A major overhaul of IT systems is underway at the top of the US Department of Energy, with the new chief of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) reportedly joining the transition team.
According to an internal memo obtained by The Washington Times, the two will replace Robert S. Litt, who left the DOE in February to become director of the NNSA.
The memo did not say whether the move was meant to replace Litt with a new leader, but the new leadership was not named.
Litt is one of a number of former top executives who left for other positions within the US government after leaving the DOE, including at the Office the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2012, the US Geological Survey in 2015, and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in 2017.
The department’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently in the process of naming the new director of OMB, a position that has yet to be filled.
In addition to Litt and the new head of OMI, the new president-elect, Donald Trump, has tapped a number top employees who are not from the DOE.
Among those named to replace the current director of NNSA, Thomas E. Pickering, is a former assistant secretary of defense, Michael A. Bowers, is an engineer with experience at the US Office of Naval Research and Robert D. Kaplan, a former deputy assistant secretary for research and technology, are also likely candidates.
The new head at OMI will be David T. Miller, who joined the DOE as a senior associate deputy secretary of energy and chief scientist in 2012.
Miller has previously served as director of DOE’s Office for Science and Technology Policy.
According the memo, Miller will oversee the Office for National Nuclear Intelligence (ONI), which will be responsible for identifying and testing and evaluating new and improved technologies for nuclear security, nuclear proliferation, and other security threats.
The ONI will also work to increase the reliability and security of the nuclear stockpile, develop national nuclear strategy, and ensure the continuity of the Department of Nuclear Energy’s nuclear infrastructure.
The memo did include a brief summary of Miller’s previous work at the DOE and the nuclear industry, which was detailed in a 2015 paper in Science magazine.
Miller has been widely praised by nuclear scientists for his work with DOE and its efforts to reduce the amount of plutonium that can be safely stored at the Savannah River Site, a site on the US east coast.
Miller is also expected to lead a transition team that will seek to remove redundant technology, such as software and hardware, that are out of date, said the memo.
While it is not clear exactly what Miller’s role will be in the new transition team, the memo said that he will work with OMI and the Office to develop and promote the modernization of the DOE’s legacy systems and technologies.
Miller’s past work with the DOE has been documented in several reports, including one by DOE’s inspector general in 2014.
Miller was not included in the DOE-NTI transition team in 2016.
In March, DOE announced that Miller was being nominated to become the new deputy director of ONI.
Miller will continue to serve as an assistant to DOE’s chief technology officer, a role that was previously occupied by retired Lt.
Gen. Michael T. Smith.