ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The largest U.S. national security research and development laboratory announced Monday that for the first time a woman has been selected to run its operations.
Jill Hruby will take over next month as president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, one of the most high-profile positions in U.S. science with responsibilities that cover nuclear weapons, energy and environmental technology.
"I embrace the opportunity to maintain the U.S. nuclear deterrent and lead Sandia in solving the difficult security challenges we face as a nation," Hruby said.
Her appointment also makes her the first woman to lead any of the nation's three national security labs, Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore.
She said she's proud to hold the distinction, "but mostly I'm proud to represent the people and work of this great lab."
Hruby, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, most recently served as a vice president overseeing Sandia's efforts in nuclear, biological and chemical security.
She replaces Paul Hommert, who announced his retirement recently after serving since 2010.
Sandia Corp. board of directors Chairman Rick Ambrose announced the move, saying Hruby has "the right combination of technical expertise and strategic vision to lead Sandia into the future."
Ambrose also serves as executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
The laboratory is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Hruby is a graduate of Purdue University in Indiana.