energy, which establishes a stronger role for management oversight by adding expertise, promotes best practices between the Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley labs and calls for the appointment of a new vice president to act as a single point of contact.
John McTague, the former vice president of Ford Motor Company, was appointed last week by the UC Regents to take on that role. “John is a first-rate guy and I cannot think of a better person to take on the job.”
“UC now has a new framework, and the Lab will be very responsive,” Tarter said.
Tarter then introduced the six new ADs: Steve Hunt, Laboratory Services; Jan Tulk, Laboratory Administration; Den Fisher, Safety, Security & Environmental; Dona Crawford, Computation; Bill Goldstein, Physics & Advanced Technologies; and C.K. Chou, Energy & Environment. Michael Anastasio will step away from his role as AD for Defense & Nuclear Technologies to become the deputy director for Strategic Operations.
Tarter said he will appoint a search committee and hopes to find a new AD for DNT within one to two months. He also expects to name a new AD for Biology and Biotechnology Research soon.
For more information on the new senior managers, see the Web page at http://www.llnl.gov/llnl/06news/NewsMedia/directors.html .