Charles F. (Charlie) McMillan today informed employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory that he intends to step down as Laboratory Director at the end of this calendar year. The announcement was made by McMillan in person at an all-employee meeting earlier today at the Laboratory.
McMillan told employees, “It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Director these past six years. Every day, I have been in awe of the people of this great Laboratory and what we have been able to contribute to this nation’s security.”
“Charlie McMillan has led Los Alamos National Laboratory with a rare combination of commitment, intelligence and hard work,” said Norm Pattiz, Chairman of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS). “Because of his passion for the Lab, its missions and its people, he agreed to stay on as Director at the Board’s request, past his originally planned retirement date. We appreciate Charlie’s commitment and believe he has put this iconic institution in a strong position to continue serving the country for many years to come.”
“Our work to advance analytical capabilities with the new Trinity supercomputer, our experimental capabilities at Los Alamos and at the National Nuclear Security Site in Nevada and our cutting-edge research in materials science have strengthened our nuclear weapons and global security mission work and paved the way for an enduring future for Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said McMillan.
“I am proud of the scientific and engineering work that underpins all of our national security efforts and leads to scientific advancements,” said McMillan. “From helping explore Mars, to aiding global efforts to develop an HIV vaccine, to producing life-saving medical isotopes, to earth system modeling, Los Alamos’ unique multidisciplinary scientific capabilities make the world a better place.”
McMillan noted in his all-employee meeting the health of the Laboratory, as measured both in hiring and budget. Los Alamos hired more than 1,000 employees last fiscal year (FY) and expects to hire roughly the same number by the end of FY2017. The Laboratory’s budget has grown approximately $400 million from FY2013 to today’s FY2017 budget of $2.5 billion.
“With an eye on the future, we have taken steps in the past few years to put Los Alamos in a strong position to meet the challenges that lie ahead,” said McMillan. “The work that has been done to develop future leaders at all levels, expand the operating budget, and hire the workforce of 2030 has put the Laboratory on the right trajectory for continued success in the decades to come.”
McMillan noted, “I am encouraged by the government’s commitment to ensuring the long-term viability of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and I am upbeat that funding levels for the Stockpile Stewardship Program are headed in the right direction. In addition, the long overdue modernization of the nuclear weapons complex and its infrastructure, including facilities at our Laboratory, now appears to be firmly underway.”
McMillan told staff that he would work closely with his successor, when named by the LANS Board, to ensure a smooth transition.