Skip to main content

ORAU welcomes four new directors to its board

Election results announced during recently held 72nd annual meeting of ORAU's Council of Sponsoring Institutions

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU recently announced the election of four new members to its Board of Directors during the 72nd annual meeting of its Council of Sponsoring Institutions. The board provides policy and fiduciary oversight of ORAU operations for its membership. The following leaders are newly elected board members:

  • Barry Burks, Ph.D., North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
  • Patricia Dehmer, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Energy (retired)
  • Michele Masucci, Ph.D., Temple University
  • Debra Reinhart, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, Council vice chair

Three board members were re-elected. Taylor Eighmy, Ph.D., is vice chancellor for Research and Engagement at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dennis J. Hejlik is a senior fellow at the National Defense University and is a lieutenant general, U.S. Marine Corps (retired). Jeffrey Smith is deputy director of Operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“These new directors and re-elected directors bring strong leadership and experience in diverse fields from economic development to strategic research to defense,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “Their insights and vast knowledge of government and business practices will serve as invaluable as we create new opportunities for ORAU.”

Barry Burks, Ph.D., has served as vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University since 2012. He is responsible for growth and oversight of university research efforts, development of university-industry partnerships and support to regional and state economic development agencies. The sponsored research program at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University is the third largest in the University of North Carolina system.

Burks led nuclear physics and robotics projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1983 to 1997, and then led a start-up engineering company in Knoxville, Tenn., for 10 years. Burks was the associate director of the Charlotte Research Institute at the University of North Carolina Charlotte from 2007 to 2012.

Patricia Dehmer, Ph.D., retired in 2016 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She is the former acting director of the Office of Science and is now a management consultant, advising DOE laboratories on strategic planning and management of research and scientific facilities. Dehmer directed the planning, design and construction of more than a dozen projects totaling $3 billion, including the $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Dehmer received the James R. Schlesinger Award in 2016, the highest level of recognition by DOE. Prior to joining DOE, Dehmer was a research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory (1972-1995). Her research in atomic, molecular, optical and chemical physics resulted in more than 125 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Michele Masucci, Ph.D., is the vice president for Research at Temple University, a position which includes strategic research initiatives, technology transfer, research integrity and compliance, and grant administration. As Temple University’s representative to the Federal Demonstration Partnership, Masucci leads the Pipelines Initiative, which is aimed at expanding access to STEM careers for women and underrepresented minorities. She is Temple University’s representative to the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Masucci’s research examines how barriers to accessing information resources using geographic information technologies are interrelated with community development and environmental quality problems, including accessing health, education and social services. She is the principal investigator of Building Information Technology Skills (BITS), a National Science Foundation program that engages high school youth from the School District of Philadelphia to learn information and communication technology skills.

Debra Reinhart, Ph.D., will serve as Council vice chair. She is associate vice president for Research and Scholarship at the University of Central Florida. She is a member of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation and the American Board for Engineering and Technology Engineering Accreditation Commission.

Reinhart is a registered professional engineer in Florida and Georgia, a board-certified environmental engineer, and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has served as a reviewer for more than 20 journals and organizations. Reinhart served from 2011 to 2013 as the environmental engineering program manager at the National Science Foundation. Reinhart also served on the board of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers from 2004 to 2010 and was president of the organization in 2009.

About ORAU

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 150 colleges and universities, 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 Director, Communications Work: 865.576.3146 Cell: 865.603.5142
Wendy West Manager, Communications Work: 865.576.0028 Cell: 865.207.7953