Frank Klotz, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, has been asked by President Donald Trump to remain as NNSA chief until the administration names a successor to the post, Albuquerque Journal reported Monday.
Mark Oswald writes the decision comes after Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) wrote Trump a letter to raise concerns about the lack of continuity in leadership at NNSA and its potential impact on national security work at the agency.
Klotz said in a Thursday memo to staff that Madelyn Creedon, principal deputy administrator at NNSA, and the other seven “non-career appointees” at the agency have left their posts, according to Gizmodo.
NNSA oversees the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, Oswald reports.
Aaron Mehta also reports for Defense News that Rick Perry, former governor of Texas and Trump’s pick for the Energy Department secretary role, has expressed his intention to keep Klotz as NNSA head during his Senate confirmation hearing.
“I have sat down with [Klotz] and had a good conversation with him, and have sent the message that it would certainly be my desire to have that continuity,” Perry said.
NNSA is an agency under DOE and is responsible for the development, disposal and maintenance of nuclear weapons, the report added.