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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Sandia National Laboratories 0

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Phase II

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) is a small, independent federal agency within the executive branch with an essential mission, “to provide independent analysis, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy, as operator and regulator of defense nuclear facilities to enhance public health and safety.”

At present, there are fourteen defense nuclear facility sites managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and subject to Board jurisdiction. The Board’s safety oversight mission covers all phases in the life of a defense nuclear facility including design, construction, operations, and decommissioning.

The National Academy of Public Administration recently conducted a comprehensive organizational assessment of the DNFSB. The Panel unequivocally concluded that the DNFSB’s safety oversight mission is as important today as it has ever been in its thirty-year history. The Panel, however, found evidence confirming that the Board has recently underperformed in its essential mission, to provide independent analysis, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy. Subsequently, the DNFSB has engaged the Academy for strategic planning and employee engagement services, over a period of seven months.

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Project Description

The Academy worked with DNFSB to develop a five-year Strategic Plan, and Communications and Change Management Implementation Strategy. This process included facilitated planning and visioning sessions with the DNFSB Board, agency leadership team, and operational offices; interviews with key external stakeholders; surveys of the entire DNFSB staff; facilitated employee focus groups; and interactive drafting process with DNFSB input.

The Academy formed a five-member Expert Advisory Group of Fellows to oversee the work of the project staff and provide guidance on the study approach.


If you'd like to learn more about this study, please contact Roger Kodat, Senior Project Director, at (202) 204-3610, or

Study Fellows