NRC announces senior staff changes

29 September 2015

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced senior personnel changes and office reorganizations as it moves to streamline its operations.

From early November, Mike Weber, currently deputy executive director for Material, Waste, Research, State, Tribal and Compliance Programs, will become director of the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, while Jennifer Uhle, currently deputy director for engineering in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, will become director of the Office of New Reactors. Current director of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards Catherine Haney will become Region II regional administrator in January, succeeding Victor McCree who has just assumed his position as Executive Director for Operations (EDO).

McCree's appointment as EDO, the highest-ranking career position in the agency with responsibility for overseeing the agency’s regulatory programs, was announced in August. He succeeds Mark Sartorius, who is to retire from the NRC on 30 December.

The position vacated by Weber will also absorb new corporate management responsibilities, and will be known as the Deputy EDO for Materials, Waste, Research, State, Tribal, Compliance Administration and Human Capital (DEDM), the NRC said, effectively reducing one deputy EDO position and moving the Office of Administration and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer under the newly titled post.

Darren Ash, the current deputy EDO for corporate management, will remain as the NRC's chief information officer, with the Office of Information Services renamed as the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

McCree said that the changes to senior executive positions and to the organization of the Office of the EDO had been inspired by "a desire to support agency streamlining efforts, nurture fresh perspectives and innovation, enhance learning and collaboration both across business lines and between headquarters and our regions; increase the breadth and diversity of leadership experience among the senior leadership team; and finally, support healthy executive succession planning."

The NRC is working to streamline its operations after its Project Aim 2020 initiative, launched in mid-2014, found that the regulator had expanded in anticipation of a wave of new reactor licence and other applications which had not been forthcoming because of changing economic conditions, especially reduced prices for natural gas.

Tasked with identifying ways to improve efficiency, safety, security and safeguards missions while streamlining processes and limiting costs, the team leading Project Aim 2020 reported earlier this year that the NRC could shrink by 10% by 2020.

NRC chairman Stephen Burns said that the agency faced the challenge of reducing in size, whilst becoming more efficient and delivering better value for money. "The steps announced today will put in place a management structure well suited to ensuring we accomplish our mission of protecting people and the environment even as we reduce our size and budget," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News