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January 18, 2023 | Tom Ballard

National search firm hired to find next ORNL Director

Former Lab Director Thomas Zacharia retired at the end of 2022 with no permanent replacement named.

UT-Battelle LLC, the managing contractor for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), announced Wednesday that it has retained executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in the search for the next ORNL Director following the retirement of Thomas Zacharia at the end of 2022.

Russell Reynolds is a nationally known firm with experience in national laboratory, academic, and industry sector searches for executive leadership positions. It lists about a dozen locations in the U.S. plus a number around the world. In the interim as previously reported, Jeff Smith, who retired in 2021 as Deputy Director for Operations, has agreed to serve as Interim ORNL Director.

“We are committed to identifying a leader who will continue ORNL’s 80-year legacy of enabling world-leading experts to leverage uniquely powerful tools for breakthroughs that serve national priorities in fundamental science, energy technology, and national security,” said Randy Boyd, President of the University of Tennessee System and Co-Chairman of the UT-Battelle Board of Governors.

“We are excited to partner with Russell Reynolds as we identify the next Director of ORNL to help guide us to an exciting future in support of the nation,” said Lou Von Thaer, Chief Executive Officer of Battelle and the other Co-Chairman of the UT-Battelle Board of Governors.

Here’s a link to more information about the position.