Breaking News: Sandia National Laboratories taps new director

-A A +A
By The Staff

ALBUQUERQUE — The Sandia Corp. board of directors today announced the appointment of Paul J. Hommert as president of Sandia Corp. and director of Sandia National Laboratories, effective July 9.


Hommert, currently Sandia’s executive vice president and deputy laboratories director for the nuclear weapons program, will succeed Thomas O. Hunter, who has announced his decision to retire.


“I am pleased to announce the selection of Paul Hommert as the next Laboratories director at Sandia,” said Marillyn A. Hewson, chairman of the Sandia Corp.’s board of directors and executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Electronic Systems business area. “Paul brings to his new assignment an exceptional record of leadership and achievement, backed by nearly 34 years of diverse nuclear weapons and national security experience.


He is uniquely qualified to lead the Labs into the future.”


Hommert began his career with Sandia in 1976 and currently leads Sandia’s nuclear weapons programs. In this role, Hommert manages over 3,000 staff members and is responsible for the oversight of engineering support and design for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.


Hommert also served as vice president of Sandia’s California Laboratory and led Sandia’s homeland security and defense strategies.


Hommert’s career spans multiple institutions. He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 2003 to 2006, where he led the Applied Physics Division (known within the nuclear weapons community as “X” division).


Hommert also worked for three years as the director of research and applied science at the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, which provides and maintains that nation’s nuclear deterrent.


“Sandia has always been a leader in national security, innovation, and science and technology,” said Hommert. “I now have the honor of leading some of the finest engineering and scientific talent in the most important and sensitive national security challenges you can imagine. It’s a responsibility I relish, and one I am proud to undertake.”


Hommert earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.


Hewson praised Tom Hunter’s service and dedication as Sandia’s director for the past five years. “Tom has led the Labs with distinction and with exceptional dedication to our nation and its security,” she said. “His 43-year career has been marked by an overriding commitment to national service, and to leading the Labs’ evolution to address a variety of global security challenges.”


Hunter was recently asked by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to assist in coordinating the effort across the Department of Energy’s national laboratories to support BP’s response to the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. 


Hunter has played a key role in assisting with those efforts and will continue to advise the federal and industry scientists and engineers engaged in this critical activity.