Longtime cleanup executive named DOE’s new chief risk officer

September 28, 2018

James Owendoff, a longtime U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management higher-up, will assume a new position come Sept. 30, according to information obtained by the Aiken Standard.

Owendoff has been named the DOE’s chief risk officer, an assignment described as a “senior executive position” within the DOE Office of the Chief Financial Officer, according to the obtained information.

Owendoff was previously named a special adviser within Environmental Management and was specifically involved in reviews of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s future at the Savannah River Site, according to an email also obtained by the Aiken Standard.

“Jim will provide leadership and guidance to enhance our collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration and further develop relationships, operational roles and synergies of the current and future EM and NNSA missions for the site,” the August email, sent by Environmental Management chief Anne Marie White, reads. “I am personally excited about the opportunities available to us to work with NNSA and key stakeholders to develop and ensure continued opportunities for success at Savannah River going into the future, and I look forward to working closely with Jim in this new capacity.”

In June, NNSA chief Lisa Gordon-Hagerty ordered a review of her agency’s future at the Site. That review is now underway.

The NNSA is a semiautonomous DOE branch in charge of the nation’s nuclear complex.

Environmental Management is the current SRS landlord, though the NNSA is evaluating takeover options.

SRS is an ongoing nuclear remediation site.

In his new role – the risk officer position – Owendoff will review the department’s risk management model and ensure the department is aware of “risks, challenges and opportunities,” according to the obtained information.

Owendoff will be a “key” adviser to the DOE senior leadership team, the information – three paragraphs long – reads. In all, Owendoff will aid DOE decision-making.

A DOE website currently lists John Vonglis as the department’s chief risk officer as well as its chief financial officer.

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