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Jeff Smith Appointed Interim Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Jeff Smith, former deputy for operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been appointed interim director of ORNL as the laboratory searches for a permanent successor to Thomas Zacharia, The Oak Ridger reported Thursday.

Smith previously led a $400 million modernization effort at ORNL and oversaw the development of major scientific facilities during his tenure, including a neutron science facility, a carbon fiber technology facility and a supercomputer center.

He serves as the president of UT-Battelle Development Company, a special-purpose entity organized to support the development of facilities at ORNL.

Zacharia retired at the end of 2022 after more than five years as director of the science and energy laboratory.

UT-Battelle, which manages the national laboratory for the Department of Energy, has selected executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help fill in the top post at ORNL.

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