Former Los Alamos executive picked to head Sandia Labs

SANTA FE, N.M. — Stephen Younger, a former associate director at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been named to head Sandia National Laboratories under the new management team headed by a subsidiary of Honeywell International.

Younger also worked for the Nevada National Security Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, according to a posting on the new Sandia management team’s website.

Stephen Younger, a former executive at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been named the head of Sandia National Laboratories. (COURTESY OF NTESS)

Stephen Younger, a former executive at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been named the head of Sandia National Laboratories. (COURTESY OF NTESS)

Lockheed Martin, which currently runs Sandia, will step down officially April 30, and the new entity, National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, will take over May 1.

Named as deputy lab director is David Douglass, who has 35 years of experience in national security and commercial aerospace and defense businesses.

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Younger, who has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Mexico, was senior associate director for national security at LANL, responsible for ensuring the safety and reliability of most of America’s nuclear deterrent.

He held a number of senior management positions at Los Alamos from 1989 to 2001 and was in charge of technical projects in lasers, pulsed power, and other technologies, according to a biography on the University of New Mexico website.

He was the founder and first director of the Center for International Security Affairs at Los Alamos and “took a leading role in opening the Russian nuclear weapons institutes for international collaboration,” the biography said.

Younger replaces Jill Hruby, who has been director of Sandia since July 2015.

The website for National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia includes this message from Younger: “We know this is a time of uncertainty for you, and for that reason, we are committed to communicating regularly throughout the transition.”

Our engaged corporate partners will ensure that best-in-class business and operations practices are smoothly implemented at Sandia, improving efficiency of the Laboratories and continuing to deliver ‘exceptional service in the national interest.’ ”

The National Nuclear Security Administration took some by surprise in December when it decided not to award the $2.6 billion Sandia contract to defense giant Lockheed Martin, which has managed the nuclear weapons lab on behalf of the U.S. government for more than two decades.

The contract was instead awarded to National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, which also includes integrated subcontractor Northrop Grumman Technical Services Inc., another major defense contractor.

Younger has been vice president and chief technologist for Northrop Grumman Technology Services. He served on the board of managers for National Security Technologies LLC, a contractor for the Nevada National Security Site. He was president of that company from 2006 to 2012, leading the Nevada site into “evolving and broader nuclear security missions,” the news release said.

From 2001 to 2004, he was the director of the DTRA, a component of the U.S. Department of Defense with a mission to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

Douglass spent most of the first 23 years of his career in a variety of engineering and management roles at the NNSA’s Kansas City Plant (now known as the Kansas City National Security Campus), serving as president from 2001 to 2004.

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