NNSA awarded two early-career employees – Jessica Lillo of the Office of Nuclear Material Removal and Kyle Fowler of the Domestic Uranium Enrichment Program – with the 2019 Linton F. Brooks Medal for Dedication to Public Service this month in a ceremony at DOE Headquarters.
This annual award recognizes NNSA employees with less than five years of federal experience whose actions and deeds exemplify former NNSA Administrator and Ambassador Linton Brooks’ spirit of commitment and achievement.
In his remarks, Ambassador Brooks praised Lillo and Fowler, and emphasized the strong qualities of their generation –early-career professionals in the Nuclear Security Enterprise. “Men my age are supposed to be grumpy about ‘the young’ and how they don’t measure up to what we were ‘when we were their age,’ ” Brooks said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with early-career professionals since leaving government and that’s pretty much nonsense. … Ronald Reagan often said that America’s best days are ahead of us. The more time I spend with early career professionals, the more I am certain that he was right.”
Lillo focuses on minimizing highly enriched uranium and plutonium from nuclear facilities around the world and was recognized in particular for successfully negotiating agreements to repatriate excess highly enriched uranium from Japan. This is a key mission of NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.
Fowler’s work has substantially improved NNSA’s strategy and readiness to meet its enriched uranium requirements, covering both technical and policy options to find a lasting solution. He and his team – part of the Office of Defense Programs – took the lead in developing an analysis of alternatives amid large staff turnover. He was recognized for his guidance of other colleagues during this process and commitment to embracing this responsibility and challenges.