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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

At A Challenging Time, A New Lab Manager is Named At UC

Long article and nice recap on management of the labs... excerpts....
http://www.independentnews.com/news/article_75ff1348-d6b4-11e3-b689-001a4bcf887a.html

At A Challenging Time, A New Lab Manager is Named At UC
May 8, 2014
By Jeff Garberson

A 27-year employee of LLNL was appointed University of California Vice President for Laboratory Management last week.

Kimberly Budil, highly regarded for technical and managerial roles at the Laboratory and in Washington, D.C., replaces Glenn Mara, who retired after serving for nearly two years. Mara was also an LLNL veteran.

Budil is the first woman to hold the position, which grew out of an office created in the early 1990s to take responsibility for UC’s increasingly challenging negotiations with the federal government over continued management of [LLNL and LANL]...

While working at LLNL, Budil earned a PhD at ... UC Davis applied science department. Her undergraduate degree in physics came from the University of Illinois...

Budil’s appointment as VP for Laboratory Management also makes her a member of the executive committee of the Board of Governors of [LANS/LLNS]...

She will be responsible for overseeing University management of those two laboratories and LBNL....

Her experience includes tours in Washington, D.C., as well as increasing responsibilities at the Laboratory. Most recently at LLNL, she served as manager of the Nuclear Counterterrorism Program in the Global Security directorate. She has held positions in Weapons and Complex Integration, the National Ignition Facility and elsewhere...include working the Office of Defense Science of the NNSA and serving as a senior advisor to the Undersecretary for Science of the DOE...

One major and possibly insurmountable problem is that the federal agency for which the two laboratories work, the NNSA is widely recognized as failing, if not failed...

Given frequent gridlock in Washington even over seemingly simple budget priorities, it is not clear that a major federal agency can be reformed in the foreseeable future, according to several senior observers.

A second problem is that the laboratories have to deal with sharply higher overhead costs today because they are operated by for-profit organizations that demand high management fees and have to pay millions of taxes every year. These costs come out of laboratory budgets that might otherwise go to research.

Layoffs have occurred at both laboratories. Sharp reductions in federal spending make future support uncertain at best..

The increased overhead costs resulted in large part from a congressional decision to remove UC as sole manager of the two defense laboratories. For decades, UC wanted and received no management fee for operating the labs...

When the federal government insisted in the early 1990s that the University must accept a management fee, UC agreed only on condition that it would use the fee to pay off any fines or penalties that the government imposed. The remainder of the fee would be returned to the laboratories to support research, continuing the University’s non-profit (and untaxed) status...

The office that Budil will now lead was responsible for those negotiations...

It is this complex history that forms some of the background of the office that Budil now leads. The University today plays an important role in the functioning of LLNL and LANL, but it is no longer the only player. According to observers, nor is there any confidence locally or in Washington that its federal sponsor, the NNSA, is well qualified to fund nationally important scientific work.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Budil is a lightweight.

Anonymous said...

Spoken by a "heavyweight" no doubt. Credentials look pretty solid to me, not a set of experience and capability that many can match. At that level, it is not about scientific expertise, but about perspective, broad experience, and an impeccable network of highly placed colleagues, that leads to effectiveness.

Anonymous said...

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. What does the job actually require? Many types of these high level positions is just a place holder, and it's the name and connection of the institution that matters, rather than the individual.

Anonymous said...

She is known and liked in DC, and that is her biggest asset to the lab, particularly to global security. How that translates to effectiveness at UC, time will tell. LBL goes after a lot of the same money from the same sources, and is still managed directly by UC, so I would expect more money to flow there.

Anonymous said...



It speaks volumes about UCs intentions to manage the labs that they went from Mara to Budil.

A comparable hire to follow Mara would have been, Anastasio, Miller, Tartar or Hecker. Budil has hundreds of peers. The job is no longer as important as previously.

Anonymous said...

There is no precedent for ex-lab directors for this position. For all of them, except Anastasio (and of course Nanos) it would be a step down in national prestige. And probably a return to a hell they hoped never to see again.

Anonymous said...

Budil may not be a leading scientific expert in any one thing, but she's hardly a lightweight and does not really have many peers. Solid connections and perspective are what matter in this role.

Anonymous said...

She is a lightweight. Credited with zero position papers to her name.

Anonymous said...

Lightweight is what NNSA needs. Shrinking stockpile? The likes of geatness make their marks elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

All the people claiming "lightweight" obviously have her credentials and more and are clearly "heavyweights." HaHaHaHa.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is overlooking this significant fact. Kim lived through the pain and unfairness of the move from UC management of LLNL - not as a protected high level "key manager" but as an employee and as a program manager dealing with the trauma the change caused.

She had no involvement at all in setting up the two fictitious robber baron LLCs now financially raping LLNL and LANL. Her hands are clean. She has no ownership in the decision or stake in protecting them.

She has seen first hand the little value - at least at LLNL - that Bechtel provides to operation/management of the lab.

She has directly felt the weight of the overhead tax placed on her work/program to pay the huge fee that Bechtel takes in annual for basically doing nothing at LLNL.

So I don't want another ex-lab ULM who directly profited from the LLCs sitting in UCOP lab management running the LLCs and protecting them.

If anyone has the cohones to stand up to the industrial partners, she is probably the one.

Anonymous said...

If she is more than a lightweight, then please enlighten us as to what she has done in her career.

Anonymous said...

"She is liked"

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the "meritocracy"

Anonymous said...

Being liked means not being a threat to the social status of other do-nothing's in power. If she were highly accomplished, she would be the last person to be selected for the promotion. These are the people safeguarding our nuclear stockpile. Luckily the size is trending downward.

Anonymous said...

If she is more than a lightweight, then please enlighten us as to what she has done in her career.

May 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Try reading the top post.

Anonymous said...

These are the people safeguarding our nuclear stockpile.

May 18, 2014 at 1:58 PM

How exactly are they safeguarding it? If you work in the LLNL or LANL weapons programs, YOU are safeguarding it.

Anonymous said...

Didn't she publish an influential paper regarding Dueterium EoS using laser driven compression? That should count for an accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

The top post says it all... A par performance for a "manager" who has no significant accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Get over it. She will be the UC VP for lab management, like it or not. Unless you don't have your own best interests in mind (a common affliction on this blog), you'll learn to deal with her. Or, you can poison your own well (again). Such stupidity.

Anonymous said...

The truth is just too bitter to swallow, eh, neckbeard?

Anonymous said...

calling a bureaucrat from LLNL mediocre is like calling water wet.

Anonymous said...

May 18, 2014 at 7:31 PM has fed you idiots the truth whether you choose to accept it or not. You can keep bitching about it, if it makes you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Larry, don't let the posts get to you. get a grip. you're the only one angry here.

Anonymous said...

Sad that blatant falsehoods and disingenuousness don't elicit anger any more in the US. PC means never having to call someone a liar. And lies are just perfectly valid "alternative viewpoints."

Anonymous said...

She is one of the authors of that famous LLNL D2 Laser EoS papers, no?

Anonymous said...

Yes. I mean no. No?

Anonymous said...

She was a minor author who probably regrets putting her name on it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah she wasn't one of the recipients of the APS self-congratulatory awards.

Anonymous said...

"Budil is the first woman to hold the position, which grew out of an office created in the early 1990s to take responsibility for UC’s increasingly challenging negotiations with the federal government over continued management of [LLNL and LANL]..."

Come on. The first 5 words are the gorilla in the room.

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