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Karen B. Hellman

Interim Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations/COO


Karen Hellman is Interim Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations/COO. She has been at Argonne since 1994 in a succession of roles across facilities, engineering, operations, and infrastructure. Karen has worked with all the directorates to help them achieve their mission and research goals, giving her outstanding knowledge of the lab’s science, campus, and teams. She has been instrumental in maintaining strong relationships with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), modernizing the laboratory’s facilities, upgrading aging infrastructure, and building state-of-the-art research facilities.

Karen is a licensed architect with over 40 years of demonstrated success in strategy development, planning, design, construction and management of all facets of research and development facilities, and site operations for government, automotive and pharmaceutical industry clients. Her Argonne portfolio includes the addition of more than 1.5 million square feet of research and development facilities and multiple significant site renovations.

Previously, Karen acted as Senior Director of Argonne’s Infrastructure Services (IS) directorate since 2018. The directorate provides strategic site stewardship through infrastructure planning and modernization; project management; facilities maintenance and management, including nuclear facilities; waste management; site services; security and travel. She also served as Director of Argonne’s Project Management Organization, which under her leadership grew to 100 team members and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a best-in-class operation directly managing over $100M per year in project delivery in addition to over $1B in project support.

DOE has recognized Hellman’s work at Argonne with an Energy Management Award and Secretary’s Achievement Award.