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Trump again taps William Bookless to be NNSA’s second in command

January 17, 2019

President Donald Trump has again nominated a 32-year senior physicist to fill the National Nuclear Security Administration’s No. 2 spot.

William Bookless, who contributed to the 2010 Nuclear Posture review, was renominated on Jan. 16, according to the president’s press office.

Dozens of other nominations were sent to the Senate that same day.

The White House announced Bookless’ first nomination in August 2018. The former Brookhaven National Laboratory assistant policy and planning director was vetted and approved by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee early last month.

But when the 115th Congress died in January, so did Bookless’ 2018 nomination.

With a new Congress, though, comes his new nomination. The Senate is tasked with approving — or not — nominations.

If Bookless eventually does get voted in, he’ll join the executive hierarchy of the NNSA as the principal deputy administrator. The NNSA is a semiautonomous U.S. Department of Energy agency in charge of the nation’s nuclear complex and related nonproliferation.

The NNSA operates at the Savannah River Site and could potentially become the Site’s landlord.

The NNSA’s second-in-command spot has been vacant since Trump took office; the top NNSA spot, held by Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, was filled a little more than one year ago.

No Senate Armed Services nomination hearing had been scheduled for Bookless as of Thursday afternoon.

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