NNSA chief to step down

Thomas D'Agostino, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration Thomas D'Agostino, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration Eugene Hoshiko/AP

The head of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration has announced he will step down on Jan. 18.

Thomas D'Agostino has led the semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department for the past five and a half years. He will be replaced on an acting basis by Neile Miller, who has served as NNSA principal deputy administrator since August 2010.

The nuclear agency was established in 2000 to manage key national security efforts, including oversight of the DOE nuclear arms complex and organizing nuclear nonproliferation projects around the world.

D'Agostino spent 36 years in federal service, in recent years working concurrently as NNSA chief and DOE undersecretary for nuclear security.

During his tenure "we have eliminated or secured hundreds of nuclear weapons worth of nuclear materials," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in prepared comments. "We have reduced the number of deployed warheads to the lowest level since the 1950s -- an approximate reduction of 85 percent from the darkest days of the Cold War -- while successfully maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of a shrinking stockpile."

The organization and its component parts, including nuclear research sites in several states, have faced troubles in recent years. Most recently, there have been questions about the spiraling costs of some projects and renewed security concerns after several peace protesters were able to enter a protected area that houses highly enriched uranium at the Y-12 site in Tennessee.

The situation led lawmakers to press for NNSA reforms. Representative Michael Turner (R-Ohio) called for limiting Energy Department oversight of the agency as a means of addressing spiking expenses. His measure failed to survive as a component of defense authorization legislation the House approved this week.

"I'd like to thank Tom D'Agostino for his service to the nation over the past 30 years, including over five years as administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration," Turner said in a prepared statement. "I have always respected Tom's service to this nation, including during several very difficult years as administrator."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.