Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Term Limits at DNFSB:

Good or Bad?

My last blog on my experiences in the Presidential appointment process as a candidate for a position on the board of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) elicited several comments about the undesirability of Board members staying on after their terms have expired if they are not immediately replaced.

Since this is an issue I have had occasion to think about in the past, I thought I'd follow up the comment with a little history of practices in several different agencies.

First, a primer on boards and commissions versus single administrator agencies.  Basically, boards and commissions operate very differently from single administrator agencies.  In the latter, once an administrator is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, they serve "at the will of the President."  That is, they are able to stay in their position until either the end of the President's term of office or until the President replaces them.  The President can replace any such individual at any time and for any reason.  If there is a gap between when one administrator leaves and another is nominated and confirmed, that position is filled on an acting basis by the most senior civil service employee of the agency. 

On the other hand, boards and commissions have several members who are co-equal in status (in terms of their votes on agency decisions), although one is designated by the President as the chairman.  Boards and commissions generally have an odd number of members (usually 5 or 7) in order to minimize tie votes, and since they are required to represent a spectrum of views, no more than 3 (in the case of a 5-member commission or board) or 4 (in the case of a 7-member one) can be from the party in power.  The other members are from the opposite party, or may be Independents.

The members of boards and commissions are appointed for staggered terms.   The terms are fixed in that, if a new board member or commissioner is appointed in the middle of a term, the official end of the term, they do not get a full 5-year (or 7-year for larger boards) term.  These terms are independent of the presidential cycle, so some appointed members may continue to serve into the next Administration.  They cannot be removed, except for "cause" (doing something illegal), so their term cannot be terminated for political reasons.  

However, for most boards and commissions, a commissioner or board member whose term has expired is permitted to stay in the position until a replacement is appointed.  That is the situation for the DNFSB.  There have been cases, where either the President has not nominated a replacement or the Senate has not confirmed the replacement, where an individual has been able to stay in their position for several years, even though their term had expired.

On the surface, it might appear that this has one advantage--a board or commission could continue to have a full, or nearly full, complement of members even if the President or the Senate failed to act.  However, as the comments I've received suggest, this has undesirable aspects as well.  It appears to remove the pressure for the President and the Senate to act, and depending on the politics, it could encourage a Senate that is hostile to the President to stall a confirmation to maintain the status quo.

Another feature of commissions and boards is that, if a vacancy develops, there is no provision for someone to serve as an acting member.  Therefore, there can be cases where the board is evenly split between parties and tie votes can occur; alternatively, there can be cases where the board split is 3 to 1 (for a 5-member board missing one member).  If a chairman leaves, one of the other board or commission members does fill in as the acting chair, but there are no acting board members or commissioners.  

It turns out that there are some variants to the rules for commissions and boards.  One notable example is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  I recall a discussion many years ago with the late Manning Muntzing, who headed a prestigious law firm in Washington prior to his death.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Muntzing had worked as an attorney for the local telephone company.  In that capacity, he dealt with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and observed the effects of this practice.

Later, he worked as a lawyer at the Atomic Energy Commission and was there at the time that the AEC was split up and the NRC was created.  In this capacity, he helped draft the legislation establishing the NRC.  He claimed responsibility for inserting the language into the authorizing legislation for the NRC that require an NRC commissioner to leave his or her position the day his or her term expires.  I recall that he was very proud of this provision.  He felt it would hold the President's and the Senate's feet to the fire and assure that they made timely appointments to the NRC.

How did that work?  Well, over the history of the NRC, it has frequently operated with four, or even three, members instead of the full complement of five, either because the President did not nominate someone to fill a seat that was expired or about to expire, or because the Senate did not act to confirm a nomination.  On one occasion, the NRC was down to two members, leading to concerns about the legal standing of any significant actions taken when there was less than a quorum of members.  Fortunately, that period was brief and the Commission managed to avoid any critical decisions.

Conceptually, this could happen again, since the NRC only has three members at present, and Chairman Svinicki's term ends this June 30.  Presumably, since the President just named her as Chair of the Commission, I would expect that he will reappoint her, and since the Senate has a Republican majority, I would expect her to have an easy reconfirmation.  Therefore, in this case, it is NOT likely that the Commission would go down to two members.  However, in other circumstances, a three-member Commission with 4-1/2 months to go on the term of one of them could be a cause for concern.

During the last few months, I became aware of yet another nuance in the rules, at least at one agency.  At the FCC, I recently learned, commissioners can stay on after their terms have expired, but only until the end of the session of Congress during which their term expires.  What the reasons are for this particular variant of the rules, I don't know, nor have I been able to find any other agencies that have a similar requirement, or that have any other variants.  What this does show is that, while most agencies operate under the same rules as the DNFSB, there are other models.

It is not clear that any one of these models is better than the others.  As the examples above illustrate, there is a downside in each case.  While a board that operates with 3 of its 5 members holding expired terms--as I believe has been the case at DNFSB since October 30--leaves something to be desired, the alternative model under which the NRC operates introduces other potential problems.

In any event, the only way of changing the rules for board members or commissioners of such agencies would be to modify the authorizing legislation of the agency.  That is probably a measure most agencies would not want to take for an action that might only substitute one set of problems for another. 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Presidential Appointments:

So You Want to be a Presidential Appointee?

About a year and a half ago, I was contacted by the White House asking if I would be willing to be nominated for a Presidential appointment.  In the scheme of things, the position was a very low-profile one, but with the current spotlight on the nominees for major positions in the new Administration, I thought it might be instructive to some to outline what can happen, even if the case of much lower-level positions.

Here is an abbreviated timeline:

August 11, 2015:  I receive an e-mail from someone in the White House personnel office asking me if I would have an interest in serving on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB).  

For those who do not know it, DNFSB is a small "independent organization within the executive branch of the United States Government, chartered with the responsibility of providing recommendations and advice to the President and the Secretary of Energy regarding public health and safety issues at Department of Energy defense nuclear facilities."

I had not been seeking a full-time position of any sort, but as soon as I am asked, I realize that this is a real honor and I decide to pursue it.  I speak to her by phone that day and meet with her two weeks later.

October 13, 2015:  I learn that they sent my name to President Obama and he authorized them to start the "vetting" process. 

The vetting process involves the collection and review of an extensive dossier on the individual--financial information, memberships, foreign travel, etc.  I have to fill out several lengthy forms, get some information from my accountant, and have two-hour telephone interview with someone from the White House to go over all the details in the forms.  I wish I'd kept a record of how many hours I spent on the forms.  It was substantial.  I had to report every stock I owned, every foreign consulting assignment my husband or I had, and every foreign trip I'd taken, whether for business or pleasure, for the past 10 years.  I had worked for DOE and OECD in that period.  I'd lived in two countries in the last 10 years and had traveled a lot.

I begin working with several people, one in the White House, and one at DNFSB.  In the course of this review, they ask for all my financial information.  This includes the investments in a family trust for which I am a trustee.  They identify 4 very small amounts of stock that are not in energy-related companies but with which, for some reason, the Department of Energy has some sort of contractual connection.  As a condition of my taking a position as a Board member of DNFSB, I have to sign a form saying I will either resign as a trustee or sell the stocks in question.  This requires my getting the consent of family members involved.

I also have to agree to resign as from any board or committee positions, including committees of the American Nuclear Society and of my local alumni association, both non-profit organizations.

The vetting process also requires interviews by the FBI and others.  They interview me, they interview several of my neighbors, and they send people from the US Embassy in Paris to interview several of my former colleagues and friends in France from the period that I worked for the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.   I always wondered how much that all cost.

During the course of this process, I am contacted by a headhunter about a possible position on a corporate board of directors.  If I were to be selected for this position, it would be more money for less work than the DNFSB position.  Still, I decide the DNFSB position would be for the greater good, and I decline to pursue the position.

The process spins out over several months, and there are changes in my contacts, both in the White House and in DNFSB.

April 26, 2016:  The White House issues a press release nominating me to the position.  

I then discover there is more paperwork to be filled out, and I work with DNFSB people on the additional forms.  These forms are to be sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), which has jurisdiction over the DNFSB.  One form turns out to be the same form I'd already completed for the White House.  However, it had been so long since I'd filled it out that I fill out half of it again before I realize it!  Another form turns out to be the wrong form from the Committee and needs to be redone.

During this period, I am contacted by someone who wants me to write an article (for no pay) for a publication of the OECD, my former employer, and an international organization of which the U.S. is a member.  I am advised not to accept this assignment out of concern that it could cause problems for the confirmation process.  No details are given.

June 29, 2016:  The last of the paperwork is sent to the SASC.

July 12, 2016:  The SASC reports my nomination out of Committee along with 141 military promotions and 2 other civilian nominations.

This is an exciting moment--they moved quickly, and I am only one step away from completing the process!  I need only a vote by the full Senate to confirm me.  But summer recess looms.

July 14, 2016:  Congress recesses for the summer without acting on my nomination and one other.  (They do act on the 141 military promotions and one of the civilian nominations.)

I am told that they may act on it when they reconvene in September 6. 

December 10, 2016:  The Senate adjourns without acting on my nomination, effectively killing it.

My White House contact tells me that there is some chance that this could still be acted on before the end of the Administration.  Technically, the White House has to renominate me (along with others who are in the same position). 

January 17, 2017:  I get a message from the White House telling me that I was not renominated.

The message tells me that this is the sender's last day.  In fact, when I reply to him an hour after receiving the message, I get an automatic reply that he is already gone!
Reflections:  Why tell this story?  My experience was certainly not unique.  Hundreds of appointments have dragged on for a long time, some for longer than mine.  While I was under consideration, an Obama nominee for an Ambassadorship died while she was awaiting confirmation.  I am not writing to lay blame on any institution or political party.  Each step of the process (except the SASC action) took longer than I expected it to.   

Many appointments are delayed for political reasons or because of controversies about the individuals. Since this was not the case for me, I had hopes that my appointment might move faster.  But there may have been factors that were never shared with me.  The position I was to fill was being held by a Board member whose term had expired.  Officially, this was not a factor.  As soon as someone new is appointed, the person in the position leaves.  This is technically the rule, but did it delay progress?   That is possible, but with other appointments also delayed, it is impossible to tell for sure what the reason was in my case.

There are, of course, cases where appointments move very quickly.  One former NRC Commissioner told me his appointment--which was years ago--had no delays at all.  A number of the nominations made by the new Administration in recent weeks have also moved quickly, even in some cases where they are controversial.  I have even wondered how all the paperwork and other vetting that I went through could possibly be taking place for some of these nominations.

I should also emphasize that, in some ways, I am luckier than other nominees who get caught in this process.

I had spent most of my career in the Federal government in positions requiring a security clearance, so I'd been through similar reviews before.  I was already keeping the kinds of records that might be difficult for others to assemble, like my past foreign travel.  This review was more detailed than past security clearances, but I had most of the basic information.  

I live in the Washington area.  I did not have to start preparing to relocate quickly in anticipation of suddenly being confirmed.

While I did turn down some consulting assignments, they were fairly minor.  I am aware of other nominees who find that they are unable to conduct their business at all while they are under consideration.

I felt it was useful to share this story because I think most people do not fully understand the Presidential appointment process.  Since I work in Washington and have worked with a number of Presidential appointees, I thought I knew more than most about the process, but I still encountered a number of surprises along the way--the number of people I dealt with, the amount of paperwork, the number of colleagues and acquaintances who were interviewed, the surprise findings about some minor amounts of stock, the restrictions on my personal activities, both during the process and if confirmed, the long-term ramifications for an individual when opportunities arise during this period, and the details of what happens to pending nominations during the final month of an Administration.

This is not intended to discourage people from accepting invitations to be nominated in the future.  Some nominations, as I have said, do move more quickly.  It is an honor to be nominated by the President for any position, and I, for one, felt it was my duty accept, and, if confirmed, to serve.  I would probably agree to be nominated again, if asked, and I would encourage others to accept such offers as well.  However, anyone starting this process should be fully aware that it can be a long and tortuous road, even for positions that are not in the limelight and for individuals who believe that no controversy surrounds their nomination, and it can have impacts on one's investments and activities.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Worker Productivity:

A Look at the Numbers

While this is not strictly a nuclear issue, the issue of worker productivity affects all enterprises, so I will take some liberty with the theme of this blog and report on a recent Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study of worker productivity in a number of countries, as reported by Time magazine.

With the recent attention focused on the French law restricting e-mails to employees after work hours, there has been increased focus on issues of overwork and burnout.  The OECD report looks at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour worked, and concludes that working more hours does not result in more productivity (as measured by the GDP).  The measure of hours worked is the average for all employed citizens, including full- and part-time work.

In particular, the U.S. came in 5th out of 35 countries in productivity, behind Luxembourg, Ireland, Norway, and Belgium.  France, which is famous for its short work week, came in 7th, while Japan, which is famous for its extremely long hours, came in 20th.  What was particularly striking to me was that, with the exception of the U.S. and Ireland, most of the countries in the top 10 group in productivity had an average work week of about 30 hours or less.  Germany, had the lowest average work week (26.3 hours), while the U.S. and Ireland weighed in well above, at 33.6 and 33.5 hours, respectively.  (Remember that all the numbers include part-time workers; hence we don't see the famous 40-hour work week.)  By contrast, the 25 countries following the "top 10" had average work weeks ranging from 30.9 hours (Austria) to 41.2 hours (Mexico).  

Of course, this is one statistic, and I am sure that other statistics might present a different picture.  In particular, I personally wonder how the productivity numbers stack up when one compares particular sectors of the economy.  And one can wonder how much of the difference in hours worked is due to cultural behavior.  I know from my time in Japan that workers felt a kind of social obligation to stay at their desks long into the evening, whether or not they really had something urgent to do.

Still, it is an important indication, particularly in this era of 24/7 connectivity, that we need to rethink some of the assumptions many employees and employers have had about the importance of working longer hours than the nominal work week.

With that off my mind, I promise to get back to discussing nuclear- and other energy-related issues.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Nuclear History:

A New Addition to the Library

I was pleased to get a message a couple of weeks ago from a friend and colleague in France, Dominique Greneche, reporting on the publication of his book on the history of nuclear reactors.  In the past decade, it seems to me that there have been a number of new books on various aspects of nuclear history (including my own on "Nuclear Firsts"). 

This most recent addition to the nuclear history library looks like one of the most comprehensive of the genre.  Unfortunately for some of us, it is presently available only in French, but it looks like it would be a wonderful addition to the collection of anyone who is a Francophone.  And, given the interest in the book, Dominique hopes to have the book translated into English in the future.

I will let the author describe the book in his own words:
I am delighted to announce you that my book on the history and technique of nuclear reactors and their fuels has just been published (with the French editor “EDP-Sciences”).

This 766-pages book is the result of a long and patient work that lasted about five years.

It is the fruit of a vast professional experience which allowed me to enrich the text of numerous personal testimonies. It is also the result of several decades of teaching in engineering schools and French universities as well as in some international institutions. Finally, it is the product of a careful examination of an abundant literature (more than 400 references are cited) including rare documents or materials taken from my extensive personal library constituted during my long career.

The first two chapters (almost 70 pages) are devoted to a retrospective of the great discoveries on atoms and nuclear energy for 2,500 years (Lucretius, Democritus) until the first chain reaction on 2/12/1942 in Chicago (CP-1). I devote a second part to the operation of nuclear reactors, with some reminders of nuclear physics and a concise description of the physics of the cores of nuclear reactors. In a third part (which constitutes the "heart of the book"), I develop all the genesis of nuclear reactors, explaining in detail their structure, especially regarding all possible choices for their main three components that are the fuel, the heat transfer fluids and the moderator. I also explain the history of nuclear power in the major countries (France, of course, but also USA, GB, and former USSR), with paragraphs dedicated to the development of various reactor lines in each country (chapter 14). I describe the major industrial nuclear reactor types: UNGG, MAGNOX, AGR, HTR, RBMK, heavy water (different subclasses), light water (with a direct comparison between PWRs and BWRs and finally the FNRs (chapter in which I examine in particular the "secrets" of FNR physics). I also describe "other reactors" such as naval propulsion reactors (especially submarines) or reactors for space applications (space rockets or spacecraft), again combining the technical and historical aspects. In this part I evoke of course the reactors of the future. Finally, the fourth part is devoted to fuel cycle technologies (including a historical chapter for uranium, for enrichment and for reprocessing) with a special chapter dedicated to thorium.

In short, this book is a broad technical-historical portrayal on nuclear energy and nuclear reactors. It explains in particular the choice of reactor lines and especially the reasons for the dominance of light water reactors today in the world. It has no equivalent in France (and abroad I think), by the extent of the subjects treated and the very close ties that are established between history and the discoveries or founding inventions as well as the development of the nuclear reactors themselves. So I consider that it will be a solid and unique reference in the field of nuclear energy.

It is very successful and is extremely appreciated by those who have started to read it. Besides, I have received praises from several high-level persons in nuclear sector in France.

The book is available from the publisher.

This comprehensive volume looks like an outstanding addition to the growing set of books on the history of nuclear power, and I certainly hope it is successful enough to merit a future edition in English.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Conferences and Technology:

Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

I came across an interesting opinion piece recently by Wolf Frommer from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, that criticized the growing trend of people taking digital photos of slides at conference papers--and then posting the images on social media.

The concern was that some speakers present work at conferences that has not yet been published, and rampant unauthorized publication could ultimately drive such authors away, and thereby undercut the value of technical conferences.  This, of course, is an issue that affects all scientific and engineering disciplines, so I thought the topic might be of interest to those reading this blog.

I, too, have been noticing people taking photos at meetings instead of taking notes, but I had not thought that they might be sharing this material.  And I hadn't thought about the potential implications of such sharing.  My own concern was really limited to whether someone raising their arms over their heads to take a picture would block my view!

I therefore found this broader concern something worth thinking about, and shared it with a couple of my colleagues.  The reaction convinced me that there were more dimensions to this issue than I first thought.

One person pointed out that some meetings have begun posting the presentation slides.  For example, the NRC Regulatory Information Conference does so.  Of course, in such cases, the conference organizers normally make it clear in advance that they plan to post the slides, and presumably, they allow presenters the option for their slides not to be posted, or to provide a redacted version for the website.  And I did get a couple of reactions that organizers should provide advance warning if they plan to post the slides or record the session, and not pull it on the speaker at the last minute. 

Some felt that it is the responsibility of the conference organizers to establish guidelines for conduct at their meetings.  They can either ask people not to photograph slides, or to remind people that slides shouldn't be shared without the author's consent.  And/or, the speaker can make such a statement at the start of his/her presentation.  People taking this view liken the unauthorized distribution of slides to the unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music downloaded from websites.

When people understand potential copyright and other issues, most will respect the boundaries.  Everyone acknowledged there will always be people who don't respect such restrictions, and that it will be very difficult to get 100% compliance.  Expelling people from meetings, as Frommer suggests, requires more oversight of audiences than is likely to be possible.  However, if people become aware of material posted without authorization, they can request that it be taken down or contact the employers of the individuals violating the rules.

This is not a perfect solution, of course, but the issue appears to be one more example of the fact that we have to adjust all our practices to the realities of the ability of modern technology to allow everyone to record and distribute material.  This seems to be a situation that merits more attention, and the development of explicit guidelines for conference organizers, speakers, and attendees. 


Friday, December 23, 2016

Dammed If They Do:

...Dammed If They Don't

An interesting news item crossed my desk--OK, my computer screen--recently.  It was an article about a new dam in Ethiopia, Gibe III.  The article details impacts we have heard before about dams affecting agricultural lands and fisheries downstream.  It also brings out the conflict between modernization and maintaining old ways.  The opponents complain that the project threatens the way of life of the people downstream of the dam, and resent that way of life being characterized as primitive or backward.  The proponents point out that the dam will bring power to a power-impoverished population, and will give them a product to export to neighboring countries.  They complain that the opponents “don’t want to see developed Africa; they want us to remain undeveloped and backward to serve their tourists as a museum.”

At the risk of using a bad pun, this seems like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.  While the rhetoric sounds like it's gotten rather heated in Ethiopia, and I don't know enough about the politics there to judge either side, I can guess that they would have been subject to criticism no matter what they did--had they decided not to build a dam, they could have been accused of holding their entire population back.  Having decided to build the dam, they are accused of ignoring the interests of the local communities affected.  

But as I thought about it, I felt that this kind tension between different interests had a very familiar ring.  I know these kinds of reactions most of all from the nuclear power side--local communities that worry about the local impacts versus the larger population that needs reliable, cost-effective electricity.  But I have also seen similar issues play out in the siting of gas pipelines, wind farms, and even of solar power arrays.  In the case of dams, the impacts on people's homes and livelihood may be more direct and more severe than in some other cases, but for the local populations, all of the impacts are important.

As in all things related to our infrastructure, there are no easy answers.  Decisionmakers have to balance many factors in making decisions--the need for a secure and adequate supply of electricity for the overall population, the interests of local communities affected, the environment, etc.  No decision is without some negative impacts.  The continuing challenge is to find ways to balance the benefits and the shortcomings.  The decisions will always be subject to criticism from some quarter, but failing to make a decision, or making a decision based on the loudest voice or on other faulty grounds will, in the long run, always prove to be a worse choice. 


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nuclear History and ANS:

American Nuclear Society Presidents

I am pleased and proud to report that the American Nuclear Society (ANS) recently completed a project to post brief bios of all 61 ANS past presidents (plus the current president).  Pleased, because many of the past presidents were icons in the early development of nuclear power, or played key roles in the evolution and growth of the nuclear industry, and it is wonderful to have so many of their stories in one place.  Proud, because I had a role in helping solicit biographical information from the living past presidents and in searching for information on the deceased past presidents.  But let me quickly add that this was not a solo effort.  It involved the contributions of many people, both other ANS past presidents, ANS staff and others I contacted in the course of my research.

I had known the history of a number of the past presidents before I started the effort, and after I was elected ANS president (I served in 2001-2), I was always awed and humbled to be in such company.  So many of them were either founding fathers (yes, they were all men in the early days) of the industry, or leaders in its development and evolution. 

In fact, what I did know about some of the past president is probably what spurred me to initiate the project.  I wanted to share the history I knew with others, and to fill in the history of the ones I didn't know much about.  Assembling the activities and accomplishments of all the past presidents, and fleshing out more details on those I did know, provides a much more complete picture than I previously had and provides an impressive view of the important roles in nuclear power development played by the leadership of ANS.  I do encourage people to click on the link above and then click on the links for individual past presidents to get a glimpse of this history. 

In the meantime, a few of statistics will provide some idea of the scope and nature of the accomplishments: 

More than 20 of the past presidents, including almost every one of the earliest presidents, had some role in the earliest stages of nuclear power development.  Many worked on aspects of the Manhattan Project or on the earliest nuclear submarines.  Among the specific early reactors and facilities that were mentioned in articles I found on the early work of the ANS past presidents were such familiar names as the Daniels Pile and the EBR-I, to name just two.  

From the earliest days through the present, a number of ANS presidents have come from the academic community or have served a stint in academia.  Several of these early past presidents were instrumental in the establishment of the first academic departments in nuclear engineering, and several, both early presidents and more recent ones, have headed nuclear engineering departments.  We have also had past presidents who, before or after their term as ANS president, have held high leadership positions in all parts of the nuclear industry--for vendors, for utilities, for architect-engineers, for government, for an industry trade group, and even in a law firm.  A number of the past presidents have worked in more than one segment of the industry, and quite a few were in the nuclear Navy early in their careers.  

Many past presidents have been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the nuclear industry, as well as in the entire science and engineering community. 

Unfortunately, several of the bios are a bit sketchier than I would have liked.  This is in part due to the lack of much material in some cases, but it is also due to time limitations, both on my part and on the part of the ANS staff who helped edit, format, and post the bios.  As it is, it took just about a year to assemble everything.  For this, as well as for other reasons, we made conscious decisions not to make the bios too long or detailed, and to limit them to professional activities, accomplishments and recognition.    

It should also hasten to add that we have many other ANS members, past and present, who have made similarly major contributions to the industry.  This effort focused only on past presidents, and is not intended to suggest that they are the only ones who made such contributions.  Nor is it intended to suggest that the only measure of the accomplishments of these past presidents is their titles and awards. 

Finally, I want to thank all the people who helped make this project possible--all the living past presidents who provided me their biographical information; a couple of past presidents, most notably Ted Quinn and Jim Tulenko, who provided me with bios for several deceased past presidents; a number of people in companies and organizations I contacted where some of the deceased past presidents had worked who provided me with information I couldn't find on the Web; Linda Zec of the ANS staff, who sandwiched this effort between all her other duties (and, I might add, who got very interested in the project and sometimes even worked on it on weekends); and several people Linda worked with who formatted and posted the bios as we finished them. 

This project never would have been completed without all these contributions.  I hope the effort will allow more people a glimpse into some of the many accomplishments of the leadership of the American Nuclear Society.