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Biden picks former Sandia National Laboratories director to lead NNSA

Jill Hruby, DOE Headshot

Jill Hruby (Photo provided/Department of Energy)

President Joe Biden intends to nominate a former Sandia National Laboratories director to lead the National Nuclear Security Administration, a multibillion-dollar agency that maintains U.S. nuclear weapons and operates at the Savannah River Site.

Biden will nominate Jill Hruby as under secretary for nuclear security and NNSA administrator, according to a White House announcement made Wednesday.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm applauded the prospective nomination, describing Hruby as one of the Department of Energy’s “very best success stories.”

“She is a brilliant leader, a model public servant, and an inspiration to engineers and rising stars everywhere,” Granholm said. “I am thrilled that she’s willing to serve the American people once again and look forward to her confirmation.”

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Twitter described the Biden administration's choice of Hruby as “excellent.”

“It's hard to imagine a better candidate to lead NNSA,” Moniz similarly said.

Hruby has decades of experience in the nuclear security orbit and was the first woman to lead a national security-focused lab, the White House noted. She joined Sandia National Laboratories as a member of the technical staff in 1983; she retired as lab director in 2017.

The nod to Hruby was flanked Wednesday by nine other nomination announcements.

Charles Verdon, an established National Nuclear Security Administration official, has been leading the agency in an acting capacity.

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the Energy Department, its NNSA, and government and politics, in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin.

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