Los Alamos National Laboratory Physical Security Division Leader Michael Wismer is retiring today after 17 years of service.
“I think it’s the pinnacle of your career to provide security for the premiere national laboratory,” Wismer said during an interview Wednesday at the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Wismer came out of a 21-year career in the military and went to work for LANL’s Pro Force under then manager Jack Killeen, who he calls his mentor. After a few years, Killeen became the Lab’s Physical Security Division Leader.
Wismer first worked for Killeen in the military in Europe. He makes it a habit to work his way up in his jobs. After enlisting in the military he worked his way up to be an officer. When he began his career for the Lab’s Pro Force, he started as a lieutenant and worked up to Performance Test Team Leader and then Chief of Staff. In 2003, Wismer applied for a job directly at the Lab and was hired to supervise oversight of the Pro Force contract. He was Group Leader three times.
“That experience gave me a good foundation for the increased responsibilities of a Physical Security Division Leader position, which I was selected for in 2013 when Jack (Killeen) retired,” Wismer said.
Wismer said one of his colleagues will take over his position in an acting capacity while the Lab finds a person to permanently take the post.
“We have a very strong relationship with the Los Alamos County police and fire departments and the FBI. Together we just executed the largest emergency exercise in our history with more than 200 participants … these exercises challenge us and make us better,” Wismer said. “The working environment amongst my colleagues has been the best I’ve ever had in my career and I know the Laboratory will remain an essential part of the national security strategy.”
Wismer is not going to stay retired for long … he has accepted a position as director of public safety for St. John’s College in Santa Fe.
“I have been teaching in my free time for a lot of years so now I have an opportunity to bring my security experience, public safety experience and academic experience in the classroom all together in a new challenge,” Wismer said.