Paul K. Kearns is the interim director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. He is responsible for guiding development and implementation of the laboratory’s strategic vision and leading Argonne to deliver outstanding performance in science and technology, operations, employee health and safety, and environmental protection. Dr. Kearns promotes a culture of innovation and collaboration within the laboratory and helps Argonne maintain strong strategic partnerships.
Dr. Kearns has nearly three decades of management experience, a strong background in science and engineering and extensive experience with the U.S. Department of Energy. He served six years as Chief Operations Officer for Argonne.
Dr. Kearns came to Argonne from Battelle Global Laboratory Operations, where he conducted strategic planning and business development for research activities in energy, environment, and national security and led an initiative to deliver greater value to government and commercial energy clients through enhanced national laboratory collaboration. With Battelle he also led an analysis of research and development and investment strategies in nuclear energy for the U.S. Department of Energy and the United Kingdom Technical Strategy Board; established a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration on micro-grids and supporting cyber security for the U.S. Pacific Command; and served as president and managing director of a subsidiary founded to help Italian government and industry solve challenges in energy, security, and environment.
From 2003 to 2005 Dr. Kearns was director of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, where he also served as deputy laboratory director and associate laboratory director for Environmental Technology and Engineering. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Kearns managed Process Technology and Environmental Management Resources and the laboratory's Waste Disposal Integration Team. For the Department of Energy, Dr. Kearns served in leadership and advisory roles in the Office of Energy Management in Washington and regional offices including the Chicago Operations Office.
Dr. Kearns is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, member of the American Nuclear Society and the Society for Conservation Biology, and served as a visiting professor in engineering and physical sciences at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He holds a doctorate and a master's degree in bionucleonics and bachelor's degree in natural resources and environmental sciences, all from Purdue University.