He stood up and took the heat and did what needed to be done. The lab is in far better shape than it was before.
S. Robert Foley, retired admiral who oversaw weapon's lab management
Pete has done a remarkable job under extraordinary pressures and circumstances.
Robert C. Dynes, president of the University of California
He didn't listen to his own people even though he claimed he had an open door.
Peter Stockton of the Project on Government Oversight in Washington
He was the worst thing to happen to Los Alamos National Laboratory in its entire 63 year history.
Doug Roberts, LANL retiree with 20 years service, and creator of the "LANL, The Real Story" blog.
Category:Military leaders|Nanos, George Peter
George Peter Nanos
is a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security , located in Los Alamos, New Mexico...
and Vice Admiral
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...
in the US Navy. Having served from January 2003 to May 2005, he was one of the shortest serving directors of the laboratory.
Nanos is from Bedford, New Hampshire
-Demographics:As of the Census of 2000, there were 18,274 people, 6,251 households, and 5,125 families residing in the town. The population density was 556.6 people per square mile . There were 6,401 housing units at an average density of 195.0 per square mile...
. He received his bachelors degree at the United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...
in 1967 and his doctorate in physics from Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....
He took the helm at Los Alamos in the wake of a string of allegations and scandals involving security, safety and business issues. Initially he was given the title "director", but in July 2003 he was made a permanent director by the University of California without any further search.
Controversy continued during his tenure including: a case of suspected missing classified disks (which turned out never existed, but were thought to be missing due to a flawed LANL procedure for tracking the bar codes affixed to classified media), improper charges on lab credit cards, and a student injuring her eye with a laser
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...
PDF). Nanos made the unprecedented decision to stop all normal operations of core functions at the lab for nearly seven months (July 2004 to January 2005) to examine and supplement the Laboratory's procedures and practices. The shutdowns could have cost as much as US$367 million in lost work time http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/11697.html
. During an address to Laboratory personnel, he characterized alleged rule-breaking scientists at the Lab as "cowboys" and "buttheads," causing an uproar amongst personnel who felt Nanos had little respect for their efforts to function under what they saw as perpetually defective management practices. His actions as laboratory director were criticized in the pages of several scientific and technical publications, including Nature Magazine, Aviation Week, and Physics Today.
Nanos abruptly resigned his position and left Los Alamos to take a job at the Department of Defense (specifically the Defense Threat Reduction Agency
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is an agency within the United States Department of Defense and is the official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction . DTRA's main functions are threat reduction, threat control, combat support, and technology development...
) under a Change of Station (COS) agreement with the University of California. Under that agreement, The University of California continues to pay Nanos' annual salary of $235,000 (2005 salary figure). His separation agreement stipulated that he was legally bound not to make disparaging remarks about the University of California or LANL, and that his UC salary would terminate when he reached 5 years of employment, when he would become vested in the retirement plan http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/23/UCPAY.TMP
. The year he left there was a large spike in retirements http://publicbroadcasting.net/ksfr/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=753592
. An employee-run blog http://lanl-the-real-story.blogspot.com
criticized Nanos http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70A1EF935550C728CDDAC0894DD404482
and his management of the institution. The blog was credited by many with expediting, or even facilitating Nanos' early departure. Nanos left under a cloud of employee discontent, missed programmatic milestones and doubts regarding the institution's future prospects. His successor was Robert W. Kuckuck, who took office on May 16, 2005.
Applied Physics Lab
In 2010 he accepted the temporary position of Director of the National Security Analysis Department at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.