Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Re: Tom Meyer's Letter

From Anonymous:

C’mon, are you saying that the Acting AD for Strategic Research has no qualifications for the position other than being a yes-person to the Director? Hey, this is Los Alamos National Laboratory we’re talking about here.

Look at the following excerpts from the LANL NewsBulletin and tell me this person is not qualified to act as head of the Directorate responsible for strategic research at THE institution where “The World’s Greatest Science Protecting America” is taking place.

“Micheline A. Devaurs is the new leader for the Decision Applications Division…A graduate of Utah State University with a masters degree in watershed science, and holding a bachelors degree [in Natural Resources] from the University of California, Berkeley…As program manager for pollution prevention, she was responsible for management and implementation of the Laboratory's pollution prevention and waste minimization program.”

If this doesn’t qualify someone to be the Acting ADSR providing direct managerial and scientific research leadership to T, C, MST, and EES Divisions, as well as for a meaningful role in guiding strategic research carried out elsewhere in the Lab, I don’t know what does.

To Acting ADSR Devaurs' credit, at least nothing she says will ever be regarded as original, intelligent, insightful, meaningful, useful, or memorable. In other words, she is perhaps, to borrow a phrase from another post, Pete's "Perfect" Puppet.
With such impressive scientific credentials, it is somewhat surprising she is not a member of the National Academy of Science or the National Academy of Engineering.

That apparent oversight aside, she deserves to be made permanent ADSR, as she exemplifies LANL's Unique Value Proposition - "The World's Greatest Science Protecting America."
Referencing the membership directories of both the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering reveals the following

Sandia - 14
LANL - 4
LLNL - 3

Sandia - 0
LANL - 5
LLNL - 0

I find it hard to believe that LLNL has no NAS members. Maybe they are listed under another affiliation instead of LLNL.

Note that the names under the NAE for LANL include Sig Hecker, Jim Jackson, Fred Kocks and Warran Miller. I know the first three. One was Director, one was AD and not really very popular - can anyone spell 'RIF', and Fred was not a manager.

Please do not equate membership in NAE/NAS as some mandate to manage. Go read how members are selected. Current members of the academies put names forth of worthy candidates and they are reviewed and voted on. It is a non-profit club for very geeky, brilliant, accomplished engineers and scientists. They do great stuff but it is a club none the less. NAE/NAS membership does not make you a good manager
I'm sorry. You are correct of course about NAS/NAE membership. Most of the members that I have known indeed fit your description.

I was referring to the fact that one might think an Acting ADSR where the "The World's Greatest Science Protecting America" takes place knew something about science or engineering, like Tom Meyer. Apparently, that is not a requirement.

I'm willing to agree that an excellent manager can make up for SOME lack of knowledge, but if you think Acting ADSR Devaurs makes up for a total lack of knowledge about science and engineering by being an impressive manager, then you have never listened to her speak or answer a question.
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