Nuclear Weapons Agency Head Unexpectedly Resigns

Source: Defense News | | November 7, 2020

NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty is resigning amid pressure. (NNSA)

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, has resigned her position effectively immediately, Defense News has learned.

Gordon-Hagerty, who became the first woman to lead the NNSA in February 2018, sent her letter of resignation to the White House Friday, according to a pair of senior NNSA officials, speaking to Defense News on background.

Hours later, the agency confirmed the resignation, announcing that William Bookless, currently principal deputy administrator, would take over as acting head of the agency. And the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla, has blasted the Secretary of Energy for what Inhofe described as forcing Gordon-Hagerty out of office.

The NNSA is a semi-autonomous office located within the Department of Energy. While the Defense Department manages the delivery systems of the nuclear force — ships, planes and missiles — NNSA has oversight over the development, maintenance and disposal of nuclear warheads. While the agency falls under the purview of DoE, much of its budget is set by the Nuclear Weapons Council, which is largely controlled by Defense Department officials.

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