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Leader in science, national security to speak at WSU April 6

Closeup of Kimberly Budil
Kimberly Budil

The director of one of the nation’s top scientific laboratories will talk about national security challenges related to nuclear deterrence, bio-resilience, climate and energy in a free, public lecture on Wednesday, April 6, at Washington State University in Pullman. 

Kimberly Budil, director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will deliver the John and Janet Creighton Distinguished Lecture, hosted by the Institute for Shock Physics (ISP), and the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning at 3:10 p.m. in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center.

Budil has more than three decades of experience across LLNL’s scientific and national security programs. As director of LLNL, she shares responsibility with the directors of Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories to provide the U.S. president, through the secretaries of energy and defense, an annual assessment of the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

“Dr. Budil, leader of a premier U.S. national security laboratory, will discuss with the WSU community a broad range of 21st-century challenges and the scientific/technical approaches to address these global concerns,” said Yogendra Gupta, ISP director. “Her lecture and visit will provide our students, faculty, and staff with a unique opportunity to engage with a national leader at a time when geopolitical events, climate change, and a pandemic are affecting our lives.”

At LLNL, Budil leads a workforce of nearly 8,200 employees and manages an annual operating budget of approximately $2.8 billion. She most recently served as principal associate director for Weapons and Complex Integration, responsible for the programs that ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent as well as advancing the supporting science, technology, and engineering capabilities. 

She previously served as vice president for national laboratories at the University of California, where she led oversight and governance of LLNL as well as Lawrence Berkeley and Los Alamos national labs. She twice served on special assignment in Washington, DC, including as a senior adviser to the Department of Energy’s undersecretary for science. She has served on many boards and committees and has been an active champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the national labs and beyond. 

Budil earned her bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her master’s and doctoral degrees in applied science/engineering at the University of California, Davis, where she received a Hertz Foundation Fellowship. In 2019 she was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

The Creighton Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Institute for Shock Physics’ John and Janet Creighton Distinguished Professorship.

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