Parney Albright

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Parney Albright

Penrose “Parney” C. Albright was, until November 1, 2013, the director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.[1]

He currently serves as the Associated Director at Large, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Senior Advisor, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Intelligence advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), on assignment under an Interpersonel Agreement (IPA), where he supports IARPA as well as ODNI senior leadership on a variety of issues.

Between November 2011 and November 2013, he served as the Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and President of Lawrence Livermore National Security. LLNL receives ~1.5B/yr in federal funding, with ~6500 employees. It conducts a diverse set of research and development efforts in nuclear security (which includes stewardship of the nuclear weapons stockpile, nuclear non-proliferation and counter proliferation, and nuclear counterterrorism); efforts in domestic and international security (which include a diverse ensemble of activities in chemical and biological defense; explosives science; intelligence; critical infrastructure protection; cybersecurity; and conventional defense systems); and efforts in energy and the environment (which include activities in fossil fuel; climate modeling; smart grid; carbon capture and sequestration; and renewable energy). LLNL conducts these programs with world leading capabilities in science, computation, and engineering.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu welcomed Albright's appointment, saying, “As we work to accomplish the Department’s unique national security missions and make the critical investments required for the future of American innovation. I know we have an outstanding partner in Dr. Albright.”[2]

While serving as Director, Dr. Albright, informed by his broad experience with DoD and DHS, was outspoken on issues associated with DOE’s and NNSA’s governance of the National Laboratories, as well as on the need to expand the role of the National Laboratories in support of the broad set of national security missions. Dr. Albright argued for science investments in support of stockpile stewardship, and was instrumental in formulating and then promulgating a narrative for the National Ignition Facility that re-emphasized its role in stockpile stewardship. Dr. Albright was the first Laboratory Director to invest a large portion of his efforts working with the senior leadership in DoD, DHS, and the Intelligence Community (IC), successfully bringing the Laboratory’s capabilities to important national security missions. Dr. Albright also served on several national panels associated with various aspects of national security.

Internal to the Laboratory, Dr. Albright emphasized the need for the Laboratory to operate as “One Lab” where every part of the laboratory shared in the success and challenges of every other part; this represented a distinct cultural change for a laboratory that was divided along mission lines. As part of that, Dr. Albright also put in practice a transparent and collaborative decision making process at the laboratory, so that priorities and resource allocations would be based on labwide needs. He broadened the channels through which every level of the laboratory staff could better communicate with management; Dr. Albright was the first Laboratory Director to conduct a web chat with the entire Laboratory, and to have Facebook and Twitter accounts accessible to Laboratory staff. Dr. Albright also greatly expanded the use of personal electronic devices at the Laboratory. He was a consistent advocate for a diverse workforce, and reinvigorated succession planning at the laboratory. Of particular significance were the changes that Dr. Albright implemented at the National Ignition Facility in facility governance, and in broadening the scientific approaches and talent being applied to achieve the goal of ignition after the end of the National Ignition Campaign. These changes at NIF resulted in much improved relationships with the NIF user community, and in significant advances in ignition science.

Before he became Director, Dr. Albright served from December 2009 to November 2011 as Principal Associate Director for Global Security at LLNL. In that position Dr. Albright was responsible for applying LLNL’s multi-disciplinary science, technology, and engineering to anticipate, innovate and deliver responsive solutions for our nation’s challenges in national and homeland security; energy and the environment, and intelligence. While lading the Global Security DIrectorate, Dr. Albright emphasized developing and implementing strategies aimed at reducing the barriers faced in deploying Laboratory capabilities outside the traditional NNSA nuclear weapons sponsor; developing and implementing policies and procedures that ensure the delivery to those sponsors of high quality products, on time and on budget; invigorating personnel development through succession planning and career-enhancing assignments; and promoting an institutional culture within the Laboratory.

Before he joined LLNL, Dr. Albright served from August 2005–November 2009 as President of Civitas Group LLC [1], which provided commercial and government clients with technology evaluations, market analyses, proposal services, mergers and acquisitions analyses, and management consulting. While at Civitas Dr. Albright led the analytic team in support of the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. In addition, Dr. Albright led the development and publication of a comprehensive Biodefense Net Assessment under DHS sponsorship. Civitas has a special relationship with a venture capital firm, for which Dr. Albright served on their investment board.

In October 2003 Dr. Albright was confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security in the Department of Homeland Security. He served in that position until July 2005. His responsibilities included developing the multi-year strategic planning guidance and budget execution for the complete portfolio of programs comprising the Science and Technology Directorate. Beginning in FY03 with a budget allocation of approximately $700M, at the time of Dr. Albright’s departure the FY06 budget allocation exceeded $1.4B. Dr. Albright served as principal scientific advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security on issues associated with science, technology, and the threat of biological, nuclear, and chemical terrorism. On these issues he served as the Department’s primary representative to other US Government agencies, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and foreign governments. As the policy lead for the Department’s research, development, test and evaluation activities, Dr. Albright oversaw associated intra-Departmental relationships. He served as the principal policy point of contact for the Directorate with the business community, external science and technology professional organizations and societies, private sector interest groups, and with non-federal government agencies on issues of science and technology policy. He oversaw the development of the regulations implementing the SAFETY Act, along with the associated processes and infrastructure, and was responsible for implementing the Department’s SAFETY Act policies.[3]

Between January 2002 and the startup of the Department of Homeland Security Dr. Albright concurrently held the positions of Senior Director for Research and Development in the Office of Homeland Security and Assistant Director for Homeland and National Security within the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He was the lead official within the White House responsible for providing advice to the Executive Office of the President on science and technology issues surrounding homeland security, and on the threat of biological, nuclear, and chemical terrorism. High priority issues at that time included combating biological threats; preventing nuclear smuggling; border entry/exit systems, airport baggage screening systems, and biometric technologies; and developing and organizing the homeland security research and development enterprise. He served as lead author for those portions of the President’s National Strategy for Homeland Security dealing with catastrophic threats and science and technology.

In July 2002 Dr. Albright was asked to lead the planning for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Directorate of the proposed Department of Homeland Security; this later evolved into the Science and Technology Directorate. In this latter capacity Dr. Albright conceptualized the policies and procedures for the new Directorate, including a rigorous planning, programming and budgeting process; guided the development of its initial programmatic activities; developed the budget; developed the organizational concept; and conducted the initial staffing. Throughout this period Dr. Albright was responsible for working with Congress and other Departments to achieve the Bush Administration's vision for the new Department.

Between 1999 and being asked to serve in the White House after the events of September 11, 2001, Dr. Albright worked in the Advanced Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While there he developed and managed programs associated with special operations, intelligence collection, molecular biology, communications, and maritime operations.

From 1986 until joining DARPA, Dr. Albright worked at the federally funded Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). While there, Dr. Albright became an internationally recognized expert on ballistic and cruise missile defense systems; space based infrared and launch detection systems; and weapons and sensor system design and analysis. He has served on a number of prominent national-level panels related to missile defense, including the “Welch” Panels on National Missile Defense, the Congressionally-mandated reviews of the Patriot PAC-3 system, and the panel on risk reduction for the Navy Area Defense System. For several years he led study efforts for DoD in ballistic and cruise missile defense, including technical and performance analyses of space-based and airborne laser programs; sea-based ballistic missile defense concepts; boost-phase intercept systems; and national missile defense concepts. He served as technical lead for the joint US-Israeli Short Range Rocket Defense study reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense and the Israeli Minister of Defense. He led the study for the Deputy Secretary of Defense that assessed solutions to the MLRS threat in Korea. He was the technical lead for the Theater Air and Missile Defense Modernization panel of the first Quadrennial Defense Review. Dr. Albright initiated and led the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense study for OSD and the Joint Staff. Dr. Albright served on several national panels in the area of ballistic missile launch detection systems, including the so-called Everett Panel on space based infrared satellites and the Space-based Infrared Architecture Study. Dr. Albright led studies associated with intelligence collection systems, such as hyperspectral sensors for surveillance, and automatic target recognition systems. He was asked by ASD(C3I) to assess future imagery requirements, and their impact on the mix between space-based and airborne collection capabilities. In addition, his analytical skills led to assignment in areas outside of his primary interests. For example, he served on the national panel that reviewed the nerve gas transport modeling of the Khamisiyah release event in Iraq. He also led the analytic team supporting the 1999 Defense Science Board Summer Study, with a focus on the very rapid deployment of ground combat forces and their sustainment. Dr. Albright has designed and executed several experiments, including one carried out by the crew of the Space Shuttle (STS 39).

Albright received his bachelor's degree in physics from the George Washington University, and his master's and doctorate in physics from the University of Maryland.[4]