New Chairman Sworn In Today

Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane (right) is administered the oath of office by NRC Chief Human Capitol Officer Miriam Cohen (left) with chief of staff designee Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner holding the Bible.

Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane early Monday afternoon became the 15th chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She took the oath of office from NRC Chief Human Capital Officer Miriam Cohen in a small ceremony on the 18th floor of the NRC headquarters building.

She became the 33rd individual to serve on the commission since its creation in 1975, and only the third woman to hold the top job at the agency, which regulates the civilian use of nuclear materials. The way for her swearing-in was cleared the morning of July 9 when the White House alerted the Secretary of the Commission that Macfarlane’s appointment paperwork had been signed by the President. She is serving a term that ends June 30, 2013.

After the very brief event – it took no more than about two minutes – she posed for a picture with her commission colleagues who have their offices on that floor. (Her office is on the 17th.)

While there were no formal remarks, she noted that she is looking forward to working collegially with her fellow commissioners and the dedicated staff of the NRC to address the multiple issues facing the Commission.

Macfarlane most recently was an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. She holds a doctorate in geology, is an expert on nuclear waste, and from 2010 to 2012 was a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future created by the Obama Administration.

And by the way, if anyone wants to write her or write about her, the f in Macfarlane is not capitalized.

Eliot Brenner
Director, Office of Public Affairs