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 co-president and one of the three managing directors who run and oversee all aspects of leading global entertainment company, United Talent Agency (UTA). Spanning five offices with 1,250 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 vice chair of the Regents National Laboratories Committee.


Howanitz profile photo.

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.

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.

Gioconda profile photo.

Brig. Gen. Thomas Gioconda, USAF (retired), served 31 active military duty years in numerous command and staff positions in the ICBM field, including service as legislative advisor for two Chairmen of the JCS (Generals Powell and Shalikashvili), acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for Defense Programs, charter member of DTRA standup as Director of Nuclear Operations, and charter member of the NNSA startup as acting NA-10 and principal associate deputy for military applications.


Gioconda joined Bechtel in December 2001. He has been with Bechtel National for 19-years serving as transition manager for standup of operations in Kwajalein, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He also participated in several business development and operational improvement efforts across the DOE, DOD and NNSA enterprise. He has received the DOE Secretary Exceptional Service Award (Dec 2019), DOE Secretary’s Gold Award (August 2000), two NNSA Administrator’s Distinguished Service Awards (December 2019 and August 2001), and numerous military service awards.

In November 2019, Gioconda finished a nine-year term as Deputy Director of LLNL and currently serves as Nuclear Operations & Security Manager for Bechtel National in Reston, VA. He is a member of the STRATCOM Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC), Executive Board Member for the Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG), and a member of the Board of Governors for Livermore National Security LLC.


Powell profile photo.

Robert L. Powell is a Distinguished Professor 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, Gov. 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.


Blankenhorn profile photo.

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.


Leasure profile photo.

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. Leasure 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. Finally, finishing his career at Los Alamos as the Principal Associate Director for Operations and Business.

Leasure has a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from Florida State University, an master's 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. Leasure has received multiple awards from the NNSA and has received the Silver Snoopy award from the NASA Astronaut Corps.

Advisory Governors


Anastasio profile photo.

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, LCC
  • 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.


Degrasse profile photo.

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 Masters 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.



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. General 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.



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 (CPSs). He has attended board governance programs at Stanford University and UCLA, and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.



Koonin profile photo.

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 U.S. Navy and commanded U.S. Strategic Command for four years prior to retirement. 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. 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.

Ex-Officio Advisory Member


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