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Kirsten Laurin-Kovitz

Division Director

Kirsten has more than 20 years of experience in nuclear reactor analysis, nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear material safeguards


Kirsten Laurin-Kovitz is the Director of the Strategic Security Sciences division. In this role, she leads 100+ scientists and engineers who are working to prevent, detect, and mitigate chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cyber security threats through analytical assessments, applied research, technology development, and global engagement to promote peaceful uses of critical materials and technologies.

She has more than 20 years of experience in nuclear reactor analysis, nuclear nonproliferation, and nuclear material safeguards.

Previously, Kirsten led the Nonproliferation Policy Support Group within the Center for Strategic Security of Argonne’s Global Security Sciences division, managing a team that combines expertise in science and engineering with the knowledge of nonproliferation policies and international affairs. They provide technical advisory services and conduct outreach for policy implementation including training export control enforcement personnel on strategic weapons of mass destruction-related commodities and nuclear authorities on implementation of the additional protocol.

In addition to her technical work, Kirsten actively supports diversity and inclusion efforts primarily through Argonne’s Women in Science and Technology Program, which provides leadership and resources to promote the success of women in scientific and technical positions at Argonne. Kirsten was co-founder of Argonne’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day for middle-school girls.

Kirsten received the American Nuclear Society Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award in 2013. She completed the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2008 and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program in 2018.

Kirsten earned her MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and her BS in General Engineering from the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.