Thursday, May 15, 2003

Michael Reese (510) 987-9200


University of California President Richard C. Atkinson today (May 15) announced his intention to appoint George P. "Pete" Nanos the permanent director of the UC-operated Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Nanos has served as interim director since Jan. 6.

Atkinson told the Board of Regents, meeting in San Francisco, that he intends to return to the board at the earliest possible date with an action item approving Nanos' permanent appointment.

"I had intended to conduct a national search for a new director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, but Pete Nanos' superb performance over the last several months makes such a process unnecessary," Atkinson said.

"Under the most trying of circumstances, Pete has provided bold, innovative and compassionate leadership to the hard-working men and women of the Los Alamos laboratory," Atkinson continued. "I can think of no person better suited to lead this critical national security laboratory through the coming period and to preserve its standards of excellence."

Nanos' leadership at Los Alamos has coincided with major reforms in the operations of the laboratory's business and administrative functions. In the nearly five months he has been interim director, Nanos is credited with creating a new atmosphere of openness in communications and sound management accountability processes, while at the same time refocusing the laboratory business practices and on the science of its weapons program.

Nanos, the former commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command and of the Navy's strategic nuclear program, served as principal deputy associate director for Los Alamos' Threat Reduction Directorate before being named interim laboratory director in January.

Nanos' naval career began with graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967. His sea duty included service in destroyers and a tour as engineer officer in the aircraft carrier America (CV-66).

While serving as the manager for technical development for the Navy's High Energy Laser Program, he became an engineering duty officer specializing in the acquisition of ordnance and combat systems.

Nanos spent almost 10 years in the Navy's strategic weapons program including service as director, Strategic Systems Programs, responsible for development, acquisition and support of all U.S. and U.K. submarine launched ballistic missiles and re-entry systems. For the past four years, he commanded the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Navy's largest major acquisition organization responsible for design, development, repair and support of all Navy ships and shipboard weapons systems. This included oversight of the Navy's four public nuclear repair shipyards with 22,000 employees and seven Navy laboratory divisions with approximately 20,000 employees.

Nanos earned a doctorate in physics from Princeton University in 1974.

Nanos will be paid a salary of $334,700, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents and the Department of Energy.

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