LLNS BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) is managed by a board of governors, a group of key scientific, academic, national security and business leaders from the LLNS partner companies. The LLNS’ management team includes Bechtel National, Inc., the University of California, BWX Technologies Inc., Amentum and teaming subcontractor Battelle Memorial Institute. The board was created to provide oversight to the Laboratory and ensure LLNS delivers the best combination of scientific research and development, business management and operations, national security and nuclear safety in support of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s missions.

Biographical Sketches

Jay Sures

Jay Sures is Vice Chairman of United Talent Agency (UTA). Spanning five offices with over 2,000 employees worldwide, Sures oversees the agency’s television, news broadcasting and speakers' division. He has been with the company since its inception in 1991. UTA’s prestigious television practice represents Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning creators, actors, writers, producers, and directors working in scripted and unscripted formats for broadcast, cable, syndicated, direct to consumer and digital platforms. Sures led UTA’s emergence as the market leader in news and broadcast representation. UTA News & Broadcast now represents many of the most prominent and respected news anchors and media personalities in the business today. For his career work as a television representative, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2016.

Sures formerly served as vice chairman of the UCLA Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation and was awarded their Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2007. He co-founded the UTA Charitable Foundation and is the former vice chairman and treasurer of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Hollywood’s largest and oldest charity, responsible for the annual “Stand Up To Cancer” event that has become a global brand in the world of cancer research. In 2014, Sures was honored at the Chrysalis’ Annual Butterfly Ball, which recognizes entertainment professionals for their creative excellence and philanthropic endeavors. He was appointed to and served on the Television Academy’s Executive Committee in 2014 and also has served as an assistant visiting professor in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media at UCLA. Raised in Los Angeles, Sures earned his B.A. in economics from UCLA. He was appointed UC Board of Regents in January 2019 by Governor Brown and reappointed in March 2020 by Governor Newsom to a term ending in 2032. He serves as Chair of the Regents National Laboratories Committee.

 

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John Howanitz is general manager of Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental’ s nuclear Security and Operations business line. He oversees a portfolio of U.S. government projects that includes management and operation of such Department of Energy sites as Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the Y-12 National Security complex in Tennessee and the Pantex Plant in Texas.

A 39-year Bechtel-veteran, Howanitz has played major roles on a wide variety of projects including: fossil power plants, commercial nuclear power plants, combined-cycle natural gas units, and waste-to-energy facilities. He has led teams managing and operating the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, the Nevada Test Site, and Y-12 as well as building a launch complex at Cape Canaveral for NASA. Howanitz was elected a principal vice president of Bechtel in 2011 and senior vice president in 2014. He also serves as a member of the University of Tennessee Engineering Advisory Board.

Howanitz holds a bachelor’s of arts degree and a bachelor’s of science degree from King’s College in Pennsylvania.

 

Dena Volovar

Dena Volovar, is executive vice president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental (NS&E) global business unit. She has more than 25 years of experience in project and functional management, including several leadership roles on multi-billion-dollar construction projects. Her portfolio includes government and commercial projects in the nuclear power, nuclear security, space, defense, and nuclear waste management industries. She also is general manager of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Decommissioning, and Environment business line which encompasses U.S. Department of Energy projects as well as commercial nuclear decommissioning work. 

Prior to her current role, Volovar was project director of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Uranium Processing Facility project, a $6.5 billion one-of-a-kind complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for processing highly enriched uranium for U.S. nuclear defense and naval nuclear propulsion.  Previously, Volovar was manager of functions for NS&E, responsible for the overall management of the engineering, procurement, construction, project controls, information systems & technology, office & administrative, and startup & operations functions for the business unit. Volovar served as project manager overseeing the EPC of the Sabine Pass Liquified Natural Gas facility project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.  In the commercial nuclear industry, she has been a project manager of a combined license (COL) project for Florida Power & Light, a shift outage manager for a nuclear steam supply system replacement project, and as the operations manager and lead engineer for Bechtel’s Nuclear Operating Plant Services group. Volovar was elected a Bechtel senior vice president in 2019, holds a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

 

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Robert L. Powell  is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and of Food Science and Technology at the University of California (UC) Davis. He joined the UC Davis College of Engineering in 1984. Powell served as Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from 2002 to 2011. He was Special Assistant to the Provost from 1996 to 1999, and served as Chair of the Planning Committee and Executive Committee of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. He has been an active member of the UC Davis Academic Senate since 1988. From 2008-2011 he was the Chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate. In 2011-2012 he served as Vice Chair of the UC Systemwide Academic Senate and in 2012- 2013 he was Chair. In September 2013, Governor Brown appointed Powell as Science Advisor to the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. Powell has been a consultant to numerous companies and government agencies. Prior to coming to UC Davis, Powell was a Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at McGill University in Montréal. He earned his Bachelor's (1972), Master's (1973) and Ph.D. (1978) in Mechanics and Materials Science at Johns Hopkins University.

 

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Craig Leasure  joined the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) in November 2018 as the Associate Vice President for National Laboratories (AVPNL) and was appointed Vice President for National Laboratories October 1, 2019. Craig interfaces with executive level managers at the three UC-affiliated National Laboratories, the LLC partners, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to provide management oversight and establish strategic plans, objectives, policies, and processes related to Programs and Operations at LBNL, LANL and LLNL. He represents the University as well as LBNL, and the LLCs to the leadership of the DOE and the NNSA on lab business, operations, programmatic, and science and technology activities, he also represents the University in organization-wide and system-wide meetings and discussions. He provides leadership and collaboration with UCNL staff and directly supervises three Executive Directors and the Chief of Staff and Director of National Lab Governance, providing advice and counsel, training, mentoring as well as performance evaluations.

Leasure began his career with Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Company, NASA White Sands Test Facility, his last two years there as the Department Manager of the Laboratory Test Department. His department conducted scientific, engineering and test operations at two major facilities for hazardous testing, including explosives, rocket fuels and oxidizers, high-pressure gaseous hydrogen and oxygen testing, and liquid hydrogen and oxygen testing.

At Los Alamos National Laboratory, he served in increasingly responsible line and program management capacities starting as a Group Leader then Program Manager, Office Director, acting Program Director, and Deputy Associate Director in both operations and in weapons programs, five years as the Deputy Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs with the last 20 months as the acting Principal Associated Director for Weapons Programs running the nuclear weapons program at Los Alamos. He finished his career at Los Alamos as the Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business.

Leasure has a BS degree in Chemistry from Florida State University, an MS degree in Chemistry from Eastern New Mexico University, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from New Mexico State University. He has written or co-written more than 10 scientific papers and holds one patent for an improved ion mobility spectrometer (IMS). The IMS detects picogram quantities of chemicals, including rocket propellants, explosives, and gases. Craig has received multiple awards from the NNSA and has received the Silver Snoopy award from the NASA Astronaut Corps.

 

dukes

Heatherly H. Dukes is president of BWX Technologies, Inc.’s (BWXT) Technical Service Group (TSG).

As president, Dukes oversees critical work for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), especially the Office of Science missions, Environmental Management clean-up initiatives, Naval Reactors deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) priorities, and operations and maintenance activities that support NASA’s Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket in the world.

Dukes has more than 31 years of experience in the nuclear industry including 29 years of diverse management roles in project management, operations, engineering, waste management, maintenance, nuclear safety and criticality safety, and D&D. She joined the Company in 1995 and most recently served as the chief operating officer for TSG.

During her career, Dukes has held key positions at the Savannah River site in Aiken, South Carolina, West Valley Demonstration Project in New York and Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC in Portsmouth, Ohio. Her depth and breadth of accomplishments include reactor restarts, deactivation of 146 facilities, demolition of 15 facilities, construction support for the Salt Waste Processing Facility and design and construction of an outdoor cask storage system for vitrified high-level waste canisters. She was also responsible for the oversight and governance of the largest assembled non-destructive assay team in the country to perform characterization of enrichment facilities being prepared for decommissioning.

 

Advisory Governors

 

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Michael R. Anastasio  is the former Laboratory Director for Los Alamos National Laboratory (he retired in 2011) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is the only person to ever hold both positions. He began his career at LLNL as a physicist dealing with the science of nuclear weapons. During this tenure, Anastasio was instrumental in the development and execution of the national Stockpile Stewardship Program, which uses a fundamental science-based approach to sustain the safety, security, and reliability of America's nuclear weapons stockpile. He has served in the capacity of scientific adviser at the Department of Energy and has provided scientific advice to senior members of the government on various national security science issues.

Current roles:

  • Member of the Defense Department Defense Science Board
  • Part of the Strategic Advisory Group of the U.S. Strategic Command
  • Member of the Board of Governors for Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
  • Member of the Corporation of the Draper Laboratory

    Previous boards and committee positions:
     
  • State Department International Security Advisory Board
  • Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the nuclear Security Enterprise
  • National Academy of Sciences Committee on Peer Review and Design Competition in the NNSA National Security Laboratories.

He has received numerous commendations and is widely recognized for his leadership in national security science and the safe stewardship of nuclear weapons. He is the recipient of the DOE/NNSA Gold Medal, the Distinguished Alumni Award-SUNY Stony Brook, and the DOE Weapons Recognition of Excellence Award for technical leadership in nuclear design.

Education: Ph.D. and M.A. in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from the Stony Brook University, a B.A. in Physics, with Honors, from Johns Hopkins University.

 

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Bob DeGrasse is Vice President and Manager for Government Affairs with Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI), responsible for government relations and congressional affairs related to BNI's work in nuclear and homeland security, ballistic missile defense and naval reactors. He has more than 25 years of government experience, most recently serving as the Staff Lead for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. He also served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, acting Chief Operating Officer of the NNSA, and Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for NNSA's Defense Programs. He holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in history from Stanford University.

 

Jose Hernandez

Jose Hernandez is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Tierra Luna Engineering, LLC, an aerospace company. Mr. Hernandez previously served as President of PT Strategies at PT Capital/PT Strategies from 2013 to 2016. Before that, he was the Executive Director of Strategic Operations at MEI Technologies from 2011 to 2012.

Hernandez worked at NASA Johnson Space Center from 2001 to 2011, where he was an astronaut, legislative analyst, branch chief and materials research engineer. He was on the STS-128 shuttle mission, during which he oversaw the transfer of more than 18,000 pounds of equipment between the shuttle and the International Space Station and helped with robotics operations. The STS-128 mission traveled more than 5.7 million miles in just under two weeks.

He also held numerous roles at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) including program manager and engineer. While at LLNL, he worked in helping develop the X-ray laser as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative, the nuclear nonproliferation arena helping the newly formed Russian federation establish materials, protection, control and accountability measures, and engaged in work with a commercial partner that resulted in the creation of the first full-field digital mammography imaging system, used for the earlier detection of breast cancer. Aside from leading Tierra Luna Engineering, Hernandez is a vineyard farmer and produces his own line of wines under the label of Tierra Luna Cellars, Inc. He also has a foundation called The Jose Hernandez Reaching for the Stars Foundation that focuses on awareness of STEAM careers for kids in the Central Valley.

He is a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens and Latinos in Science and Engineering.

Hernandez earned a Master of Science degree in Electronic Engineering, Signals, and Systems from University of California, Santa Barbara and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Pacific. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees from La Alianza Internacional, AHCASA de Marruecos, Universidad Michoacan de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Marymount University, University of Laverne, Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, National Hispanic University, and University of the Pacific.

He was appointed as a Regent in August 2021 by Governor Newsom to a term expiring in 2033.
 

Ex-Officio Advisory Member
 

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James A. Blankenhorn is a Senior Vice President for Operations of the Nuclear & Environment Strategic Business Unit of Amentum and is the High Level Waste and National Nuclear Security Administration Sector Lead. He oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations and strategic planning and initiatives. He has management responsibility for work with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and government and commercial nuclear clients for the management and operation of complex nuclear and chemical sites, project management at high-hazard facilities, safety management, waste management, nuclear material management/ treatment, and technology development.  Blankenhorn serves on the Board of Directors for Nuclear Canadian Operations, and the Board of Managers for Savannah River Remediation and the East Tennessee Technology Park. Blankenhorn also serves on the Board of Governors for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Throughout his career, Blankenhorn has served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve and is currently a Brigadier General.  His experience includes development, training, staffing and doctrine development for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Forces, National and International Consequence Management Operations, and Defense Support to Civilian Agencies

Blankenhorn was previously the Recovery Manager and Deputy Project Manager and Chief Operating Officer for Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM.  He successfully led the nearly three-year effort that resulted in the resumption of DOE transuranic waste transportation and disposition.

He also has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Perma-Fix Environmental Services: Deputy Project Manager for West Valley Environmental Services, LLC; Program Director for the Waste Disposition Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory; and various leadership positions at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, including Management and Operations Chief Engineer, deputy Chief Engineer for the material disposition organization and deputy area project operations manager for the Waste Management Area Project.

 

Independent Governors

 

Chilton profile photo.

General Kevin Chilton  completed a 34 1/2 year Air Force career as Commander of U.S. Strategic Command from 2007 to 2011, where he was responsible for the plans and operations for all U.S. forces conducting strategic deterrence and the Department of Defense's space and cyberspace operations. Prior to this assignment, General Chilton commanded at the wing, numbered air force, major command, and unified combatant command levels including serving as Commander of Air Force Space Command from 2006 to 2007. He flew operational assignments in the R-4C and F-15 and, as an Air Force Test Pilot, conducted weapons testing in various models of the F-4 and F-15. He also served 11 years as a NASA astronaut, where he flew as the Commander of STS-76, his third Space Shuttle mission, and served as the Deputy Program Manager for Operations for the International Space Station Program. Chilton is a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force Academy, with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Engineering Sciences, a Columbia University Guggenheim Fellow with a Master of Sciences degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force pilot training and test pilot schools. He also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Creighton University. General Chilton currently serves as an independent consultant and as a director for Anadarko Petroleum, Level 3 Communications, Orbital ATK, and Schafer corporations. He is a trustee for the Aerospace Corporation and the Air Force Academy Falcon Foundation.

 

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Steve E. Koonin  was appointed as the founding Director of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress in April 2012. That consortium of academic, corporation, and government partners will pursue research and education activities to develop and demonstrate informatics technologies for urban problems in the “living laboratory” of New York City. Prior to his NYU appointment, Koonin served as the second Under Secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy from May 2009 thru November 2011. In that capacity, he oversaw technical activities across the Department's science, energy, and security activities and led the Department's first Quadrennial Technology for energy. Before joining the government, Koonin spent 5 years as Chief Scientist for BP, plc. where he played a central role in establishing the Energy Bioscience Institute. Koonin was a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech from 1975-2006 and was the Institute's Provost for almost a decade. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the JASON advisory group. Koonin holds a BS in Physics from Caltech and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from MIT (1975) and is an adjunct staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

 

Mies profile photo.

Richard Mies  is the CEO of The Mies Group, Ltd. and provides strategic planning and risk assessment advice and assistance to clients on international security, energy, defense, and maritime issues. A distinguished graduate of the Naval Academy, he completed a 35-year career as a nuclear submariner in the US Navy and commanded US Strategic Command for four years prior to retirement. Admiral Mies served as a Senior Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation and as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hicks and Associates, Inc, a subsidiary of SAIC. He also served as the Chairman of the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee and as the Chairman of the Board of the Navy Mutual Aid Association. He presently serves as the Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Group of US Strategic Command and Chairman of the Naval Submarine League. He is a member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the Boards of Governors of Los Alamos National Security and Lawrence Livermore National Security, and a member of the Board of Directors of Babcock and Wilcox, Exelon, and the US Naval Academy Foundation. Admiral Mies completed post-graduate education at Oxford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Harvard University. He holds a Master's Degree in Government Administration and International Relations.

 

henry

James H. Henry is a business advisor and board member of several entities. He is a retired partner (2018) with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC), the global accounting and consulting firm. Prior to his retirement, he was Managing Partner of PwC's San Francisco area business. His numerous other responsibilities included Vice Chair - Industries & Sectors on PwC's national leadership team and leader of their Health Industries and Technology groups. Henry currently serves on the board of directors of Unison Energy, Spindletop Health Acquisition Corp. and Crytica Security LLC. In addition, he is a Senior Advisor for Boyden, a global executive search and leadership consulting firm. Throughout his career, he has served on boards of civic and community organizations, including the San Francisco Symphony and Bay Area Council.

Henry is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in California and Texas, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). He has attended board governance programs at Stanford University and UCLA and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.