Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor Vol. 26 No. 37
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Nuclear Security & Deterrence Monitor
Article 4 of 8
September 30, 2022

Livermore lab director Budil arrested for driving under the influence, speeding

By Dan Leone

Kimberly Budil, director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, admitted last week to all hands at the California nuclear-weapons design lab that she had been arrested for driving under the influence and speeding.

Budil, the first woman to run Livermore, has been director of the younger of the two U.S. weapon-design labs for about a year-and-a-half. She took over from William Goldstein on March 3, 2021.

“I am profoundly sorry for this terrible mistake,” Budil wrote in a statement shared Tuesday with the Exchange Monitor through a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) spokesperson. “It is the honor of my lifetime to serve as director of LLNL, and I am committed to working with the Laboratory community to repair their confidence in me.”

“Dr. Kim Budil has been a strong leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and across the NNSA complex,” an NNSA spokesperson at agency headquarters wrote in an email on Tuesday. “NNSA remains confident in Dr. Budil’s ability to successfully lead the lab while the incident is reviewed through established security processes.”

Livermore is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, the senior partners in which are Bechtel National and the University of California.

Lawrence Livermore National Security’s board of governors “has no further comment at this time,” Brett Henrickson, director of national laboratory governance and chief of staff at the office of the president of the University of California, wrote in an email on Tuesday.

Budil, a PhD engineer who has spent a career in the nuclear weapons enterprise, returned to Livermore in 2019 as director of weapons complex and integration. Prior to that, she had worked for about five years as vice president for national laboratories in the University of California’s office of the president.

Among other things, driving under the influence in California can result in the suspension of one’s driver’s license and criminal penalties including fines, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

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