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Deputy Laboratory Director (DLD) for Operations

Date: Jan 17, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9875 


University of Tennessee-Battelle, LLC (UT-Battelle), is searching for an exceptional leader to serve as Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Deputy Laboratory Director (DLD) for Operations. As the Laboratory’s Chief Operations Officer, the DLD for Operations acts with the decision authority of the Laboratory Director on all matters involving operations and support functions regardless of where they are performed across the Laboratory. This a dual role that combines the functions of chief executive and manager to design, execute, and assess the operating model and associated management systems and policies to promote Laboratory culture and vision and oversee operations to achieve the mission. The DLD for Operations routinely interacts with the Laboratory Director and the DLD for Science and Technology and provides guidance to research and support directors. The DLD for Operations also regularly interacts with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Site Office, DOE Office of Science leadership, program sponsors, and the UT-Battelle Board of Governors. The DLD for Operations also maintains strong relationships with community leaders, regulatory authorities, elected officials (regional, state, and federal) and senior leaders at other DOE National Laboratories. The DLD for Operations will also be expected to proactively engage with counterparts from other Battelle-affiliated Laboratories through the Battelle Operations Council, and to be an active participant in Battelle sponsored programs such as the Laboratory Operations Leadership Academy and Laboratory Operations Supervisor Academy.



  • Works closely with the Laboratory Director and DLD for Science and Technology to develop a compelling institutional vision and strategy that is more than the ‘sum of the parts’ of individual directorate level planning efforts.
  • Leads formulation and implementation of cross-cutting operational plans and integrated facilities strategy to achieve institutional vision and strategy.
  • Allocates resources across Laboratory organizations as appropriate to achieve goals and objectives aligned to the institutional vision and strategy.
  • Oversees daily operations to sustain effective, efficient, and compliant performance. The DLD for Operations is responsible for the Laboratory’s operational performance as measured in Sections 4 through 8 of the annual DOE Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan (PEMP).
  • Builds partnerships to enable institutional strategy and assure operations are sustained and improved.
  • Establishes a comprehensive approach to enterprise risk management and performance assurance; continuously assessing and identifying opportunities to sustain operational excellence.



This position requires a background in a science or technology field, preferably at the Master’s level, with an interest in supporting and promoting the broad science and applied programs of the Laboratory. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 15 years of professional experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience. The successful candidate should also have an established record working with DOE and senior contractor management up to and including the Board level. The candidate must be well organized, have good communication and technical skills, and the ability to clearly and succinctly articulate information about Laboratory programs to sponsors and other interested parties.


Experience as a senior operations leader in a research environment is preferred. Current ORNL employees will be given hiring preference.

Critical skills include:

  • Leadership ability: Along with the DLD for Science and Technology, the DLD for Operations can be called upon as the second in command and must be a strong leader who can effectively interact with all Directorates and Offices and external stakeholders.
  • Strategy: The DLD for Operations needs to know how to strategize to achieve both long- and short-term goals that meet safety, security and DOE expectations while accomplishing the mission.
  • Living the values: The DLD for Operations must be effective at expressing, modeling, and most importantly, reinforcing the Laboratory’s values.
  • Team building: The DLD for Operations needs to build a cooperative team and implement policies and approaches that help everyone be productive and successful.
  • Conflict resolution: The DLD for Operations needs the skills to diffuse stressful situations and create harmony between organizations/groups.
  • Decision-making: The DLD for Operations makes many major decisions. They need to be able to do this promptly and smartly to ensure the progression of Laboratory operations.
  • Crisis management: The DLD for Operations will be faced with addressing infrequent off-normal events that require critical thinking, rapid decision-making, and focused communications.
  • Public speaking: The DLD for Operations should be comfortable and confident speaking during Laboratory-wide meetings or while giving presentations to sponsors and stakeholders.
  • Interpersonal relations: The DLD for Operations needs to build positive connections with Laboratory leaders and staff as well as key stakeholders in DOE, other Federal agencies, National Laboratories, and the community.
  • Communication: The DLD for Operations should be able to communicate Laboratory objectives and expectations to all staff. They should also be able to communicate with the Lab Director and other Leadership Team members to design strategies and policies.
  • Courage: The DLD for Operations must have the courage to tell truth to power and make hard or unpopular decisions that are in the best interest of the institution and DOE.


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance from DOE. This position therefore is designated for Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) testing. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


About ORNL.

Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, ORNL demonstrated the production and separation of plutonium as its original mission. After World War II, ORNL led early work on nuclear energy, radioisotopes, radiation-resistant materials, and the effects of radiation on biological systems. Today, ORNL integrates and applies a remarkable set of core capabilities that comprises large teams of talented staff from diverse fields. They leverage distinctive scientific facilities and equipment to deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that accelerate the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and national security, and in doing so, create economic opportunity for the nation. ORNL is distinguished by its close coupling of basic and applied R&D and by its signature strengths in biology, physics, materials, neutrons, and nuclear science and engineering; isotope research and development and production; and high-performance computing and data analytics. We design, build, and operate powerful scientific facilities that are available to the international research community. ORNL works in partnership with universities and industry to train the future science and engineering workforce and transfer the results of their R&D to the marketplace.

ORNL has a dynamic workforce of about 6,000 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $2.7 billion. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The strong partnership between DOE and UT-Battelle has created a national resource that draws outstanding researchers in a wide range of disciplines to world-class facilities where they attack fundamental scientific challenges, couple discoveries with applied research, and work with industry to translate results into commercial applications. The work of the laboratory is being performed safely and efficiently in a modern campus setting. Our opportunity is to sustain our leadership and build on our success, and the DLD for Operations has the front-line responsibility for championing an operational culture that enables ORNL to excel. This position reports to the Laboratory Director.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville