Jill M. Hruby today was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the country’s largest national lab.  

A Sandia staff member and manager for the past 32 years, Hruby most recently served as a vice president overseeing Sandia efforts in nuclear, biological and chemical security; homeland security; counterterrorism; and energy security.

Hruby will be the first woman to lead any of the three national security labs — Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories — under the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). She succeeds Paul Hommert, who is retiring July 16 after serving as Sandia president and laboratories director since 2010.

Hruby joined the technical staff at Sandia’s California laboratory in January 1983, working in thermal and fluid sciences, solar energy research and nuclear weapon component research and development. During her career, she also has done research in nanoscience, hydrogen storage, mechanical-component design and microfluidics.

She earned her first management appointment in 1989, and held technical leadership positions at the California lab in polymer and electrochemical technologies, materials synthesis and inorganic and physical chemistry.

Beginning in 1997, Hruby served as a senior manager in organizations responsible for weapon components, micro-technologies and materials processing. She was named a technical director in 2003. For the next seven years at Sandia’s California site, Hruby led, first, the Materials and Engineering Sciences Center and its work in hydrogen science and engineering and micro- and nanosystem science and fabrication, and then, the Homeland Security and Defense Systems Center, fostering Sandia work in systems analysis, applied research and systems engineering, primarily for homeland security and nuclear weapons missions.

Hruby came to Sandia’s New Mexico site in 2010 as vice president of the Energy, Nonproliferation and High Consequence Security Division and of the International, Homeland Security and Nuclear Security Program Management Unit. In that capacity, she was responsible for more than 1,300 Sandia employees in such diverse areas as nuclear security and nonproliferation technologies; chemical and biological defense and security; homeland security and counterterrorism; and energy technologies.

A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Hruby earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and her master’s from the University of California at Berkeley, both in mechanical engineering. She has authored numerous technical publications, holds three patents in microfabrication and won an R&D 100 Award in solid-state radiation detection. She currently serves on the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee for the Department of Defense, and the Board of Chemical Science and Technology for the National Academy of Sciences. She has served on several university advisory boards, on community boards in Livermore and Albuquerque and as the campus executive at the Georgia Institute of Technology.