The White House on Friday announced the anticipated nominee to fill the number two slot at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which has been vacant throughout the Trump administration.
Longtime Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory senior physicist William Bookless would take over as NNSA principal deputy administrator upon Senate confirmation, according to the Aug. 10 announcement of intent to nominate. He would succeed Madelyn Creedon, who retired on Jan. 20, 2017, the day President Donald Trump was inaugurated, after about two-and-a-half years in the position.
Bookless had not been formally nominated as of our deadline Monday. His nomination would pass through the Senate Armed Services Committee.
After earning a doctorate in physics in 1980 from the University of Wyoming, Bookless spent 32 years as a senior physicist at Livermore, one of the Energy Department’s key nuclear weapons laboratories. While there, he served as deputy associate director for the facility’s nuclear weapons program and as associate director for Safety and Environmental Protection, according to his White House biography. Toward the end of his career, Bookless was a senior adviser to then-NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino and an assistant laboratory director for Policy and Planning at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state. Bookless retired in 2015.
The semiautonomous NNSA, on an annual budget approaching $15 billion, manages the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, and naval reactors operations. The Trump administration kept Frank Klotz on as NNSA chief for nearly a year into its tenure, to Jan. 19 of this year. Current Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty assumed leadership of the agency on Feb. 22.