Dr. Thomas Zacharia, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy in January.
Alongside DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette, DOE Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes, DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz, and others Zacharia presented testimony during a hearing discussing the importance of advancing DOE’s mission for national, economic, and energy security as well as the relationship between DOE and its contractors.
The Energy Subcommittee created the ‘DOE Modernization’ series in which members explored what is necessary to ensure effective execution of DOE’s core security missions. The hearing was the first of several on this topic.
Below is an excerpt from the witness statement in verbatim:
My name is Thomas Zacharia, and I am Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I am also a member of the National Laboratory Directors Council (NLDC), an organization formed by the directors of the 17 DOE labs. In my previous position as ORNL Deputy for Science and Technology, I was a member of the NLDC Chief Research Officers Working Group, which advises DOE senior leadership and the NLDC on scientific, programmatic, and operational issues at the national laboratories.
While I am speaking today on my own behalf, my participation in these groups has provided me with a perspective on the national laboratories that extends beyond ORNL. That perspective informs my views on the topics that you are considering today. I will begin with an overview of ORNL and its programs in science, energy, and national security and provide some examples of how the national laboratories support the execution of DOE’s missions in these vital areas. I will briefly discuss the governance of the national laboratories, and I will describe actions that DOE is taking in partnership with the contractors who manage and operate these laboratories to implement regulatory and policy reforms that are designed to make the national laboratories as efficient and effective as possible.