The Office of Safeguards and Security Assessments conducts independent appraisals of safeguards and security policies and programs throughout the Department of Energy, including the National Nuclear Security Administration.  The Office maintains expertise in the protection of nuclear weapons and components; special nuclear material; classified and sensitive information; critical infrastructure; radiological, biological, and chemical materials; property; and personnel.  A special feature of these evaluations is the degree the Office the employs rigorous performance testing and analysis, which allows the Office to provide managers and other stakeholders with a snapshot of the overall effectiveness of a site's physical protection posture.  An added benefit of appraisals is to effect continuous improvement in the Department’s safeguards and security program through the assessment process and its identification and communication of strengths, weaknesses, and unacknowledged program risks. 

Clay Messer, Director

Vacant, Deputy Director

The Office of Safeguards and Security Assessments maintains the following two sub-offices:


The Office of Safeguards Assessments conducts independent appraisals of the effectiveness of the integrated system of physical protection program operations and its components.  This includes the protection system, personnel security, material accounting and control, and information security measures that deter, prevent, detect, and respond to the unauthorized possession, use, or sabotage of special nuclear material and classified and sensitive information.  The Office maintains and manages a Composite Adversary Team program, which includes an elite group of specially trained Security Police Officers and Federal Agents selected from throughout the DOE complex, to run highly realistic and safely controlled exercises that test the capabilities of personnel and facilities to protect against threats ranging from transnational terrorists to malicious insiders.

Greg Roberts, Director


The Office of Security Assessments conducts independent appraisals of activities, systems, programs, facilities, and policies for the protection of Departmental assets, including classified matter, radiological materials, chemical materials, biological agents, select agents and toxins, critical infrastructure, government property, and personnel from malevolent acts.  The assessments focus on evaluating compliance and performance of protective force and Federal Agent programs; security performance metrics used in the basis for planning, designing, and constructing new facilities and modifying existing facilities; and the system of engineered and administrative controls codified in authorization basis documents that define the boundaries within which operational risks are understood, analyzed, and accepted.

Ruel Hicks, Director

Guidance & Reports