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Sandia announces new deputy labs director

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Sandia National Laboratories has hired a deputy labs director to oversee all nuclear deterrence programs and projects, including two new divisions created as part of a reorganization effort at the labs.

Laura McGill

Laura McGill, who started Monday, will oversee work at the labs being done to modernize the country’s nuclear weapons and to assure the reliability of the existing weapons stockpile, according to a Sandia news release.

As the head of Sandia’s nuclear deterrence program, McGill will oversee a $2.5 billion annual budget and 2,200 employees, according to Sandia’s website. McGill is the second deputy director – a position second only to Labs Director James Peery – at Sandia, the other being Chief Operating Officer D.E. “Dori” Ellis.

McGill recently retired from Raytheon Missiles and Defense as deputy vice president of engineering. She has worked for more than 30 years in the defense industry, according to Sandia. She was elected to the aerospace section of National Academy of Engineering in 2019.

“I’m honored to join Sandia Labs and the tradition of serving the national security mission,” McGill said in the news release. “I look forward to leading such a diverse and extensive team of incredibly talented people, learning from them, providing guidance and working together to deliver required capability and performance.”

McGill will oversee the Stockpile, Management, Components and Production division, which is led by Steve Girrens, an associate labs director and the chief engineer of nuclear weapons.

McGill will also oversee the Modernization and Future Systems division, headed by Rita Gonzales, an associate labs director who has worked at Sandia since 1991.

The two divisions were created as part of recent restructuring at Sandia that officials said was done to account for a growing workload.

“Moving forward, our new structure will re-balance the growing workload throughout the nuclear deterrence organizations by addressing roles, responsibilities and activities to ensure Sandia stays on track to meet our nuclear weapons deliverables,” Peery said in a statement.

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