NNSA Administrator D’Agostino Retiring in January

Thomas P. D’Agostino. Courtesy Photo

NNSA News:

National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino announced today that he will retire Jan. 18, 2013.

NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Neili Miller will serve as Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Acting Adminstrator of the NNSA.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement:

From the reactor room on the U.S.S. Skipjack to the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Tom D’Agostino has proven himself to be a talented leader, a trusted adviser, and a true confidant. Rising through the ranks of the U.S. Navy and then leading our nuclear security efforts here at the Department of Energy, Tom has devoted 36 years to serving and protecting the American people. He has done so with a sense of purpose that reminds us all why public service is a noble profession. 

As Secretary of Energy, I have greatly enjoyed working with Tom over the last four years. Tom has led NNSA, EM, and LM through a period of unprecedented international attention and complex transition.  From leading a vast acceleration of the Department’s efforts to reduce nuclear dangers at home and abroad, to overseeing our efforts to protect public health and safety by cleaning up the nation’s Cold War nuclear legacy, Tom has earned the title one major news outlet gave him: “Undersecretary for Saving the World.”

Under his watch, we have eliminated or secured hundreds of nuclear weapons worth of nuclear materials.  We have reduced the number of deployed warheads to the lowest level since the 1950s—an approximate reduction of 85 percent from the darkest days of the Cold War – while successfully maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of a shrinking stockpile.  Through EM, we have permanently cleaned up 690 square miles of contaminated land—an area more than 30 times the size of Manhattan—and completed the cleanup of 22 transuranic waste sites across the nation, permanently eliminating an environmental risk at these sites and reducing the cost of monitoring and storing this waste.

But programmatic accomplishments are just one way to determine his value to the Department. The truest measure is the commitment and professionalism of the men and women he leads, and the trust the President and I have shown in his judgment and vision.  In both areas, the Department could not have asked for a better leader.

Tom will be continuing in his current role until Jan. 18, 2013 and leaving federal service shortly thereafter. Neile Miller, the Principal Deputy Administrator for NNSA, will serve as Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Acting Administrator of NNSA.   

While we will miss his leadership, I know Tom and his wife Beth are ready for the next stage of their lives. As Tom leaves the Department and finishes a remarkable career in federal service, please join me in thanking him for a job well done. Bravo Zulu.

Statement from Thomas P. D;Agostino:

After more than 36 years of service – including the last five and a half years as the NNSA Administrator and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, and two years as Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs – my wife Beth and I have decided the timing is right for me to leave Federal service. This was a difficult decision for me as I am committed to serving our country, committed to the missions of the NNSA, the Environmental Management Organization, the Office of Legacy Management, and I am committed to you in carrying out this mission.  

However, I have an equally important commitment to my wife and family and I am a strong believer that organizations are healthier when leadership changes on a periodic basis. The time is right for this change and I will step down from this position on 18 Jan. 2013, at the end of the first term of the Obama Administration.

The ability to serve our nation is a privilege and I have been blessed to be able to do so for many years. You should consider yourselves blessed as well. Whether you are a federal civilian, military service member, a laboratory or production plant employee, or support service contractor, you are all serving our nation in an important way. What makes a great job? I think there are a few essential ingredients.  These ingredients include the ability to serve, the ability to work in an area that has an impact with real meaning and national significance, and finally the ability to work with exceptional and committed professionals.  All of us are very fortunate to have this opportunity in the work we do every day. In the hustle of the work that we do on a day to day basis, it is easy to forget that we are blessed to have jobs that possess these ingredients. Take the time to remember what you have in your work and the value you bring to your country.  

Finally, I want to thank you for your support to me over the nearly eight years in these positions. I deeply appreciate your commitment to the mission, for keeping an eye on what is important, and for taking care of each other. As Beth frequently reminds me, take the time and effort to make a real difference in someone’s life each and every day, a philosophy that I have found to help guide me and maintain a sense of personal and professional balance. It has been truly an honor and privilege to serve with you and to serve the country in the wide variety of roles and opportunities I have been presented.  I will cherish the many memories and relationships that have been forged during our time working together.

Until the time when a fully confirmed Administrator and Undersecretary is in place, I ask that you give your full support to Neile Miller as she takes on the role of acting Administrator and acting Undersecretary for Nuclear Security.

Do not forget what you do. You Serve. Press on with the nation’s work. May God richly bless you. Tom

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