NNSA Welcomes Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan as New Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application

Press Release
Jan 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today welcomed Brig. Gen. Sandra E. Finan (USAF) as Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application. Gen. Finan will assist Dr. Don Cook, NNSA’s deputy administrator for Defense Programs, in directing the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which maintains the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile without underground nuclear testing.

“Gen. Finan’s successful track record and extensive experience with our nation’s strategic deterrent make her a perfect match for NNSA’s Defense Programs,” said Deputy Administrator Cook. “I look forward to working with Gen. Finan to continue NNSA’s efforts to improve the way we do business, transform a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century nuclear security enterprise, and leverage the best science and technology in the world to implement the President’s unprecedented nuclear security agenda.”

Gen. Finan most recently served as the Inspector General of the Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) at Barksdale Air Force Base. She was responsible for conducting independent, impartial and professional inspections on all matters affecting AFGSC readiness, discipline, efficiency and economy.

“I am excited to join the NNSA team at this critical time of advancement in our nuclear enterprise,” said Gen. Finan. “I am honored to get to work with our nation’s foremost experts as we maintain our nuclear stockpile, modernize the complex, and implement national policy.”

Gen. Finan entered the Air National Guard in 1982 as an enlisted cryptographic equipment repairperson. She received her Air Force commission in 1985 as a distinguished graduate through Officer Training School. During her career, she has served in a variety of space and missile assignments in missile crew operations; training and evaluations; satellite command and control; and satellite operations. She has held staff assignments as executive assistant to the Director of Security and Emergency Operations with the Department of Energy, and National Military Command System command and control officer at U.S. Strategic Command. She has also served on the 20th Air Force staff and as a command evaluator at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

Her commands include an installation, space operations squadron and missile wing. Gen. Finan has deployed to the Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia as the Director of Space Forces in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Prior to her current assignment, she was the Director of Nuclear Operations at Air Force Space Command.

Finan has a bachelor of arts degree in music education from California State University, San Bernardino; a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; a master of arts degree in national defense and strategic studies from the Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, R.I., and a master of strategic studies degree from the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Ala.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.