Dr. Sarah Nelson, a nuclear and radiochemist, serves as the Director (Acting) for the Office of Experimental Sciences for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (NA-11), including Academic Programs. Sarah joined Defense Programs in mid-November 2015 as the office Deputy Director.
Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with Distinction from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley with Professor Heino Nitsche.
Prior to joining NNSA, Sarah completed postdoctoral research as a Roger Batzel fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and afterward as a staff scientist for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on assignment to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Sarah also was selected as a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow of The National Academies for the Winter 2012 assisting the Board on Physics and Astronomy.
She has received numerous awards including US DOE Secretary’s Achievement Award, DTRA/US STRATCOM Center for Combatting Weapons of Mass Destruction Director’s Award for Public Service, LLNL’s Excellence in Publication Award in Basic Science, and the Gordon Battelle Prize for Scientific Discovery.