Dr. Charles F. McMillan became Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and President of Los Alamos National Security, LLC in June 2011. The Laboratory is a principal contributor to the U.S. Department of Energy mission to maintain the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Los Alamos uses innovative science and technology to enhance global nuclear security and protect the world. Los Alamos has an annual operating budget of approximately $2.45 billion, roughly 10,000 employees, and a nearly 40-square-mile site featuring some of the most specialized scientific equipment and supporting infrastructure in the world.
Since his appointment, McMillan has guided Los Alamos through continuing high levels of mission execution. He has signed six annual assessment reports to the President and Congress evaluating the Los Alamosdesigned weapons in the stockpile. Under McMillan’s leadership, the Laboratory has continued to innovate new techniques and tools to ensure that nation’s deterrent remains safe, reliable, andeffective. For example, Los Alamos debuted and has exercised novel systems that provide exponential improvements in data-gathering for subcritical nuclear tests.
Prior to becoming Laboratory Director, McMillan served as the Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs, responsible for the science, technology, engineering, and infrastructure enabling the Laboratory to fulfill its nuclear deterrent mission. McMillan directed research that supported the technical analysis necessary to ensure stockpile safety, security, and effectiveness. This included small-scale materials experiments through fully integrated hydrotests that provided essential modeling and simulation data necessary for validation in the absence of full-scale nuclear testing.
McMillan has more than 30 years of scientific and leadership experience in weapons science, stockpile certification, experimental physics, and computational science. He began his career as an experimental physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1983, where he held a variety of research and management positions for two decades.
He holds a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Washington Adventist University. He has earned two DOE Awards of Excellence for his work in developing an innovative holographic tool that enhances the ability of scientists to predict nuclear performance. He is a frequent speaker on the vital role of national laboratories for the nation, and the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in cultivating the talent necessary to sustaining that role in the future.
He resides in Los Alamos, NM ,with his wife Janet, with whom he raised three children.