Paul Kearns

Argonne National Laboratory
Interim Director

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 S. Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439

Paul K. Kearns became the interim director of Argonne National Laboratory, one of the nation’s largest science and engineering research centers, in January 2017. Prior to that, he served as Argonne’s Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and Chief Operations Officer. 

Kearns came to Argonne from Battelle Global Laboratory Operations, where he directed Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiatives focused on energy security and resources assurance. Previously, he led a Battelle initiative to deliver enhanced leadership and value to government and commercial energy clients through enhanced national laboratory collaboration. He also served as chair of Battelle’s nuclear energy leadership team.

He spent two years as president and managing director of Battelle-Italia, Rome, Italy. This subsidiary of Battelle was founded to work in partnership with Italian government and industry to solve challenging problems in energy, security, and the environment.

From October 2003 to February 2005, Kearns was director of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), Idaho Falls, Idaho. He also served at INEEL as deputy laboratory director and associate laboratory director for Environmental Technology and Engineering. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, he managed Process Technology and Environmental Management Resources and the laboratory’s Waste Disposal Integration Team.

He has held several positions with the U.S. Department of Energy. He was acting director of the Denver Regional Support Office, acting director of the Office of Energy Management, in Washington, D.C., a senior advisor at the Golden Field Office, Golden, Colorado, and manager of the National Renewable and Environmental Laboratory and Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) Area Office. He has also held several positions in DOE’s Chicago Operations Office.

Kearns is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Nuclear Society and the Society for Conservation Biology. He is visiting professor in engineering and physical sciences at the University of Manchester. He holds a Ph.D. in health sciences, a master’s degree in bionucleonics, and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences, all from Purdue University.

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