It is with mixed feelings that I announce that after nearly 20 years at the Lab, Don Medley, our Executive Director for Government and Community Relations, has decided to retire at the end of June 2022. Don leaves behind a long and distinguished history of educating federal, state, and local government officials and agencies about the Lab’s important scientific and technical capabilities. He has also been a positive influence within the National Lab system, bringing together his colleagues to speak with one voice about the Department of Energy’s many benefits to the nation. Most important, Don has served as a key member of the leadership team in shaping and realizing the Lab’s evolving strategic direction.
While I cannot go through all of Don’s myriad contributions, I do want to point out a few that have made a very positive impact on the Lab during my tenure as Lab Director. He worked very hard to reorganize the GCR office, recruiting key talent for federal, state, and community outreach. He expanded the Lab’s pipeline efforts by bringing in an accomplished educational program director to head up our K-12 programs; he worked with her to build an impressive curriculum with a special focus on underrepresented students.
Don helped to equip key legislators at both the state and federal levels to be champions of Berkeley Lab – not to mention officials within the national laboratories and DOE’s Office of Science – who often act as advocates for both our research and for needed infrastructure support. His strategic interactions with members of Congress and their staffs often led to support for important research at the Lab. And it is not difficult to hear echoes of Don’s voice in legislation that has impacted some of Berkeley Lab’s major science and operational initiatives, including the DOE Science for the Future Act, the Endless Frontier Act, and recent quantum R&D legislation. Don helped confirm and grow the Lab’s scientific reputation, securing expert testimony roles for Lab researchers on a range of topics from biology to materials research.
Another of Don’s biggest accomplishments was successfully advocating to incorporate the Lab's infrastructure needs into UC's long-range planning efforts.
Finally, Don has been a tireless champion for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accountability. This was especially important in building a GCR team committed to DEI and building productive relationships with community partners. Don’s and the team’s focus on underrepresented and under-resourced communities has led to very strong relationships with important organizations such as the Rising Sun Center for Opportunity.
I will miss Don professionally and personally, and I know many around the Lab and beyond will as well. Please join me in thanking Don for his significant contributions to the Lab, and wishing him well in his next adventure.