Lab Leadership

Michael Witherell

Berkeley Lab Director
Phone: (510) 486-5111
Location: 50A-4133 | Mail Stop: 50A-4119

Michael Witherell is a leading physicist with a highly distinguished career in teaching, research and managing complex organizations. He has received numerous honors and recognitions for his scientific contributions and achievements. Witherell is the former director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in northern Illinois and last held the Presidential Chair in Physics at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he was also vice chancellor for research. He was named director of Berkeley Lab by the UC Board of Regents in January, 2016.

Witherell went to UCSB in 1981 as an assistant professor of physics from Princeton University. Soon after joining UCSB, he led a Fermilab experiment that collected and studied the first large sample of charmed particles observed with a silicon microstrip vertex detector. As a result of that experiment, Witherell was awarded the W. K. H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics from the American Physical Society in 1990.

In 1999 Witherell was appointed director of Fermilab, the DOE laboratory dedicated to high-energy physics. During his six years as director, Fermilab upgraded the Tevatron accelerator complex, the highest-energy collider then operating. The laboratory also completed a $150 million project to build a long-baseline neutrino facility, which sent a beam of neutrinos 450 miles underground to a detector built at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota.

In 2005 Witherell rejoined the UC Santa Barbara faculty as vice chancellor for research, where he manages research administration and technology commercialization. He also supervises interdisciplinary research institutes in marine science, earth science, neuroscience, social sciences and ethnic studies, in addition to the California Nanosystems Institute and six sites of the UC Natural Reserve System.

In 2010, while continuing as UCSB vice chancellor for research, Witherell returned to conducting research on the nature of dark matter. He joined the LUX collaboration, which completed the most sensitive search for interactions of dark matter particles with normal matter.

Witherell is also part of an international research team that designed the LUX-Zeplin (LZ) project, an experiment that will be three orders of magnitude more sensitive than LUX. In 2014 the LZ project was selected as the largest next-generation dark matter experiment in the DOE’s High Energy Physics program.

Witherell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He currently chairs the Board on Physics and Astronomy at the National Academies; sits on the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy at the National Academies; is a member of the American Physical Society’s Physics Policy Committee; and, serves on the Board of Directors for Science for Nature and People. Witherell is the 2004 recipient of the Energy Secretary’s Gold Award.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1973 and his B.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1968.

Horst D. Simon

Berkeley Lab Deputy Director for Research
Phone: 510-486-6100  |  Fax: 510-486-6720
Location: 50A-4133  |  Mail Stop: 50A-4119

Horst Simon, an internationally recognized expert in computer science and applied mathematics, was named Berkeley Lab’s Deputy Director on September 13, 2010. Simon joined the Lab in early 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location in Berkeley. Under his leadership NERSC enabled important discoveries for research in fields ranging from global climate modeling to astrophysics. Simon was also the founding director of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics.

Simon’s research interests are in the development of sparse matrix algorithms, algorithms for large-scale eigenvalue problems, and domain decomposition algorithms for unstructured domains for parallel processing. His algorithm research efforts were honored with the 1988 and the 2009 Gordon Bell Prize for parallel processing research. He was also member of the NASA team that developed the NAS Parallel Benchmarks, a widely used standard for evaluating the performance of massively parallel systems. He is co-editor of the biannual TOP500 list that tracks the most powerful supercomputers worldwide, as well as related architecture and technology trends. He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Technische Universtät, in Berlin, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. For more information about Horst Simon, visit his Website at

Glenn D. Kubiak

Berkeley Lab Deputy Director for Operations
Phone: (510) 486-6480  |  Fax: (510) 486-6498
Location: 50A-4112E  |  Mail Stop: 50A4112

Berkeley Lab’s ALD for Operations/Chief Operating Officer oversees the Laboratory’s Environmental Safety and Health, Facilities Management, Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Public Affairs Divisions and Departments, plus the Office of Workforce Diversity. Glenn D. Kubiak, who started at the Lab in July of 2012, earned his undergraduate degree at Brown University and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Stanford University. Previously he was director of the Biological and Materials Sciences Center at Sandia National Lab in Livermore. During his 28 years at Sandia, he was a technical researcher, technical manager and operations manager, and recently served as chair of the Board of Directors for the Joint BioEnergy Institute. For more information about Kubiak and Operations at Berkeley Lab, visit the Website at

Jay D. Keasling

Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences
Phone: (510) 495-2620 | Fax: (510) 495-2630
Location: 978-4000 | Mail Stop: 978R4121

Berkeley Lab’s ALD for Biosciences oversees the Laboratory’s Biological Systems & Engineering, Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology, and Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Divisions and the DOE Joint Genome Institute. Jay Keasling was appointed ALD for Biosciences in October, 2010. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from the University of Nebraska, and his graduate degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. Following a postdoctorate at Stanford, he joined the staff at Berkeley Lab in 1992. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S.Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute, and directs the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. Keasling holds an appointment with the University of California Berkeley as the Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering, and as a senior faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Biological Systems & Engineering Division. He is internationally recognized as a world leader in synthetic biology research.

Katherine A. Yelick

Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences
Phone: 510-495-2431  |  Fax: 510-486-4300
Location: 50B-4224  |  Mail Stop: 50B4230

Berkeley Lab’s ALD for Computing Sciences oversees the Laboratory’s Computational Research Division and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. Kathy Yelick is the Director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab and a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. She was named ALD for Computing Sciences in September, 2010. For more information about Kathy Yelick, visit her Website at

Donald J. DePaolo

Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences
Phone: (510) 486-7560  |  Fax: (510) 486-7714
Location: 84-322  |  Mail Stop: 74-316C

Berkeley Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences oversees the Advanced Light Source, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Materials Sciences. Don DePaolo began his term in Berkeley in 1988 as a UC Berkeley Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, with a joint appointment in the Earth Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab. DePaolo established and directs the Center for Isotope Geochemistry, a joint research facility between Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. DePaolo is also the Class of 1951 Professor of Geochemistry in UC Berkeley’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science. DePaolo was officially announced as the Earth Sciences Division Director in 2007. Prior to this appointment, DePaolo held the Geochemistry Department Head role in the Earth Sciences Division. In Spring of 2009, DePaolo became the Director of the Center for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (EFRC).

James Symons

Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences
Phone: (510) 486-5670  |  Fax: (510) 486-6003
Location: 50-4053  |  Mail Stop: 50-4049

Berkeley Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences champions the highly-accomplished research divisions in accelerator and fusion research, engineering, nuclear science, and physics. James Symons received his D.Phil from Oxford University, where he studied nuclear structure, and began his career at Berkeley Lab in 1977 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Since that time, he has held scientific research and management roles, and also currently serves as the Director of the Nuclear Science Division. His research interests are in experimental nuclear physics, including nuclear structure and relativistic heavy ion collisions. As Division Director, he oversees the 88-inch Cyclotron. He is a member of the STAR (Solenoid Tracker at RHIC) experiment at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), designed to study particle production at temperatures and densities similar to that found during the early universe. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and has served on numerous national and international panels, including the Department of Energy/National Science Foundation Nuclear Advisory Committee (NSAC), which he chaired from 2000 – 2002.

Ramamoorthy Ramesh

Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Technologies
Phone: (510) 486-7693 | Fax: (510) 495-8086
Location: 090-3030 | Mail Stop: 90R3029B

Berkeley Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Technologies has laboratory-wide responsibility for accelerating the translation of basic and applied research results into real world energy applications. Ramamoorthy Ramesh graduated with a Ph.D. in Materials Science in 1987 from the University of California Berkeley, where he now holds the Purnendu Chatterjee Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies. Prior to his ALD appointment in September 2014, he served as a Faculty Senior Scientist within Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, as Director of the SunShot Initiative for the U.S. Department of Energy, and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as Deputy Lab Director for Science and Technology. He has published extensively on the synthesis and materials physics of complex oxide materials and is an international authority on multiferroics. Among many awards and recognitions, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Susan Hubbard

Associate Laboratory Director for Earth & Environmental Sciences
Phone: (510) 486-5266 | Fax: (510) 486-5686
Location: 74-308 | Mail Stop: 74R-316C

Berkeley Lab’s ALD of the Earth & Environmental Sciences oversees research in environmental science, climate science, fundamental geoscience, and subsurface energy resources. Susan Hubbard earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, an MS in geophysics and a BS in Geological Sciences. She has worked at the US Geological Survey and for industry. Her research focuses on quantifying how terrestrial environments function, with a particular emphasis on the development and use of geophysical approaches to provide new insights about processes that influence contaminant remediation, carbon cycling, water resources, and subsurface energy systems. She leads the Genomes-to-Watershed Scientific Focus Area and other large team projects, and serves on several editorial and advisory boards. For more information, please visit

Kim Williams

Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (510) 486-7362 | Fax: (510) 486-4944
Location: 971-0201 | Mail Stop: 971-CFO

Berkeley Lab’s Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the Laboratory’s fiduciary, financial, procurement and property management systems. Kim Williams joined Berkeley Lab in 2006 and was the Division Deputy for Operations in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD). Prior to joining the Lab, she held executive management and chief financial officer positions with financial and academic organizations, including the Pacific Stock Exchange. Her experience also includes leadership of strategic initiatives and management of contracts and grants; business, regulatory and compliance matters, and other operational functions. Williams received her MBA from UC Berkeley.