The diversity issue

From the makeup of the workforce to the breadth of the research, Los Alamos National Laboratory embraces diversity to ensure national security.

By C.J. Bacino | November 28, 2022

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Rainbow ribbon cables are used for data or power transmission in weapons components, including those made or used by LosAlamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos is responsible for four of the seven stockpiled nuclear weapons systems that make up the nation’s nuclear triad—a three-pronged capability that consists of land-launched nuclear missiles, sea-launched nuclear missiles, and aircraft-deployed nuclear bombs and missiles. This important diversity of nuclear forces provides the United States with methods to attack by land, sea, or air, and significantly reduces the possibility that all of the United States’ nuclear weapons could be destroyed in a single attack. Los Alamos National Laboratory

Welcome to this edition of National Security Science magazine, which focuses on the importance of diversity and inclusion at Los Alamos National Laboratory. From its inception, our iconic Laboratory has provided solutions to national security challenges and has been a leader in cutting-edge science because of its ability to attract and leverage diverse talent from across the planet.

To say that terms like diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging are important to Los Alamos National Laboratory is an understatement. These words are not only important, but also essential: essential to how we develop teams, how we conduct our work, and how we ultimately come together—each unique individual bringing their authentic best—to solve problems of the utmost significance.

Letters Cj Bacino
C.J. Bacino, Diversity officer, Office of Diversity and Strategic Staffing at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Of course, we also recognize that work in this arena is never-ending. No matter how much progress we have made in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging, we know there is always more that can be done. It is this ability to recognize that we can do better, listen to one another, share lessons learned, and forge new paths forward that keeps the Laboratory relevant in a constantly changing world.

In this issue, you will learn more about the importance of diversity in the Laboratory’s founding and the perspectives of our senior leaders. You will read about the amazing contributions of our diverse employees, 36 of whom are profiled here. As Hazuki Teshima, a Lab technologist, says, “This is is a unique place, open to all types of people and backgrounds.”

In addition to our diverse workforce, our work is also diverse. Yes, we are primarily a national security science laboratory, but  our work also includes developing isotopes that the medical community uses in everything from heart imaging to cancer treatment and diagnostics, unlocking the mysteries of new particles in the universe, and researching what happens when cosmic rays strike electrical circuits, like those found in airplanes and satellites.

Making sure our newest employees understand and appreciate the scope of our work is increasingly important. That’s why we’re extra grateful for colleagues such as Jim Goforth, who at 74 years old, is passionate about educating the youngest generation here at Los Alamos. Click here to read more about Jim’s work at a remote explosives site in the bottom of a canyon.

I hope you will enjoy this celebration of diversity at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Our Laboratory is truly a great place to work, and without a doubt, our people make it so special. ★