Dr. William Bookless was the Former Acting Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a position he held since November 6, 2020. He lead NNSA in support of President Trump’s nuclear security agenda.
Dr. Bookless was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 23, 2019, as the Principal Deputy Administrator of NNSA after more than 41 years of experience in the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
As NNSA’s Principal Deputy Administrator, Dr. Bookless supported the NNSA Administrator in the management and operation of the NNSA, as well as policy matters across the DOE and NNSA enterprise. Dr. Bookless supported the full range of NNSA missions to maintain and enhance the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provide the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Bookless spent 32 years as a senior physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, where he worked on a wide range of nuclear security topics. Over the years, he served as project leader for investigating the effects of pulsed, high-current electron beams and investigating the effects of X-ray lasers; deputy leader of one of LLNL’s nuclear weapons design divisions; associate program leader in the nuclear test program; and program leader for Nuclear Weapons Surety. He also previously worked as the Deputy Associate Director of Defense and Nuclear Technologies and as the Associate Director of Safety and Environmental Protection. From 2009 to 2012, he was a Senior Advisor to the NNSA Administrator.
After his time at Livermore, Dr. Bookless served for three years as Assistant Laboratory Director for Policy and Planning at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Brookhaven, New York.
Dr. Bookless holds a Doctorate degree in physics from the University of Wyoming and a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Southern Illinois University.