James McConnell is the Associate Principal Deputy Administrator, a position he has held since December 2021. He is a member of NNSA’s executive leadership team, providing advice to the Administrator and Principal Deputy Administrator on programmatic and policy issues.
Previously, Mr. McConnell was Associate Administrator for Safety, Infrastructure and Operations, where he was responsible for overall NNSA safety activities, operations, infrastructure, capital planning, packaging and transportation, nuclear materials integration and sustainment & environmental programs for the National Security Enterprise. In addition, he was NNSA's Central Technical Authority responsible for safety policy and interpretation throughout NNSA.
Before that, Mr. McConnell was the Deputy Associate Administrator for Infrastructure and Operations. He held several positions within NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs, including Assistant Deputy Administrator for Nuclear Safety and Operations.
Mr. McConnell was NNSA's first Chief of Defense Nuclear Safety. In that position, he established the office and its functions.
Prior to joining NNSA, Mr. McConnell held several senior staff positions at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board including Deputy Technical Director, Group Leader for the Nuclear Weapons Program, and Site Representative at the Pantex Plant.
A former U.S. Navy submarine officer, Mr. McConnell holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and master’s degrees in engineering from the Catholic University of America and George Washington University.