Kim Budil Named Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

February 9, 2021
Livermore, Calif

Kim Budil will begin her new role as laboratory director on March 2, 2021. (Photo: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Hertz Fellow and Board Member Kim Budil has been named the director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the first woman to hold this position since the laboratory was established in 1952.

As LLNL Director, Budil will set the strategic vision for the laboratory and ensure successful execution of programs to advance science and technology for the nation and to maintain an outstanding and diverse workforce. Budil will lead the development and implementation of the laboratory’s scientific vision, goals and objectives, and serves as the laboratory’s highest-level liaison with government, public and private organizations.

Budil will begin her new role on March 2.

"Kim has proven scientific leadership and senior management experience across a broad range of Laboratory programs,” said Charlene Zettel, chair of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), which manages the laboratory for the Department of Energy (DOE). “Her passion and commitment to the lab's mission and people, and her ability to strategically manage the breadth of Livermore's science and technology capabilities and operations will serve the lab, its people and the nation well.

Budil will also provide the U.S. president, through the secretaries of Energy and Defense, an annual technical assessment of the state of the nuclear weapons stockpile including its safety, security and effectiveness, the state of the scientific capabilities that underwrite it and whether confidence in the stockpile can be maintained without a nuclear test.

"I am deeply honored to take on the role of Laboratory director,” Budil said. "Our lab has a storied history and continues this spirit of innovation and impact today through the efforts of our amazing workforce. The lab team has demonstrated time and again its resilience and commitment to our mission of service to the nation, and I look forward to working with all of my LLNL colleagues, LLNS and our partners across the nuclear security enterprise, NNSA, DOE and other agencies to ensure that this incredible institution continues to serve through outstanding science and technology."

Throughout her career, Budil has held a broad range of assignments across the lab as well as the University of California. Prior to being named director, she served as the principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration at the lab. She came to the lab in 1987 as a graduate student in Laser Programs and became a postdoc in the weapons program in 1994. Over her career she has held roles of increasing management responsibility across LLNL programs, including Weapons and Complex Integration, Global Security, the National Ignition Facility and Physical and Life Sciences.

Budil served twice as a detailee in Washington, D.C., first at the NNSA in the Office of Defense Science and then as a senior adviser to the undersecretary for Science in the Department of Energy.

She served as the vice president for national laboratories in the UC Office of the President, in which she was responsible for the governance and oversight of the Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley and Los Alamos national laboratories, as well as the development of strategic partnerships between the 10 UC campuses and the laboratories. She also was the executive committee governor on the LANS and LLNS Boards of Governors, and she is a Hertz Foundation Fellow and board member.

Budil received her Ph.D. in engineering/applied science from the University of California, Davis in 1994 and obtained her bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1987. She has published extensively in scientific and programmatic contexts and participated in numerous professional and community outreach activities.

Adapted from LLNL.