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President nominates Cook to fill NNSA post

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Donald L. Cook is tapped for Deputy Administrator Defense Programs

By The Staff

President Obama has announced his intent to nominate Donald L. Cook as Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Dr. Donald L. Cook was the Managing Director of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2009.  In this capacity, he was accountable for AWE’s performance on the contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defence, which includes support of the U.K. Trident warheads and development and sustainment of capability in nuclear weapon design, development, manufacturing, qualification, assembly, transport, support in service, and finally, decommissioning, dismantlement, and disposal. 

Prior to heading AWE, Dr. Cook worked at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico for 28 years in Pulsed Power Sciences, Microtechnologies, Infrastructure, and Security.  From 1999-2006, he was Director of the MESA Program Center, accountable for design and construction of the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) complex.

In 2003, he assumed Program Director responsibilities for Sandia’s Infrastructure Program and for Sandia’s Safeguards and Security Technologies Program, which responded to a new Design Basis Threat.  From 1977-1999, Dr. Cook led efforts in pulsed power accelerator design and experimentation, fusion research, hydrodynamics, radiography, diagnostic development, and computational code development.

He managed the Sandia Inertial Confinement Fusion program from 1984-1993 and was Director of Pulsed Power Sciences from 1993-1999.  Dr. Cook is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Physics (IOP).