Skip Navigation

Peters Recognized With ORAU Outstanding Leadership Award

April 11, 2004

Washington, D.C.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities presented scientist and administrator Leonard K. Peters with its Outstanding Leadership Award for his long service to the consortium at the 59th annual meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions held in March in Washington, D.C.

Peters accepting award from Ron Townsend

Oak Ridge Associated Universities President Ron Townsend (left) presents scientist and administrator Leonard K. Peters, the director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with the ORAU Outstanding Leadership Award during the 59th annual meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions held in Washington, D.C., in March.

Currently, the director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash., Peters represented the University of Kentucky and later Virginia Tech on the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions. He served on the ORAU Board of Directors from 1995 to 2000, holding the position of chair from 1997 to 1998 and again in 2000.

The annual award recognizes individuals for their demonstrated leadership and support of ORAU’s mission to advance science and education through innovative partnerships with government and industry.

Winners receive a plaque and a gift of $10,000 to sponsor a seminar on a subject and at a location of their choice. Peters has chosen to fund a symposium on atmospheric chemistry at PNNL.

During his tenure as ORAU board chair, Peters worked closely with ORAU President Ronald Townsend to revitalize the consortium’s partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also lent his support to the establishment of ORAU’s Partnership Development office to promote academic partnerships and university collaborations with ORNL in diverse fields such as neutron science, nanoscience, biology, advanced computational science, environmental science, and energy research.

Another milestone for ORAU under Peters was the establishment of a scholarship program honoring ORAU founder William G. Pollard to celebrate the consortium’s 50th anniversary in 1997. The Pollard Scholarships program is open to the children and dependents of ORAU employees for study in any undergraduate degree program.

Current ORAU Board Chair Charles L. Liotta, vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies at Georgia Tech, praised Peters for his visionary leadership. “Len possesses a particular ability to see clearly how things are,” he said. “[Peters] obligates himself to achieve excellence, and his selflessness in providing leadership with these qualities is inspiring.”

Peters joined PNNL as the director in April 2003. He previously served as vice provost for research at Virginia Tech , where he managed a $230 million research program that focused on biotechnology, information technology, materials science, and transportation. A distinguished career as a research engineer in atmospheric chemistry has brought him many honors and awards, including a 1990 National Science Foundation Award in recognition of his contributions to science and technology in Kentucky.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953