Principal Deputy Principal
NIF & Photon Science
Dr. L. Jeffrey (Jeff) Atherton is the principal deputy principal associate director for the NIF & Photon Science Directorate, with management and oversight responsibility for broad aspects of the directorate. He also serves as co-manager for target fabrication. Dr. Atherton received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Caltech and his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985. He began his career in LLNL laser programs in 1986, developing crystal growth technologies and new laser host crystals in support of advanced laser development.
He has held various laser-related leadership roles, including NIF optics, beampath infrastructure systems, line replaceable unit production, and target science and technology. Following these experiences, he was selected as the deputy principal associate director for NIF science and technology. Starting in 2006, he was named program director of target experimental systems, with overall responsibility for target fabrication, cryogenic systems, and target diagnostics. He then helped stand up the NIF Experiments organization as program director and assumed the position of deputy NIF director in 2010. He was named NIF director in May 2013 and assumed his present position in June 2014.