While UT-Battelle searches for a new director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, it has appointed former chief operating officer Jeff Smith to serve as interim lab director.
Smith retired in April 2021. He had been ORNLâ€™s chief operating officer when UT-Battelle began managing ORNL for the U.S. Department of Energy in 2000, and he served in the position until his retirement.
To help find the next lab director, UT-Battelle has hired executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.
The company will help find a successor to Thomas Zacharia, who retired at the end of 2022 after a 35-year career at ORNL, including five years as director.
In a press release, ORNL said Russell Reynolds is a nationally known firm with experience in national laboratory, academic, and industry sector searches for executive leadership positions.
â€œWe are excited to partner with Russell Reynolds as we identify the next director of ORNL to help guide us to an exciting future in support of the nation,â€ said Lou Von Thaer, chief executive officer of Battelle and co-chair of the UT-Battelle Board of Governors.
UT-Battelle said it welcomes input on the search and potential candidates atÂ ornl.gov/lab-director-search.
ORNL is a DOE laboratory with a broad research portfolio that includes materials science, energy technologies, supercomputing, neutron and nuclear science, and isotope production.
The laboratory is home to Frontier, the world’s number one supercomputer on the TOP500 list, as well as specialized facilities that draw researchers from throughout academia, industry, and government, including the Spallation Neutron Source, High Flux Isotope Reactor, and Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.
â€œWe are committed to identifying a leader who will continue ORNL’s 80-year legacy of enabling world-leading experts to leverage uniquely powerful tools for breakthroughs that serve national priorities in fundamental science, energy technology, and national security,â€ said Randy Boyd, president of the University of Tennessee System and co-chair of the UT-Battelle Board of Governors.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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