Thomas Zacharia

Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Thomas Zacharia, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), guides more than 5,700 staff in solving scientific and technical challenges for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors, managing an annual budget of more than $2.4 billion. Following a postdoctoral appointment at ORNL, Thomas joined the Laboratory’s Metals and Ceramics Division in 1989. He established and led the Materials Modeling and Simulation Group and became director of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division in 1998, Deputy Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for High Performance Computing in 2000, and ALD for Computing and Computational Sciences in 2001. He led the creation of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, fielding the world’s fastest supercomputer, and led delivery of a petascale system for the National Science Foundation in 2008. Thomas was named ORNL Deputy for Science and Technology in 2009. From 2012 until 2015, while on leave of absence from ORNL, he served as Executive Vice President of Research and Development for the Qatar Foundation. He has been director of ORNL since 2017. Thomas holds a B.S. from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India, an M.S. from the University of Mississippi, and a Ph.D. from Clarkson University. He holds two patents and has authored more than 100 publications. He co-chairs the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers established by the Council on Competitiveness in 2019. He is a Fellow of the American Welding Society, a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Sessions With Thomas Zacharia