Head shot of Alice Caponiti

Alice Caponiti serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Crosscuts in the Office of Nuclear Energy. She leads a diverse portfolio of research, development and demonstration programs focused on the technical and economic sustainability of the existing U.S. fleet of commercial reactors and the development and deployment of innovative advanced reactors, including small modular reactors and microreactors. Ms. Caponiti is managing a new cost-shared program with industry to demonstrate multiple advanced reactor designs that offer improved safety, functionality and affordability, leading to expanded market opportunities for clean energy. Her office also sustains the nuclear talent pipeline through competitive university R&D and infrastructure investment programs. Ms. Caponiti serves as chair of the Generation IV International Forum Policy Group that advises on research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next-generation nuclear energy systems.

Ms. Caponiti previously led efforts to design, build, test, and deliver safe and reliable nuclear power systems for space exploration and national security applications and conduct detailed safety analyses for each mission. She served as the technical advisor to the Department of State and a United Nations working group on space nuclear power sources, as well as a risk communications spokesperson for the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Mars Science Laboratory mission that delivered the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars. Prior to joining the Office of Nuclear Energy in 2001, she worked on a nonproliferation program to reduce stockpiles of excess Russian weapons plutonium.

Ms. Caponiti has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland and master degrees in nuclear engineering and the Technology and Policy Program from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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