LASO’s Kevin Smith Gets New Assignment


Washington, D.C. – The Office of Environmental Management (EM) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today jointly announced two key personnel changes that will bring significant leadership and project management experience to both organizations.

Scott Samuelson, Manager of the Office of River Protection (ORP), will be leaving EM in January to return to NNSA, where he previously worked from the date it was formed in 2000. With Samuelson’s departure, Kevin Smith, Manager of NNSA’s Los Alamos Site Office (LASO), will become the ORP Manager.

“Scott and Kevin are key senior executives in the Department of Energy,” said Undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “I have asked Scott and Kevin to take on these new roles in order to align the talent we have with some of our toughest challenges. EM and NNSA have a lot to learn from each other, and Scott and Kevin are well-prepared to help us tackle these issues in the years to come.”

Samuelson joined EM 18 months ago as the manager of ORP. He will return to NNSA to work on key project management initiatives across the enterprise. In Samuelson’s new role, he will report to Bob Raines, NNSA’s Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management.

“Scott is a proven project manager,” said Raines. “He will provide important insight and guidance as NNSA continues improving its project management of complex nuclear facilities. His performance in previous programs has been recognized by notable organizations like the Project Management Institute, which is precisely the experienced leadership team we are building at the NNSA as we modernize our enterprise.”

As the ORP Manager, Smith will initially focus on achieving the current ORP near-term goals of resolving remaining technical issues associated with the High-Level Waste and Pretreatment facilities at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP); completing construction of the WTP Low Activity Waste, Analytical Laboratory, and Balance of Facilities; establishing a new baseline for the WTP project; and continuing to safely retrieve and manage the radioactive waste stored in the aging underground tanks at the Hanford Site in eastern Washington State.

“Kevin has nearly 20 years of experience leading major organizations throughout his distinguished career in the Air Force and with the Department of Energy,” said Dave Huizenga, Senior Advisor for EM. “He is well-suited for leading a diverse organization with a challenging mission.”

Smith began his Department of Energy career in EM as the Assistant Manager for the Nuclear Materials Stabilization Project at Savannah River in 2004.

The moves will become effective Dec. 30. Juan Griego, currently Deputy Manager of LASO, will serve as the Acting LASO Manager upon Smith’s departure.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington State is home to 56 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste, which are the result of more than 3 decades of plutonium production.

The removal, treatment, and disposal of this waste is one of the largest and most complex environmental remediation projects in the nation. In 1998, the United States Congress enacted legislation to form the Office of River Protection.

ORP’s mission is to retrieve, treat and dispose of the waste currently stored in 177 aging underground tanks, thereby protecting the nearby Columbia River.

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