Dr. Novella Bridges
Dr. Novella Bridges

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. 


Dr. Novella Bridges, Senior Program Manager for the Plutonium Production Detection Portfolio, DNN R&D

Dr. Bridges is the Senior Program Manager for the Plutonium Production Detection Portfolio of the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, where she manages Research & Development projects at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, plants, and sites. This research area improves the United States’ ability to detect, locate, and characterize foreign plutonium production, which is critical to detecting and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons.

For Dr. Bridges, the best part of the job is working with innovative people that develop world-class scientific solutions. She says, “My work allows me to interact with other organizations to develop capabilities and solutions to solve their hard problems. It also empowers me to partner with those same organizations to formulate plans across the United States government to enhance everyone’s safety.”

Dr. Bridges received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Jackson State University and her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Louisiana State University.

Dr. Bridges’ advice for anyone seeking a career in nuclear security: “Nuclear Security is a multi-faceted area. Do not limit yourself if you are interested in working in the topic area, though most of the work in this area requires you to maintain a security clearance. The work is exciting and will intersect with many other organizations. My advice is to be open to exploring the different sub-areas within nuclear security such as policy, research, implementation, training, operations etc., and finding what best suits your interests and abilities.”


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