Today at Berkeley Lab

Message From Director on Public Affairs, IT, and HR Reorganization

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to share with you a few changes Glenn Kubiak and I are making in Public Affairs, Human Resources, and Information Technology. These changes are intended to more closely align our communications function with Lab strategy and leadership decision-making, to leverage the synergy between Workforce Development and Education with the Lab’s talent management, employee development, and diversity and inclusion efforts led by Human Resources, and to better align technical media resources with other information technology support services in the Information Technology Division. 

Before describing these organizational changes, let me first acknowledge that Jeff Miller, the Head of Public Affairs, has announced his plans to retire on June 30, 2017. Jeff has served at the Lab for over nine years, and at the University of California for a total of nearly 33 years. Among many achievements, Jeff is responsible for a significant positive shift in the local community’s perception of the Lab, and for establishing the Lab’s signature outreach event series, Science at the Theater. We thank him for his service to the Lab, and wish him well as he pursues his next adventure. 

Organizational Changes

Just as our science programs have evolved to respond to national challenges, our functions that support that science must similarly evolve. We need to make sure we are marshaling all of our resources to do this in the most effective way possible, and so I’d like to announce the following organizational changes:

There has perhaps been no greater urgency than there is today for the Lab to successfully communicate the Lab’s mission to a broad range of stakeholders, from the Department of Energy, to Congress, to the scientific community, to the State of California, and importantly, to our employees. To more closely align our communications function with Lab strategy and leadership decision-making, and to create a structure that is more in keeping with the practice of the Labs across the DOE network, we are establishing a strategic communications function within the Directorate, with the head of that department reporting to the Lab Director. This will allow us to leverage our existing resources and harmonize our communications functions across our Areas and User Facilities. It also will facilitate putting resources toward a much needed employee communications function. The current Communications and Media Relations Team in Public Affairs will move to the new department, as will our social media function. Dan Krotz will serve as interim group leader until we are able to conduct a search for and appoint a new head of Strategic Communications.

See organizational chart here.

The Workforce Development and Education team will move to Human Resources as one step we are taking to help strengthen the Lab’s talent management, employee development, and diversity and inclusion efforts.  This move will leverage WD&E’s synergy with these programs in HR, particularly regarding internships and the development of a diverse pipeline of STEM talent. Colette Flood will serve as the WD&E group’s interim leader, reporting to Michelle Scanlon.

See organizational chart here.

To better align our technical media resources with our Lab’s expertise in IT systems, including business systems, commodity computing, and cybersecurity, the departments of Website Development, Creative Services, and Visual Communications will move to the IT Division. Cait Youngquist will assist as coordinator during the transition. The resulting integration of all elements of technical media with the IT Division will help to inform, improve and extend best practices within the Lab.

See organizational chart here.

These organizational changes are intended to help our Lab-wide communications evolve to meet the needs of our science mission. While we need a robust strategic communications team to support us as we face a number of external challenges, it is paramount that we also have a strong employee engagement function that both communicates the Lab’s values and mission and helps us to build a sense of community. In this way we can reach our goal of becoming a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.