It is with personal regret but warm wishes that Mike Witherell, Horst Simon and I announce CFO Kim Williams’ decision to retire, effective October 5, 2018. Kim has built an impressive legacy of outstanding leadership during her career at Berkeley Lab, and she will be greatly missed as she moves on to the next exciting chapter in her life. An acting CFO will be announced before Kim leaves the Lab, and a national search is underway for her replacement.
Kim came to Berkeley Lab in 2006 with a wealth of executive leadership and Chief Financial Officer experience gained from her tenure in several financial industry and academic organizations, including the Pacific Stock Exchange. Kim’s first position at Berkeley Lab was Senior Business Manager in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD), which was one of the Lab’s largest scientific divisions (and is now the Energy Technologies Area). In 2008, she was promoted to Deputy for Operations and led the Division’s operations spanning business and finance; environment, health and safety; space and facilities; and administrative services. Utilizing her extensive financial and operational leadership acumen, Kim reorganized and strengthened EETD’s operations and research support functions. During this time, she also led the Lab’s Financial Systems Modernization (F$M) Project. This three-year effort to overhaul the Laboratory’s 20-year old system took strong leadership and partnership across the Lab. F$M was successfully launched on the first day of fiscal year 2014, in scope, on schedule, and on budget. F$M was recognized for achievement in DOE’s Best Practices Handbook (April 2016).
In 2012, Kim was named to the position of LBNL Chief Financial Officer, and in addition to transforming the Lab’s financial system, Kim led the Laboratory through numerous financial accomplishments in support of our scientific mission. During her tenure, she oversaw the enhancement of the Field Finance support model; the strategic management of the Lab’s indirect rate structure to assure we remain financially competitive; the restructuring of Procurement and the eCommerce platform; and the transformation of the OCFO into a more integrated and effective organization. Kim led several cost savings initiatives, most notably negotiating a reduced employer pension contribution that resulted in $7M of annual savings for the Lab, for which she received a Director’s Outstanding Achievement Award. She also led the development of extensive financial training tools, and personally delivered training to over 900 Lab leaders, managers, Principal Investigators, and staff, improving our collective financial stewardship.
As the Lab’s CFO, Kim worked tirelessly to optimize collaboration across operations functions and to build effective partnerships within the Lab. She also worked to establish strong relationships with the Lab’s external stakeholders, including leaders in the DOE, UC’s Office of National Laboratories, and colleagues throughout the National Lab complex. For two years she had a key role within the complex as the Chair of the National Laboratory Chief Financial Officers working group, leading the national labs’ interests in financial and procurement policy matters.
On a personal level, Kim’s contributions have been invaluable in helping me to quickly get up to speed on the Lab’s financial landscape, systems, opportunities and challenges. Her contributions and outstanding leadership over the years leave the Lab on a strong footing for her successor.
Please join Mike, Horst, and me in thanking Kim for her extraordinary dedication and leadership during her tenure at Berkeley Lab, and in congratulating her on this next step with her family. We will miss Kim’s energy, passion, and commitment, and wish her the very best in the next phase of her life.