Cheryl Young
Cheryl Young

The National Nuclear Security Administration is celebrating the women who make up the backbone of our Enterprise. Our workforce is made stronger by the contributions and accomplishments of amazing women whose expertise ensures that we successfully meet the challenge of our crucial mission.

Although women make up more than half of the world’s population, women comprise a minority of professionals working in nonproliferation. In the Women in Nonproliferation Series, we celebrate the women from the NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation who work in Research & Development, Material Management and Minimization, Global Material Security, and Nonproliferation and Arms Control. These outstanding NNSA women are leading the way to help keep our nation safe and set a powerful example for women and girls considering careers in nonproliferation. 

Cheryl Young, Management Analyst, Office of Nuclear Material Removal

Cheryl Young is a Management Analyst at NNSA’s Office of Nuclear Material Removal. The office works to eliminate weapons-usable nuclear material around the world and keep it out of the hands of terrorists or other bad actors. Cheryl works in an administrative role supporting her colleagues with foreign travel, correspondence, memos, escort duty and other duties, as required. Her work supports the program managers and technical staff as they carry out this vital part of NNSA's mission.

Cheryl’s favorite part of the job is interacting with colleagues, other DOE offices, the national laboratories, and, occasionally, the Department of State and U.S. Embassies. “It is a great feeling to know that I am contributing to an effort that is vital to our national and global security. Also, my NNSA Family who were there for me last year during a time of grief. They offered me and my family their care, concern, and comfort, and we are so thankful!” Cheryl said.

Cheryl recently became the new matriarch of her large family since the passing of her mother, a role taken on with trepidation and relish. Cheryl’s mom passed away in March of last year at 104 years old. Outside of work, Cheryl especially enjoys her church family, where she has been a member since 1985. She also is a proud alumna of Philadelphia High School for Girls’ 198th class. On her wish list upon retirement are taking up theological studies and learning to play classical guitar, among other things.

Over Cheryl’s eighteen years with the Office of Nuclear Material Removal, she has been a recipient of the Secretary’s Honor Award on four occasions. All were for support work on nuclear material removal projects: March 3, 2014, August 2018, November 2019, and January 2021. These awards result from working with an exceptional team who exemplify a “Mission First” attitude.

Something Cheryl has learned since working with NNSA is the extent of the work by the agency. Cheryl says, “I recall sitting in the DOE large auditorium at [the Forrestal building] when NNSA was ‘stood up.’ I felt as though I was at the start of an exciting adventure. And it has been, including President Obama’s speech in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 5, 2009, where he unveiled his four-year plan to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world. This really sent us into warp speed!”

*This is part of an ongoing series to recognize women in nonproliferation at NNSA*