John Kotek serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. The office is responsible for conducting research on current and future nuclear energy systems, maintaining the government’s nuclear energy research infrastructure, establishing a path forward for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste management program, and a host of other national priorities.
Prior to his role as Acting Assistant Secretary, John served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. Prior to that, he was a managing partner of the Boise office of Gallatin Public Affairs, a public affairs and strategic communications consulting company. John advised energy, natural resources and other clients facing complex communication and government relations challenges.
From 2010-2012, John served as staff director to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which recommended a new strategy for managing nuclear waste in the United States. John led the development of the Commission’s final report to the Secretary of Energy, engaged in regular communications with Congressional and White House staff, and served as media spokesperson.
From 2003-2006, John was deputy manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Idaho Operations Office. In that role he was responsible for development and management of the Idaho National Laboratory contract and interface with the INL cleanup effort.
Before joining DOE in July 2003, John worked for Argonne National Laboratory as the Generation IV and Nuclear-Hydrogen Programs Manager. He directed Argonne’s participation in the Generation IV technology roadmapping project, an international effort focused on evaluating and developing the next-generation of nuclear energy systems.
In 2002, John was the American Nuclear Society’s Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Fellow. John served in the Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
John started his career with DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology. He held several positions during his nine years with DOE-NE, including associate director for technology, associate director for management and administration, and chief of staff.
John holds a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois and a master of business administration from the University of Maryland. He lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife Denise and their three children.