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Brad Peterson

Brad Peterson, a wonderful friend, stellar shipmate, and devoted public servant, passed away today after a traffic accident in Albuquerque over the weekend.  Many of you worked with Brad in his numerous leadership roles within the Department and the NNSA.  Over the past years he had supported Neile and me directly as Chief, Defense Nuclear Security and Associate Administrator for Defense Nuclear Security (NA-70) and more recently as Deputy to the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Secure Transportation (NA-15).

Neile and I relied heavily on Brad for his sound counsel, expertise, and for his visionary leadership and exceptional service to the nation.  Those who had worked with him know that he embodied the values you would want in any supervisor, employee, or co-worker.   He was a man of deep character, unparalleled integrity, and strong faith.  He valued people and made it a point to lift them up, solving problems through a pervasive sense of optimism and teamwork.

Brad started at DOE in 1991 and spent his career in the nuclear security and safety arena.  Prior to his time at the NNSA, he served in the Office of Defense Programs and the Office of Environment, Safety and Health as a nuclear safety engineer.  He then moved to the Office of Health, Safety and Security as the Director of the Office of Cyber Security Evaluations, and ultimately the Director, Office of Independent Oversight, where he led numerous combined security, cyber security, emergency management, and safety assessments of both NNSA and DOE facilities. He had been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2002.

As Chief, Defense Nuclear Security and Associate Administrator for Defense Nuclear Security, Brad was the driving force in our efforts to reengineer the nuclear security program within the NNSA.  His focus on identifying and implementing fundamental security reforms resulted in the development of new peer review approaches and the implementation of deliberate and defendable processes to assess the threat, evaluate plausible scenarios, and create strategies to ensure the security of our Nation’s most sensitive nuclear assets.  He was a reform-minded leader, and helped transform NNSA into the 21st century, integrated organization it is today.  His work was so exemplary, he was awarded the Administrator’s Distinguished Service Silver Award last year and had previously been awarded the DOE’s Presidential Rank Award – Meritorious Executive.  

I'm sure many of you came to know Brad through his service at the NNSA.  I first met Brad on July 6, 1976 when we joined the Naval Academy along with our classmates.  We were not only classmates but also in the same company for our four years at Navy and we both eventually ended up pursuing careers in the Submarine Force.  During that time Brad displayed the wonderful qualities of leadership that he carried forward in every aspect of his life.  Needless to say Brad had a highly distinguished career in the Navy both as an active duty submarine officer and reserve intelligence officer.

Brad was all about service and never about himself.  His commitment to serve God, serve his family, and serve his country was evident to me and came out frequently in our many conversations. We talked about our children often and his commitment to service is now carried on by his three wonderful children who are each dedicated to serving just as Brad did.  His daughter Claire followed in her father's footsteps and graduated from the Naval Academy in 2010.  His son Josh will graduate from West Point in just a few months.  And his daughter Liz graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2011.  Their father, our friend and colleague, set an example for them that all of us should strive to maintain.

Details on a memorial service will be provided once they are available.  I consider myself blessed to have known and worked with Brad.

Please keep Brad’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tom D'Agostino