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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Message from Knapp

A MESSAGE TO EMPLOYEES FROM BRET KNAPP

March 14, 2014

LLNL employees

It is important for me to send this message to my friends and colleagues at the Laboratory. In the last few days, I have been diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While I remain optimistic about a full recovery, I have made the decision to withdraw my application for the LLNL director position. It is disappointing for me to do so, but it was the decision made with my family after evaluating my medical situation. The search for a permanent Laboratory director is continuing as originally scheduled, and I expect this to come to a successful conclusion shortly.

I am hopeful about my journey over the coming months. As I have said many times since I took the acting director position last November, I am extremely confident and optimistic about the Laboratory's future. 
I am inspired by the work you do and by your commitment to your collective future as you carry out the important work for the nation.

In the interim, I will continue as acting director and will assist in an effective transition to a new director. I will continue to rely on all of you and the LLNL senior leadership team to assure that the work of the Laboratory moves forward effectively and efficiently.

Bret

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope all goes well for Bret, that must be tough to deal with. Meanwhile I imagine that throws the selection process into turmoil, since presumably he was the top candidate. Who is #2?

Anonymous said...

My prayers for him and his family at this difficult time.

That said, I know he wasn't the top candidate. UC is looking to make a strong statement in their selection. If it's an insider it will be Goodwin, if an outsider most likely a surprise (woman or pure scientist or both).

Anonymous said...



Cherry Murray

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting possibility, assuming she would want the job. Can't imagine why she would.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to Bret and his family and hope to hear of a full recovery.

It can't help but remember the few nasty comments on this blog about Bret from some LANL and LLNL people. Some people have no shame; utterly pathetic!

to 10:53,
and why wouldn't she want the job? Because you have some biases towards the DOE Labs?

Anonymous said...

12:03, since you've been living under a rock recently, I will fill you in. It is a hopeless job, one that no mortal will succeed in. The first order of business is to manage the gutting of the laboratory, morphing it into, well, something else. But that something else will be decided by others, not the director. The director can have impact and vision, and make some difference, but there are formidable powers (in DOE, other branches of government, congress, and the current upper management at the lab) that stand in the way. Meanwhile she already left the lab once to take her current prestigious position as a Harvard Dean in an endowed chair. I can't see how being LLNL director is a step up for a person in that position, and she is not young so it's not a stepping-stone to bigger things. But maybe what she really wants is to move back to California, who knows.

Anonymous said...

Cherry Murray is an interesting suggestion, although it is not clear what she accomplished while she was here. How is the Laboratory a better place because of her?

There was an interesting show on the radio today. The Stanford professor being interviewed said that the best leaders are usually those that focus on eliminating the bad more than they do espousing the good. He was speaking primarily about technology companies but it equally would have applied to the Laboratory. There is plenty of bad here.

I hope the next director focuses on fixing the Lab's significant problems rather than promoting sound-bite visions that are never fulfilled. Be pragmatic. The good will take care of itself if the bad is gone. The people who do real work and bring funds into the Laboratory will have the next director's back if the director has their back.

What is the next director going to do to help my work as a PI who brings funds into the Laboratory? I guarantee him/her that more progress reports and other petty but unlimited bureaucratic burdens are not the answer. Cut the management crap.

I hope Bret Knapp has a successful recovery.

Anonymous said...

What is the next director going to do to help my work as a PI who brings funds into the Laboratory?

March 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Absolutely nothing. The money you bring in is a pittance in the overall scheme of things. No one in management cares about you or your piddling program. Your arrogance and self-centeredness alone is enough to fire your ass.

Anonymous said...

7:19, you are behind the times, and your kind is a dinosaur. Individual PIs bringing in small amounts of money is the future of the lab, but you sound stuck in the arrogant well-funded programmatic past. Probably a B-program bomber. It's over, it's been over, time to look forwards and not back. Or retire and make room for others.

Anonymous said...

The cancer of non-Hodgkin lymphoma works slowly be the results are always the same. It's terminal. The good news is that it progresses slowly so he may have another decade or so of life left in him. He should use those remaining years to his advantage and enjoy life and minimize his stress.

Of course, a cure is always possible at some future date. It's always sad to hear that someone has been diagnosed with cancer.

Evil Echo said...

I've not been kind to Bret as a manager.

But this is not the time for unkind words. I wish him all the best and will say a prayer.

Anonymous said...

I have always held Bret in the highest regards. I have had the honor and pleasure of working with him and for him at LLNL and LANL.

I wish a quick and successful recovery for him.

Anonymous said...

"You can be a Senator or a street sweeper you will still have to dance with the grim reaper"

Robert Alton Harris 1992

POS

Anonymous said...

It may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you gonna have to serve someone.

Bob Dylan

Anonymous said...

The person earlier who said Brett's condition is terminal is incorrect. This type of cancer is quite treatable with a high cure rate. We at the lab are hoping for a speedy and complete recovery for Brett and wish him well.

Anonymous said...

Also Dylan:
"From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying.

- It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (1965)

Anonymous said...

So who?
Goodwin
Moses
Younger
Juzaitis
None of the above

Anonymous said...

All are old-school. All except Moses would be a boost for weapons work but not much else. Moses would try to keep the focus on NIF, which would sink LLNL. Given the stuff that's probably going to hit the fan pretty soon internationally, I'd choose Younger for his brains, hands-on management, and sheer tough-mindedness. I think it is entirely possible that due to Obama's and Europe's fecklessness, and Putin's Stalinesque behavior, Cold War II is about to start. Gentlemen, start your engines.

Anonymous said...

I hope Putin tells Obama to stick it up his vortex and does what is best for his country. It is none of our business and we should not get involved.

Anonymous said...

It is none of our business and we should not get involved.

March 19, 2014 at 7:46 AM

That only works if you are strong enough to defend yourself when they come for you and no one else gets involved. We aren't.

Anonymous said...

Is that because of lack of weapons, the anti-gun cartels or just worthless turds in the administration that don't know how to fight a war and worries about PC instead of getting the job done.

Anonymous said...

I hope all goes well for Bret, that must be tough to deal with. Meanwhile I imagine that throws the selection process into turmoil, since presumably he was the top candidate. Who is #2?

March 16, 2014 at 7:08 AM


Join you in wishing him well, but he must have known who was going to get the nod from the selection committee before he wrote his note.

Anonymous said...

According to the American Cancer Society, the overall 5-year relative survival rate for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 63% and the 10-year relative survival rate is 51%.

Not the worst cancer in the world but not the easiest one to survive, either. Those who get it at a younger age (say, in their early 40s) usually do much better at the survival game. Anyone know how old Knapp is?

Anonymous said...

To Knapp,

Too much Information!

Anonymous said...

Too much Information!

March 23, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Why? Because it took away from you an opportunity to engage in endless negative speculation and typical conspiracy theorizing?

Anonymous said...

March 21, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Good luck Bret even though we did bump heads when you were a mechanical engineer in weapons at LLNL. Just shows how short life is and how we gave to much to the mission instead of taking care of what was really important in life. Take the next five or so years and do all the things you should have done in the first sixty and if there is someone who needs to hear some kind words before you depart, now is the time to tell them.

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