Ken Sheely
Ken Sheely, Principal Deputy Associate Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations, recipient of the Roger W. Jones Award.

Each year since 1978, the Roger W. Jones Award has honored two Senior Executive Service public servants from across the federal government who demonstrate superior leadership and dedication towards achieving their agency's mission and nurturing future leaders. This year, the award will go to one of NNSA’s own.

Ken Sheely, the Principal Deputy Associate Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations, has dedicated his entire career, spanning 32 years, to improving our country’s national security around the globe. In addition to his innumerous personal achievements, Mr. Sheely has shown a passion for championing the next generation of NNSA leaders. His recruitment and mentorship continue to produce some of the best and brightest future leaders for NNSA and the federal government.

“Working with Ken the past 10 years has been one of the highlights of my career,” said Jessica Kunkle, acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure.  “His vision and infectious energy have inspired countless leaders, peers, and staff to push the boundaries of public service excellence and affect meaningful change for national security. Through his dedication to developing NNSA’s next generation, I’ve witnessed numerous individuals grow to become highly effective leaders and senior executives unafraid to challenge the status quo. Above all, however, Ken’s passion motivates those around him to not only do the best they can do, but also to be the best they can be. It has truly been an honor to work alongside him.”

Mr. Sheely’s service to the Nation has taken him around the world in a variety of roles from the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations. In these roles, he has secured nuclear weapons and nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, achieved former President Obama’s goal of securing the most dangerous nuclear materials around the world in four years, and invigorated the recapitalization and modernization of NNSA’s infrastructure by pioneering an array of innovative tools and initiatives.  

“Having worked with Ken in a series of capacities for more than two decades, I can attest to his impact on America’s national security missions,” said Dave Huizenga, NNSA’s Associate Principal Deputy Administrator. “His many accomplishments have made the world safer and his colleagues better. Ken’s unwavering commitment and continued service to this Nation deserve to be recognized.” 

Mr. Sheely was nominated for the 2021 Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership by James McConnell, the Associate Administrator for Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations. “Ken is a born leader who has served for more than two decades as an executive leader in protecting the nation from the threat of nuclear terrorism and in maintaining, operating and modernizing the nuclear security enterprise's infrastructure,” Mr. McConnell said. “He inspires young leaders to take on bold missions and initiatives that lead to organizational breakthroughs. These are rare talents that deserve to be honored and recognized. I was proud to nominate him.”

Mr. Sheely will be honored virtually on November 18, 2021. The award is named for Mr. Roger Jones (February 3, 1908 - May 28, 1993) who served seven U.S. presidents over four decades, including tours as Deputy Secretary of State, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Chairman of the Civil Service Commission. He extolled the importance of public administration and service, stressing the need to provide professional education for public managers.

The award is named after Roger W. Jones, a former State Department and Office of Management and Budget executive who spent four decades in federal service and worked to nurture future federal executives.

Ken Sheely at LLNL groundbreaking
Ken Sheely at the Applied Materials and Engineering campus groundbreaking at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2019.