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Friday, January 30, 2009

Laboratory integrates its communications with the announcement of three positions

In an effort to integrate communications, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has created a new office of Government and External Relations, overseeing the Lab’s offices of Congressional Affairs, Public Affairs Office and Protocol.

Bill Bruner, formerly of NASA, has been selected as Director of Government and External Relations, James A. Bono, formerly of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has been named Director of the Public Affairs Office and Scott Kopple, formerly of the National Nuclear Security Administration, joins the Laboratory as congressional liaison.

“The integration of these functions will strengthen communications between the Laboratory, our community, the media and all levels of government,” said Lab Director George Miller. “The diverse expertise that Bill, Jim and Scott bring to their positions will meet the needs of the Laboratory, and I am pleased to have them join our team.”

As Government and External Relations Director, Bruner will be responsible for strengthening Laboratory relations with all levels of government, the public and other stakeholders. He also will oversee the Laboratory’s Public Affairs and Protocol offices. Bruner will report to Laboratory Director George Miller and will be a member of the Laboratory’s senior management team.

“I am looking forward to tapping into Bill’s experience at NASA, which is world renowned for its public outreach and responsive government communications,” Miller said.

Bruner has 25 years of experience in strategic communications, government affairs, strategic planning and national security policy. Prior to joining the Lab, Bruner served as Deputy Chief of Strategic Communications, and as Assistant Administrator for Legislative & Intergovernmental Affairs at NASA. From 2001-2004 he was the Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Bruner is a retired colonel from the U.S. Air Force, and served as an issues expert on the personal staff of the Secretary of the Air Force.

As Director of Public Affairs, Bono will report to the Director of Government and External Relations and serve as a key adviser to Laboratory senior management. Bono will oversee the Lab’s Media and Employee Communications, as well as its Community Relations and Education Outreach programs.

“Jim has diverse and comprehensive communications experience that will provide leadership and counsel to accomplish our communication objectives,” Miller said.

Bono brings 25 years of experience in the communication industry, with expertise in science, government, environmental and legal subject matter.

Prior to joining the Lab, Bono served as Director of Public Affairs at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. From 2001-2007 he held a key position as Deputy Inspector General within the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Office of the Inspector General. Bono also worked in the New York State Attorney General’s Office and served in various positions in local and national television news.

As congressional liaison, Kopple will join Christie Schomer, LLNL’s Director of Congressional Affairs, to support the Laboratory’s efforts in strengthening effective congressional communications in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy, and will provide subject matter expertise and analysis in responding to congressional interest in LLNL’s programmatic activities. He will be based in Washington, DC.

Kopple was at the Department of Energy/NNSA, serving as the NNSA Director of Congressional Affairs since 2006. Prior to that he was a staff member with the U.S. House Government Reform Committee.

“The Laboratory enjoyed a three and half year relationship with Scott while he was at NNSA, and I am confident his experience will serve this Laboratory well in building upon our responsiveness to congressional requests,” Miller said.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to ensure national security and to apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.


Anonymous said...

And we needed these people on the payroll why exactly?

Anonymous said...

Hey - BS is heavy. Safety rules require multiple people to perform a lift.

Anonymous said...

More expensive overhead. That just great!

Anonymous said...

Expensive yeah. But you need guys like these with inside knowledge to get around in Washington. It is a good and tried strategy to get more dollars to the Lab.

Anonymous said...

response to: February 2, 2009 7:07 AM

You are clueless. Money flows from good science and engineering and credible experts. "Homegrown" scientific leaders are being driven away from LLNL due to the subpar conditions and lack of technically credible management. Fancy functionaries do not bring in new money, at best they maintain or manage already established funding streams. At worst, they may try to redirect funding for their existing pet projects to LLNL, bringing their buddies from elsewhere who will then be treated like the new scientific royalty.

Anonymous said...

It is a good and tried strategy to get more dollars to the Lab.

February 2, 2009 7:07 AM

No, you fool. It's just a convenient way for Bechtel to park some of their PR people over at LLNL while Bechtel waits for the US economy and construction work to pick up. LLNL is an employee dumping ground for the LLC partners.

Anonymous said...

It's all about money. Always has been for LLNS and the their Bechtel lackeys. Propaganda, lobbying, and sales is valued, not science. Back-slapping good ol' boys still remain in power. Spin and money in the door means big bonuses for ULM. Am I telling you something that you don't already know?

Anonymous said...

9:07 & 7:07,

I don't appreciate the personal attacks. I am not a fool nor clueless. I live in the real world where politics, lobbying and connections are part of the process. You can live in your make believe world of academia and wither away as far as I care. Your attitudes will kill what 111 wounded.

I totally agree with you that good science and scientists are being pushed from the Lab. Appointing high level faces did not and will not drive those scientists away. They are not related.

I have been gone from the Lab for a year now. I have been working in the real world and realize how backwards and inbred the Lab is. Every time I have posted here I have been attacked, called a fool and worse. You are bitter people that get everything that you deserve. You refuse to see that YOU are part of the problem. You refuse to leave the protection of your ivory towers. You are arrogant and that arrogance will be your downfall.

I shall not post here again. I hope you get all that you deserve.

Anonymous said...

If you don't think that
good PR is important, then
you need to crawl out
from under your rock.

Anonymous said...

No, you fool. It's just a convenient way for Bechtel to park some of their PR people over at LLNL . . . (February 2, 2009 11:01 PM)

You might want to actually read the article - the new hires don't have Bechtel backgrounds.

Just to bring the tiniest bit of balance: The vast majority of laboratory senior management have UC roots – and have a prejudice against Bechtel. This includes GM. However, they think it great to have Bechtel around to take the blame for continued UC mismanagement. Imagine, bigger award fee and someone else to take the heat, it just doesn’t get any better than that.)

Anonymous said...

yeah...but how many folks in 111 are doing PR now. Arn't RC and BW still doing government relations? Now there is another new senior guy plus a new person in DC to help out CS? I count that as five full-time government relations folks. With Chu in office things are going to change on how LLNL is perceived...


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