Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311959

Directorate: Laboratory Director's Office

Division: Performance Management

Job Description

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to transforming the world through courageous discovery and innovation. With an annual operating budget of $1.1 billion and 5,000 staff members, PNNL creates science and technology that inspire and enable the world to live prosperously, safely, and securely. By joining our team, you’ll be working to advance the frontiers of science and address some of the most challenging problems in energy, the environment, and national security.

At PNNL, you’ll find an innovative, fast-paced, collaborative environment, and excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), health insurance, flexible work schedules, and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State, an area known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry, and affordable cost of living.


As PNNL’s Executive Director of the Office of Performance Management and Chief Risk Officer, you will champion and steward structured and disciplined methods to reasonably assure the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), Battelle (PNNL’s operating contractor), and the Laboratory Leadership Team that PNNL is meeting the high expectations of our sponsors and stakeholders.

At PNNL, our performance management process is the traditional Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle that enables the planning (plan), execution (do), assessment (check), and continuous improvement (act) of work at PNNL. As applicable to individuals as it is to organizations of all sizes, PDCA is a powerful framework that has helped organizations perform at their best for nearly 100 years. Within the Office of Performance Management (PM), our vision is to seamlessly integrate PDCA into everything the Laboratory does so that performance and risk management is a “habit of mind” from the individual to the institution. PM’s mission is to provide the people, processes, and tools to independently assure ourselves, DOE, and Battelle that we are performing as intended, appropriately managing risk, amplifying impact, and continuously improving.

In this critical position, you will partner with colleagues on the Laboratory Leadership Team, all of whom report to the Laboratory Director, and work collaboratively to deploy enterprise risk-management tools, measures, and mitigations essential to identifying and preventing events and issues that could negatively affect the Laboratory’s performance and reputation.

Although collaboration and partnership are essential in this role, as a member of the Laboratory Leadership Team, your independence is essential to helping hold the team accountable. You are a skilled communicator, an influential voice, and a trusted advisor to the Laboratory Director, the entire Leadership Team, the DOE Pacific Northwest Site Office (PNNL’s oversight entity), and the Laboratory’s governing body, Battelle Memorial Institute. Your clarity of thought, discernment, critical thinking, and analysis expertise, along with your ability to balance competing interests to do what is in the best interest of the national laboratory, will help you succeed.

You report to the Laboratory Director and lead an organization of more than 70 experienced performance management professionals who exercise thought-leadership in contractor assurance, requirements and records management, quality, independent oversight, and audit services on behalf of the entire Laboratory.

You inspire and motivate your team by providing vision, leadership, and management. You get most excited by asking questions like “What if?” “Why not?,” and “How do you know?” You demonstrate creativity, diversity, equity, and inclusion. You value the courage to speak unpopular opinions and explore new ideas to advance the organization. You believe in the power of using data to drive decisions that improve PNNL’s performance, impact, and value to the Nation.


As the Executive Director of the Office of Performance Management and PNNL’s Chief Risk Officer, you’ll provide an independent view of contract requirements and performance that supports a vibrant culture of continuous improvement. Your organization will contribute to the Laboratory’s mission impact so that PNNL is recognized as having the most effective and efficient performance management system across DOE’s national laboratory complex.

The Office of Performance Management (PM) is responsible for PNNL’s performance management framework, which uses a set of internal functions and processes to enable the planning, execution, assessment ), and continuous improvement of work at PNNL.

Preferred Attributes

In addition to the requirements above:

  • You have a noted ability to connect with people at all levels of an organization showing openness, transparency, and humility.

  • You have a passion for improving efficiencies, eliminating waste, working on teams, and demonstrating a positive attitude.

  • You are a problem solver and change agent.

  • You demonstrate high execution and follow-through. You are willing to roll up your sleeves and pitch in to make meaningful change benefiting our people and the organization.

  • You have the ability to break down issues and formulate plans to address and rectify situations in a fast-paced environment.

  • You have a mindset of curiosity and learning.

  • Record of commitment to employing best practices in human performance improvement, safety, quality, security, environment, health, and diversity and inclusion.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree with 15+ years of experience or advanced degree with 13+ years of relevant experience and progressively responsible research, research project management, or corporate-level planning/performance management position.

  • Proven strategic leadership experience while developing creative, innovative solutions in a complex, multidisciplinary team environment and having significant programmatic responsibilities.

  • Proven experience in general management, including, but not limited to, mentoring, overseeing day-to-day operations, evaluating financial performance and budgets, staff development and performance evaluations, and staff conflict resolution.

  • Demonstrated skill in building critical relationships with sponsors and with networks across research organizations; this is central to understanding relevant business opportunities and risks necessary for executing planning processes and cascading Laboratory strategy.

  • Expert analytical skills with proven ability to gather, synthesize, identify salient points and themes, and draw conclusions from both quantitative and qualitative information.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in both formal and informal settings, along with the ability to influence and effectively articulate the effects of policy, political, and organizational changes on Laboratory strategy, and to quickly adapt to changing conditions.

  • Demonstrated excellence in, and deep understanding of, the discipline of performance management.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Masters or Ph.D. in a science or engineering discipline with experience in progressively responsible research, research project management, or corporate-level planning positions.

  • Active "Q" security clearance

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Other Information

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Closing Statement

Working Conditions or Environment

  • Position requires frequent domestic travel.

Directorate: PNNL

Job Category: Managers

Group: PNNL

Opening Date: 2021-04-06

Closing Date: 2021-07-05