Follow this link to skip to the main content

Dr. Donald L. Cook

Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs
Dr. Donald L. Cook

Dr. Donald L. Cook serves as the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration. Appointed to the position by President Barack Obama, Dr. Cook was sworn in as NNSA’s 5th Deputy Administrator in June 2010. He is responsible for managing the U.S. nuclear security enterprise of laboratories and manufacturing facilities.

Prior to his appointment to NNSA, Dr. Cook served as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Atomic Weapons Establishment in the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2009. In this capacity, he was accountable for AWE’s performance on the contract with the UK Ministry of Defence, which includes support of the UK Trident warheads and development and sustainment of capability in nuclear weapon design, engineering development, manufacturing, qualification, assembly, transport, support in service, and finally, decommissioning, dismantlement, and disposal. AWE has an annual budget of $1.2 billion and an employee workforce of 5,000.

From 1977-2005, Dr. Cook worked in Pulsed Power Sciences, Microtechnologies, Infrastructure, and Security at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1999-2005, he was Director of the MESA Program Center, accountable for design and construction of the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) complex. In 2003, he assumed Program Director responsibilities for Sandia’s Infrastructure Program and for Sandia’s Safeguards and Security Technologies Program.

From 1977-1999, Dr. Cook led efforts in pulsed power accelerator design and experimentation, fusion research, hydrodynamics, radiography, diagnostic development, and computational code development. He managed the Sandia Fusion Research Department from 1984-1993 and was Director of Pulsed Power Sciences from 1993-1999. Work during this period included construction and development of a number of accelerators, including the Z-machine.

Dr. Cook is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Physics (IOP). He is married to the former Margaret Ann Kramer, with two grown daughters, Julia and Cynthia.