He will become the 16th director in Sandia's history when he takes over for retiring director Stephen Younger, Ph.D., on Jan. 1.
"Since its beginning in 1949, Sandia National Laboratories has been led by amazing, talented and dedicated people," Peery said in a statement Dec. 2.
"I am humbled to become Laboratories Director at a time when Sandia is experiencing a significant increase in work supporting our nation's nuclear deterrent," he added. "We will continue Sandia's traditions of delivering on our national security missions, supporting our communities and developing our workforce."
Headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M., with its No. 2 facility in Livermore, Sandia is operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Stevan Slijepcevic, Sandia board chair and president of Honeywell Aerospace Electronic Solutions, said Peery stood out above the rest during the company's nationwide search that included a review of more than 80 candidates.
"James rose as our clear choice because of his familiarity with the DOE/NNSA mission, knowledge of Sandia, vast national laboratory leadership experience and deep knowledge of nuclear weapons, cybersecurity, computational science, high performance computing and systems engineering," Slijepcevic said.
"He also has extensive experience in scientific and engineering code development, as well as in technical program management and development."
Peery began his career at Sandia, working there from 1990-2002 before leaving for leadership roles at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He returned to Sandia from 2007-15, including time as vice president of defense systems and assessments, before shifting to Oak Ridge.
He will take the reins from Younger, who will retire on Dec. 31 after more than two years as Sandia director.
"The nation owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Younger for his contributions to our nuclear security for nearly 40 years," said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE under secretary for nuclear security and NNSA administrator.
"As a scientist, civil servant, and senior leader in the nuclear security enterprise, Steve has brought incredible passion and commitment to his work. For those of us lucky enough to have called him a colleague, and those of us even luckier to have called him a friend, he has been a source of reassurance and inspiration," she added.
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