Nicole Nelson-Jean is the Manager of NNSA's Savannah River Field Office, where she oversees a Federal team and provides oversight for the management, security, quality assurance, environment, health, safety, nonproliferation, and national security missions for the Savannah River Site. Previously, she was Manager of the Livermore Field Office, where she managed a similar portfolio for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is a member of the Senior Executive Service.
Ms. Nelson-Jean's years of experience includes environmental management, infrastructure, nuclear safety, nuclear security, nuclear energy, nonproliferation, business and contract management. She began her career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Office of Environmental Management and then moved to the Office of Nonproliferation and International Technology, where she supplied technical analysis regarding foreign civil, military, and commercial technological advances in countries of a proliferation concern.
Since becoming a Federal employee, Ms. Nelson-Jean has held several positions, domestically and abroad, for the Department of Energy (DOE) and NNSA. Prior to becoming the Manager at LFO, Ms. Nelson-Jean served at the Los Alamos Site Office in Los Alamos, New Mexico as the Senior Advisor to the Acting NNSA Administrator. She has also served as the Energy Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador of the Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, where she coordinated and oversaw NNSA support of the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear security programs from a policy, technical, and programmatic standpoint. Before her position in Vienna, Ms. Nelson-Jean was an Office Director with the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI). She was responsible for the removal and security of high-risk nuclear and radiological materials and equipment in the Americas that posed a potential threat to the United States and international community. She was also in charge of the GTRI Reactor Conversion Program, which supported the minimization of the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in civilian research or testing involving nuclear applications worldwide through cooperatively working with countries to convert those reactors from HEU to low enriched uranium. Prior to joining GTRI, she served as the Energy Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Director of the NNSA Asia Office. In this position she oversaw NNSA interests in Asia and the Pacific Rim concerning oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, nuclear safety and nonproliferation issues. She provided continuous contact with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and other Pacific Rim nations to remain abreast of all current and prospective nonproliferation, economic and energy related developments, concerns, and issues. Before moving to Japan, Ms. Nelson-Jean served as a Deputy Office Director in NNSA's Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program, where she oversaw nuclear security upgrades at more than 50 civilian and military nuclear storage sites belonging to entities in the Russian Federation's ministries of Atomic Energy, Transportation, Economics and Defense. While working in Russia, Ms. Nelson-Jean initiated and led the integrated National Laboratory team that designed and built the first DOE NNSA-funded nuclear security technical and training facility in the Kola Murmansk region, the Kola Technical & Training Center of the Russian Navy.
During her time with NNSA, Ms. Nelson-Jean has won the Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service and was recognized by Sen. Ted Kaufman in the Congressional Record for her nuclear security work in Russia. She has also been featured in The Washington Post's “The Federal Coach” column discussing leadership in the public service and was highlighted as a Patriotic Steward, Visionary, Relationship Builder, and Team Leader in the Partnership for Public Service Hay Group study about leading innovation in government.
Ms. Nelson-Jean earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Grambling State University, a master's degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College and a master's degree in strategic security studies from National Defense University. She also completed the Leadership for a Democratic Society Program at the Federal Executive Institute.