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James Peery to lead ORNL's Global Security Directorate


OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 29, 2018 -- James Peery, who led critical national security programs at Sandia National Laboratories and held multiple leadership positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory before arriving at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory last year, has been named associate laboratory director of Global Security at ORNL.


Peery succeeds Brent Park, who was recently confirmed as deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Park has led the Global Security Directorate since July 2010.


“James will be responsible for ensuring that ORNL is applying its research strengths to the highest priorities for our nation’s security, and his more than two decades of experience in creating successful initiatives makes him well qualified to lead the Global Security Directorate staff in its compelling mission,” said ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia.

In his first months at ORNL, Peery has already begun exploring the lab’s potential to focus its resources in fields such as data analytics, autonomous systems, high-performance computing, “born-qualified” additive manufacturing, quantum materials, and cyber-physical systems on emerging national security needs.

A member of the U.S. Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board, Peery began his career at Sandia in 1990, the year he graduated from Texas A&M University with a doctorate in nuclear engineering. In one of his first assignments at Sandia, he developed first-generation massively parallel algorithms and tools for use in high-energy physics applications in support of national security. He soon rose to be manager of computational physics and then manager of computational solid mechanics and structural dynamics.


In 2002, he moved to Los Alamos, where he led the advanced code and computing strategy that became a major element in NNSA’s stockpile stewardship program, as well as the team that acquired funding for the world’s first petaflops computer. He returned to Sandia in 2007 and was instrumental in creation of its quantum information sciences thrust and growth of its cyber programs.


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