Charles P. Verdon
Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, NNSA

January 2019

Alumni Focus

Charles P. Verdon earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (1984) degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona. His doctoral dissertation ("Numerical Simulations of Rayleigh–Taylor Instabilities in Ablation-Driven Systems") was completed at the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) under the supervision of Richard L. Morse (U. Arizona) and Robert L McCrory (Director Emeritus, LLE).

Upon graduation, Verdon continued working at LLE and rose to the position of Senior Scientist, Director of the Theory Division (1991), and Deputy Directory of the Laboratory (1994). In 1995, the American Physical Society (APS) awarded him the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research for outstanding theoretical work, computational design and analysis, and experimental work leading to quantitative and predictive understanding of aspects of high-energy density plasmas. In 1997, he was named a Fellow of the APS.

Dr. Verdon joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 1997 and occupied several leadership positions including AX-Division Leader, Program Director for Secondary Nuclear Design, Principal Deputy Associate Director within the Weapons and Complex Integration (WCI), and Principal Associate Director of the WCI in 2013. In the later position, he was responsible for the management and coordination of weapons program activities within LLNL.

In 2018, he was nominated by the President for the position of Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). He was confirmed by the Senate for this position on September 18, 2018 and sworn in on October 9, 2018. In this position, he leads the team that directs the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which is responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the Nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.