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ANS Member Rita Baranwal Nominated for DOE Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy

President Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts

ANS supports the recent announcement by President Trump to nominate Dr. Rita Baranwal of Pennsylvania, to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Nuclear Energy) at the Department of Energy. Dr. Baranwal is an active ANS member and currently serves as the Director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Below is a copy of the ANS letter sent October 16 to the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell in support of the nomination.

Dear Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell:

On behalf of the 11,000 members of the American Nuclear Society, I am pleased to support Dr. Rita Baranwal for the position of Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy. I firmly believe that DOE would be well served with Dr. Baranwal leading the Office of Nuclear Energy, and I urge you to swiftly confirm her nomination.

Dr. Baranwal currently serves as the Director of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) at the Idaho National Laboratory. She is responsible for providing the nuclear industry and other stakeholders access to DOE’s state-of-the-art research, development expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure to achieve faster and cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies. She previously worked as Director of Technology Development and Director, Core Engineering/Nuclear Fuel at Westinghouse Electric Company. She is also a member of the advisory boards at University of California-Berkeley's Nuclear Engineering Department and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Materials Research Laboratory.

Dr. Baranwal is a widely-known and universally respected leader within ANS. A member since 2008, she has served on numerous ANS committees and working groups and is currently Chair of the ANS Materials Science and Technology Division Executive Committee. She brings a thoughtful approach toward nuclear policy that is firmly grounded in scientific and technical competence.

ANS is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 international scientific and technical organization composed of approximately 11,000 engineers, scientists, administrators and educators representing over 1,600 corporations, educational institutions and government agencies. We do not make these endorsements lightly – we have a thorough and rigorous internal process for supporting the best candidates for nuclear-related Executive Branch positions. However, in Dr. Baranwal’s case, the choice was clear.

We strongly support Dr. Baranwal for the NE-1 position.


John Kelly
President, American Nuclear Society

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