LANL names a new leader of public affairs

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By Roger Snodgrass

Los Alamos National Laboratory named Lisa Franklin Rosendorf on Tuesday to head the Communications and Government Affairs Division.

She takes the place of David McCumber, who has expressed his desire to return to the practice of law and has been reassigned to the office of Legal Council, according to a lab announcement.

“There is a real transformation underway as the laboratory becomes a 21st century hub for national security science,” Rosendorf said in a telephone interview this morning.

Among objectives over the next couple of years, she said, will be to engage the community and political leaders with a better understanding of that role and the other important research going on at the lab, not only in nuclear deterrence and threat reduction, but also energy, climate research and the many other areas in which the laboratory excels.

Most recently, Rosendorf was an associate director for public relations in the Americas for Ernst & Young, based at the company headquarters in New York City.

Ernst & Young is a professional services and auditing firm with 136,000 employees, $25 billion in annual revenues and global operations based in London.

“From that experience, I bring a lot of best practices on how to shape and maintain the reputation of an institution and build stakeholders’ support that can be applied to the needs of the lab,” she said.

Rosendorf has experience in strategic communications, media relations, community relations, crisis communications and government affairs.

Previously, she worked for more than eight years in public affairs for the independent power subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, one of the nation’s largest publicly held utility companies, first in Bethesda, Maryland, and later as director of public affairs and community relations in Boston.

Rosendorf said much of her experience in crisis management came from this period at PG&E.

“I did crisis management around power plants, and handled issues from environmental protests to union boycott threats to oil spills and fires,” she said.

Earlier, she was an account executive at E. Bruce Harrison Company in Washington, D.C., for clients including AT&T, Edison Electric Institute and the American Petroleum Institute.

Rosendorf grew up in Albuquerque. In 1987, She graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

“This is a homecoming for me,” she said. “I grew up in Albuquerque and I’m now in a position to take what I learned and to bring it back home to one of the most important institutions in my home state.”

She is married to Neal Rosendorf, an assistant professor of U.S. International History at Long Island University, who will join her in New Mexico. They have two children.

McCumber was named to what was then the Communications and External Relations Division in February 2003, after serving as chief of staff and general counsel to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

He began his duties shortly after Pete Nanos replaced John Brown following a series of business management problems at the laboratory.

He continued through the era of the contract competition and the first years under the new manager, Los Alamos National Security, LLC.