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Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Step Down as Director

After a 34-year career that includes serving seven years as director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dr. Bruce Tarter will step down as director next year, National Nuclear Security Administrator John Gordon said today.

Tarter announced his plans in a letter to University of California President Richard Atkinson and in a meeting today with his laboratory colleagues. He has agreed to continue as laboratory director until a new director is named.

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham hailed Tarter's many contributions. "The country owes a great deal to Bruce Tarter," he said. "For more than 30 years, Dr. Tarter has worked to make Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory one of the nation's leading research institutions, first as a scientist and then as a manager. Under his leadership, Lawrence Livermore Lab has not only made countless scientific and technical contributions that enhanced our national security, but it has also made significant contributions in energy and environmental science, bioscience and biotechnology."

Gordon noted that Tarter has led Lawrence Livermore, one of the Energy Department's national defense laboratories, through a transition to a post-Cold War world and helped carry out the NNSA's stockpile stewardship program. The program ensures the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile. Tarter has also expanded the lab's work in the areas of non-proliferation and supercomputing.

"Bruce will be missed, but his legacy will be felt for many years," Gordon said. "He has been a tireless and effective advocate for Lawrence Livermore's scientists and staff and has taken steps to ensure that the laboratory will continue to deliver first-rate support to national security and cutting edge science and technology. I've personally enjoyed his keen intellect and have valued his always sound advice."

Tarter is the second longest serving director of Livermore. In 1967, soon after receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell University, he began his career at the lab in the Theoretical Physics division. He later became head of that department. Tarter has also held a number of management positions at the laboratory including associate laboratory director for physics, deputy laboratory director and acting laboratory director.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.


Media contact(s):
Lisa Cutler, 202/586-7371

Number: NA-01-019