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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Former Top DOE Intelligence Official to Serve as ‘Interim’ Administrator

Former Top DOE Intelligence Official to Serve as ‘Interim’ Administrator
Weapons Complex Monitor
June 14, 2013
Todd Jacobson

Bruce Held, the former director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, is expected to be tapped to serve as the “interim” administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration when acting NNSA chief Neile Miller leaves the agency at the end of the month, NW&M Monitor has learned. Held would bridge the gap between Miller’s departure and the nomination and confirmation of a permanent NNSA administrator, which Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz said this week is not likely to occur until the end of the summer. Held is not a candidate to become the permanent NNSA administrator, which is believed to be narrowed down to former Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore Director Mike Anastasio, current Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon, and former Air Force Global Strike Command chief Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz.

When Miller announced last month that she was leaving the NNSA—first on June 14, and later revised to June 28-she said in a message to employees that Defense Programs chief Don Cook would serve as the acting NNSA administrator. It’s unclear why Moniz chose to take a different route.

Held returned to Forrestal as the Department’s associate deputy secretary after Moniz was confirmed by the Senate, taking a position that would allow him to transition to lead NNSA. Officials with knowledge of the Department’s plans told NW&M Monitor that President Obama first had to authorize Held to serve as the “interim” administrator, a process that could take several more weeks to complete. In a statement to DOE employees this week announcing Held’s return to the Department in the associate deputy secretary role, Moniz said Held would “help out on a number of issues, ranging from cyber security and nuclear security to management performance, and we know we will benefit from his sage counsel in his new position.” Moniz also said that Held’s “invaluable experience as a strong leader, an exceptional manager, and an expert on national security issues will be critical to the Department as we move forward to meet the challenges before us.” Held left the Department in December after serving as the Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Previously, he was the chief of Counterintelligence at Sandia National Laboratories, and served as a clandestine operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency in Asia, Latin America and Africa. He was also a special assistant to Clinton Administration National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and a special assistant to former CIA Director George Tenet.

Amid speculation about the likely next NNSA administrator, Moniz told reporters on the sidelines of a House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing that the White House was currently vetting choices for a host of DOE positions. “I’m hoping that you’ll start to see nominations come later in the summer, certainly early September, but I hope this summer we’ll see some of those coming out,” Moniz said. “I have a number who have now started the process. But I do want to add, as you know, we must have close to 10 Senate confirmed positions that we need to have up for nomination and hopefully confirmation, but of course we are also building all of the senior advisor staff.” In addition to Held, Moniz said energy policy expert Melanie Kenderline and investment banker John McWilliams had also been brought into the Department as senior advisors. “These are highly accomplished people,” Moniz said. “Dan Poneman and I aren’t home alone entirely.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yet another former Sandian tapped by the incoming secretary. Fine selection by the way. But does this mean LLNL will begin a campaign of knee-jerk belligerency against Held AND his promoter, Moniz, saying how stupid they are? Cook is a good Interim candidate too. But given the very different backgrounds between the two, perhaps this is a signal towards a shift more towards global security and away from big sandbox science. A win for Bruce G and a loss for NIF. Bruce is a genius for making the move that he did when he did. Brilliant!

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