Published: Nov. 10, 2020

Press Release

Release: Embargoed until 11/3/2020

Issuer: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI),

University of Colorado Bouder

Media Contact: Kevin Doran,; 720-352-2810



Oppenheimer Fellowship Program Announces Cohort 4 for 2020-2021

The Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program (OSELP) is pleased to announce the selection of Fellows for the 2020 – 2021 Cohort. Established in 2017, OSELP is a distinguished Fellowship Program that brings together exceptional leaders to explore the complexities, challenges and opportunities facing the National Lab system and the Department of Energy (DOE).

The fourth OSELP Cohort consists of 18 individuals representing all 17 of the DOE National Labs, with professional backgrounds spanning technical, operational, and strategic domains. Selection as an Oppenheimer Fellow is a highly competitive process. Candidates are nominated by National Lab Directors, assessed by a committee of former National Lab Directors and former senior DOE officials, and accepted into the program by the National Laboratory Directors’ Council (NLDC).

As the premier leadership development program of the NLDC, OSELP is building the National Lab leaders of tomorrow. Through a series of site visits to National Labs, OSELP immerses its Fellows in the singular breadth, diversity, and complexity of the National Labs, DOE, and their partners, and provides them with a unique opportunity to engage deeply with senior Lab leadership and explore innovative ways to improve the DOE and National Lab collective enterprise.

Fellows are also charged with developing think-pieces that address major organizational, policy, scientific, or other challenges within National Labs’ mission space. These think-pieces are presented to the NLDC and other senior leaders at a capstone event. OSELP Fellows also benefit from the experience and advice of program mentors. Mentors are drawn from former Lab Directors, former senior DOE officials, and other distinguished professionals. Exposure to these senior leaders can have a transformative impact on the perspectives and career trajectories of Cohort members.

Oppenheimer Fellows, Cohort 4, 2020 - 2021


Sarah Allendorf, PhD - Director, Center for Chemistry, Combustion, and Materials Sciences at Sandia National Laboratories.

•      Noël M. Bakhtian, PhD - Director, Energy Storage Center, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

•      John P. Connolly - Deputy Associate Lab Director for Photon Sciences (PSC) Operations and Division Director for Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) Engineering Support Division at Argonne National Laboratory.

•      Julienne Krennrich, PhD - Director, Innovation Partnerships Program at Ames Laboratory.

•      Jennifer Kurtz, PhD - Director, Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

•      Jennifer Logan - Chief Financial Officer and Business/Finance Director at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

•      Joseph Manna, PhD - Director of R&D for the Materials Science and Engineering Section at Savannah River National Laboratory.

•      Martha Michels - Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Fermilab.

•      Despina Milathianaki, PhD - Director for Strategic Planning at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. 

•      David Miller, PhD - Senior Fellow, Process Systems Engineering at National Energy Technology Laboratory. 

•      Peter Nugent, PhD - Division Deputy for Scientific Engagement in LBNL’s Computational Research Division & Department Head for Computational Science at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

•      Tara Pandya, PhD - Group Lead, Radiation Transport Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

•      Francesca Poli, PhD - Group Leader, Integrated Modeling and Control at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

•      Andrea Schmidt, PhD - Group Leader, Plasma Engineering Group & Associate Program Leader, Pulsed Power Fusion Plasmas at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

•      Erin Searcy, PhD - Director of Institutional Planning and Programs at Idaho National Laboratory.

•      Wendy Shaw, PhD - Director, Physical Sciences Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

•      Leslie Sherrill, PhD - Group Leader for the Integrated Design and Assessment Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

•      Kevin Yager, PhD - Group Leader, Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory.


Oppenheimer Mentors, Cohort 4, 2020 - 2021


•      Paul Alivisatos - former Laboratory Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; currently Executive Vice President and Provost UC Berkeley.

•      Teeb Al-Samarrai - former White House Fellow to DOE.

•      Adam Cohen, former DOE Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Energy; currently President and CEO of Associated Universities, Inc.

•      Pat Dehmer - former Deputy Director for Science Programs, Office of Science, DOE.

•      Sig Hecker - former Laboratory Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

•      Jill Hruby - former Laboratory Director, Sandia National Laboratories.

•      Michael Knotek - former DOE Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Energy and Chief Technology Officer of Battelle.

•      Charlie McMillan - former Laboratory Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

•      Lynn Orr - former DOE Under Secretary for Science and Energy.


OSELP is managed on behalf of the NLDC by the University of Colorado Boulder. Professor Kevin Doran serves as the Program Director. Inquires about the program should be directed to Professor Doran at