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General Gordon Begins Tenure as Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration

Met with Richardson to Discuss Security Challenges and Next Steps

Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today swore in General John A. Gordon as the department's first Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

On Monday, Secretary Richardson welcomed General Gordon to the department for a series of preparatory briefings and meetings.

"As the second ranking official in our government's intelligence community and a physicist who has worked at our national laboratories, General John Gordon has an excellent background to serve as the department's first Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator," said Secretary Richardson. "He has my full support in undertaking this challenging and important assignment."

Secretary Richardson has asked General Gordon to conduct a top-to-bottom review at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

"I look forward to working with Secretary Richardson in charting the right course for the new National Nuclear Security Administration," said General Gordon. "I am grateful to President Clinton and Secretary Richardson for their confidence and support."

General Gordon is meeting with laboratory directors, field managers and plant managers from NNSA sites within the Energy Department complex throughout this week. He will be formally sworn in by Secretary Richardson on July 12.

In early January, Secretary Richardson named a high-level search committee tasked with finding qualified candidates to serve as the NNSA Administrator.

General Gordon was one of three candidates recommended to Secretary Richardson by the panel. President Clinton nominated General Gordon on May 3 and the Senate confirmed him on June 14.

General Gordon has a long and distinguished career in the national security arena from weapons development to long range planning, from stockpile management to arms control, from working as a physicist at DOE's Sandia National Laboratories to serving as the second ranking official in the intelligence community.

The NNSA officially began operations on March 1, 2000. Its mission is to carry out the national security responsibilities of the Department of Energy, including maintenance of a safe, secure and reliable stockpile of nuclear weapons and associated materials capabilities and technologies; promotion of international nuclear safety and nonproliferation; and administration and management of the naval nuclear propulsion program.

Media contact(s):
Natalie Wymer, 202/586-4940
Matt Nerzig, 202/586-4940

Number: R-00-174