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Safeguards and Treaty Verification Section Head

Date: Sep 13, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5331 

Overview: We are currently seeking qualified applicants to serve as Section Head for Safeguards and Treaty Verification in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division.  The Safeguards and Treaty Verification Section focuses on enhancing concepts, strategies, and technologies that will strengthen the capabilities of USG and international regimes (e.g., the IAEA and partner countries) to safeguard material, commodities, and technologies from proliferation and enhance treaty verification.


The Section Head will provide strategic and research leadership for the following groups: Strategic Commodities and Technologies, Implementation Technologies, Non-Destructive Analysis R&D and Verification Technologies.


  1. Strategic Commodities and Technologies — Focuses on review and analysis of nuclear fuel cycle technologies and commodities subject to export control or high-risk property designation; provides technical input for USG policy development and law enforcement; and supports USG efforts to enhance partner country programs for export control and high-risk property.
  2. Implementation Technologies — Focuses on development and improvement of concepts and approaches that enhance safeguards implementation, including strategies and technologies that improve inspection objectives. Assists the NNSA Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control in international engagements to strengthen implementation of safeguards and treaty verification.
  3. Non-Destructive Analysis R&D — Focuses on research, development, and application of non-destructive detection and analysis technologies that support material control and accounting, operational safety for material processing, and nuclear material security protocols.
  4. Verification Technologies — Focused on research, development, and application of technologies that can support verification, monitoring, detection, assessment, or response to unauthorized access or misuse of nuclear material and/or security of nuclear/radiological facilities.




Provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership to a thematic area of science and technology that integrates several thematically aligned R&D groups consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture. 


The R&D Section Head works closely with the Division Director and section Group Leaders to establish and implement the science and technology directions for the section; support the Group Leaders to ensure their success and the success of the R&D groups as world-recognized leaders in their fields; ensure that staff members understand business opportunities; identify links to current and future funding opportunities and R&D programs; develop and implement consistent processes for the peer-review of proposals consistent with lab standards; model proper Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality practices; and ensure a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community


The National Security Sciences Directorate conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries.  Our directorate houses S&T leadership in cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in other areas at the lab such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, and computing.  Our multi-disciplinary research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.


Our commitment to diversity:  As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.



Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership for the S&T delivered by the section staff, establishing vision and direction as well as opportunities for programmatic and S&T engagement outside the section.  
  • Engage programmatically and technically across the division, directorate, and laboratory to help sustain and grow ORNL impact in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards.
  • Initiate, lead and perform R&D programs and initiatives on an ongoing basis. 
  • Work closely with the Division Director and Group Leaders within the section to develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and technology directions for the section. Demonstrate cross-functional team leadership.
  • Work with section Group Leaders to establish, communicate, and measure critical metrics for success and impact. Benchmark against the best in the world.
  • Actively contribute to shaping the division’s, directorate’s, and laboratory’s R&D plans and investments.
  • Build strong teams by collaborating across ORNL and securing external expertise when needed. Leverage ORNL facilities and resources when developing new projects.
  • Evaluate Group Lead progress regularly, providing feedback and addressing performance issues in a timely manner.
  • Ensure groups are recruiting and hiring from a diverse pool of top candidates who are committed to world-class research and aspire to be the best in their field. 
  • Lead by example, using the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research and in dealing with others.
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding ORNL’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across the lab.
  • Counsel/consult/mentor staff and transfer knowledge of specialized field(s) to a variety of staff, including senior staff. 
  • Work with Group Leaders to ensure staff are participating actively in professional service (engagement in professional or scientific societies, workshop and conference organization, peer review, advisory board membership, etc.).
  • Advocate for and support internal and external recognition of staff achievements.  Ensure the Section’s external professional presence is strong.
  • Communicate funding/proposal opportunities to staff and support proposal development as appropriate (mentoring, proposal reviews, budget preparation, etc.).



Basic Requirements:

  • Requires a Ph.D. in and engineering or scientific discipline with a minimum of 12 years relevant experience or a M.S. in an engineering or scientific discipline with a minimum of 16 years relevant experience or a B.S. in an engineering or scientific discipline with a minimum of 20 years relevant experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams with a focus on nuclear nonproliferation missions.
  • Extensive knowledge of S&T and policy issues associated with nonproliferation and safeguards.
  • Demonstrated experience in program development, preferably with relevant offices within DOE and NNSA. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a teaming environment. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.



Preferred Qualifications:

  • Extensive knowledge of the nuclear fuel cycle and associated technologies and operations.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations) and/or international regimes focused on implementing nonproliferation strategies and concepts.


Letters of Recommendation: 3 letters of recommendation are required for this position.


Special Requirement:
This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


Relocation:  Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.
For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.

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