Skip to main content

ORAU welcomes seven new directors to its board

Election results announced during recent 73rd annual meeting of ORAU's Council of Sponsoring Institutions

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU announced the election of seven new members to its board of directors during the recent 73rd 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:

  • John D. Boice, Jr., Sc.D., Vanderbilt University
  • Michelle V. Buchanan, Ph.D., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Deborah L. Crawford, Ph.D., George Mason University
  • Retired Lt. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey, U.S. Army
  • Karen Kerr, Ph.D., Advanced Manufacturing at GE Ventures, General Electric
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan, Ph.D., Arizona State University
  • Kenneth Rueter, UCOR

Four board members were re-elected. Bruce E. Gnade, Ph.D., is executive director, Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, Southern Methodist University. Cordell M. Overby, Sc.D., is associate vice president, Research and Regulatory Affairs, and professor, College of Engineering, University of Delaware. Diane Grob Schmidt, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati. Dennis M. Kenneally is executive director, Southwest Defense Alliance.

“We’re honored to have these distinguished individuals bring their wealth of knowledge and expertise to our board of directors,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “Together with our existing board members, they will help us continue building upon the momentum our team has created, better positioning ORAU for the future.”

John D. Boice, Jr., Sc.D., is professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and the president of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. He retired from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps after 27 years of service. For 20 years, Boice served on the Main Commission of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. He is an international authority on radiation effects and testified before Congress on the Fukushima accident. He served the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. His seminal discoveries and more than 480 publications have been used to formulate public health measures to prevent radiation associated diseases. Boice studies atomic veterans who participated in nuclear weapons tests, and he directs the Million Worker Study of Low-Dose Radiation Health Effects. Boice and ORAU have partnered on epidemiologic studies since 1980.

Michelle V. Buchanan, Ph.D., is deputy director for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In her 40-year career at ORNL, Buchanan has held major, influential positions. She oversees one of the nation’s most extensive portfolios of research and development, spanning physical and materials sciences, energy and engineering sciences, computing and computational sciences, biological and environmental sciences, neutron sciences, and global security, for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors. She was the associate laboratory director for physical sciences for more than a decade. She served as director of the ORNL Chemical Sciences Division from October 2000 to November 2004 and served as associate director of the ORNL Life Sciences Division from January 1999 to September 2000. She is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific publications and holds two patents.

Deborah L. Crawford, Ph.D., joined George Mason University as vice president for research in April 2016. She is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the full range of the university’s research and innovation activities. Previously, she was president and executive director of the International Computer Science Institute, an independent nonprofit research organization affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. From 2010 to 2014, she served as senior vice provost for research at Drexel University. From 1993 to 2010, Crawford worked at the National Science Foundation in executive and program management positions in the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Education and Human Resources, and Engineering, and in the Office of the Director.

Retired Lt. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey held multiple senior leadership positions during her 35 years of service with the U.S. Army. Assignments included deputy commander, U.S. Transportation Command, where she led the command through a major strategic review and period of increasing forces in Afghanistan and decreasing forces in Iraq. Gainey also served as the director of logistics for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here she led a review of the dependency of contractors on the battlefield, updated guidance and equipment divestiture for the departure of forces from Iraq, and established an Interagency Logistics Council. Her coalition experiences include an assignment to the Multinational Forces Iraq as the director of resources and sustainment. She received numerous awards and recognitions, including the National Defense Transportation Association’s Department of Defense Distinguished Service Award for 2011-2013.

Karen Kerr, Ph.D., is the senior managing director for Advanced Manufacturing at GE Ventures, General Electric. In this role, Kerr leads a team which invests in advanced manufacturing technologies and enterprise software solutions that drive efficiency and productivity at General Electric. She joined the Chicago-based business in 2014. Previously, she served as senior director of New Ventures and Alliances at the University of Southern California Stevens Center for Innovation. She was responsible for launching startup companies by drawing from university research. Before joining USC, she held senior business development roles at Intellectual Ventures in both the Invention Investment Fund and the Invention Development Fund. She is the founder of Agile Equities LLC, a venture development company specializing in emerging technology companies.

Sethuraman Panchanathan, Ph.D., is Arizona State University’s chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president of ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development. He was the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics, and he was instrumental in founding the ASU Biomedical Informatics Department. He founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU. CUbiC’s flagship project, iCARE, for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, won the Governor’s Innovator of the Year—Academia Award in 2004. In 2014, Panchanathan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. National Science Board, and he serves as chair of the Committee on Strategy. He was appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Kenneth Rueter is UCOR president and East Tennessee Technology Park cleanup project manager, Oak Ridge, Tenn. He guides a professional management team and hundreds of skilled workers as they undertake the largest environmental cleanup in DOE’s history. UCOR and ORAU share a strong partnership in the DOE Oak Ridge Complex; while UCOR manages the cleanup and environmental management activities, ORAU’s independent verification and characterization capabilities are utilized by UCOR. Over nearly three decades, Rueter has led all aspects of site cleanup and remediation, radioactive waste treatment and project integration, including construction, risk management, and cost and schedule development. Previously, Rueter served as president of Savannah River Remediation, LLC, and as project manager for the Savannah River Liquid Waste Project.

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