Today at Berkeley Lab

Message From Director on Operations Leadership  

Dear Berkeley Lab colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that Deputy Director for Operations Glenn Kubiak has announced his plans to retire as of January 2018. As head of the 700-employee Operations enterprise since 2012, Glenn has done a remarkable job of improving operational support for our research while making the Lab a better place to work for all employees. He has also been a critical partner in senior Lab leadership, developing strategies for our organization that will continue to have an enormously positive impact on our research program for many years to come.

Five years ago, Paul Alivisatos was fortunate to attract Glenn from Sandia California, where he had served for 28 years in leadership roles that spanned both research and operations. After getting his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Stanford, Glenn had a very productive research career that included several collaborations with Berkeley Lab: with the Materials Sciences Division (MSD) on the structure and chemistry of diamond surfaces; with the Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO) and the Advanced Light Source (ALS) on the development of a high-fluence laboratory source of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation (1990 R&D 100 Award recipient); with the CXRO, ALS, and MSD on the six-year $250 million industry-funded EUV Lithography CRADA (2003 R&D 100 Award recipient); with Physical Biosciences on the creation and management of the multi-lab Joint BioEnergy Institute, for which Glenn served as chair of the board of directors; and finally with MSD and the Environmental Energy Technologies Division on the development of the successful multi-lab Joint Center for Energy Storage Research Hub. His publication list is deep, broad, and includes many highly cited papers.

As Deputy Director for Operations, Glenn’s headline accomplishment is helping to establish Berkeley Lab as a national leader in operations and research. I would like to mention a few of the changes he has been responsible for:

New Construction

  • Oversaw the successful completion, occupancy, and use of five major new facilities, including the Building 74 modernization project, the General Purpose Laboratory (Building 33), FLEXLAB, Chu Hall, and Wang Hall.
  • Oversaw the planning and initiation of two additional major projects, the Old Town Deactivation and Decommissioning Project, and the Integrative Genomics Building.


  • Created the Protective Services Department in 2013 to improve the performance of the Laboratory’s life safety and emergency preparedness programs.
  • Led the response to long-standing issues in electrical safety, including several serious electrical shock incidents, resulting in the development and implementation of a comprehensive and successful Electrical Safety Improvement Plan.
  • Co-led the “Ensuring Safety in Scientific Research” study and resulting report, which the Office of Science commissioned last year.

Financial Operations

  • Worked with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to oversee the successful development, launch, and implementation of the long-needed Financial System Modernization project.
  • Worked with the CFO, the General Counsel, and the University of California to restructure and reduce Laboratory retirement benefit costs, reducing indirect costs for the Lab with absolutely no reduction in employee retirement benefits. (He and his team received the 2015 Director’s Award for Exceptional Laboratory Operations Achievement.)

General Management

  • Recruited an outstanding team of Operations leaders that is recognized as one of the strongest at any national laboratory.
  • Oversaw the creation and implementation of a full-time dedicated Project Management Office as one element of a Lab-wide initiative to improve project management.

Glenn’s strategic vision, long-range planning, and exemplary management have built the excellent operational foundation that a world-leading research laboratory deserves and requires. We are profoundly grateful for this legacy he leaves with us.

Finally, I am personally very grateful to Glenn for being a superb partner in leading this great laboratory during my time here. Please join me in wishing him and his family all the best as he moves into the next phase of his life.

Best regards,

Mike Witherell