News Release

New director appointed to lead U.S. Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab

Kim Sawyer will serve as the lab’s fifth director, succeeding Stuart Henderson

Business Announcement

DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Kim Sawyer


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, announced that Kim Sawyer will become the new director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, effective Aug. 2, 2024. Sawyer will serve as Jefferson Lab’s fifth director.

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Credit: Jefferson Lab photo/Aileen Devlin

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, today announced that Kim Sawyer will become the new director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, effective Aug. 2.

Sawyer will serve as the lab’s fifth director in its 40-year history. In this role, Sawyer will be responsible for leading all activities in support of the world’s premiere research institution for exploring the nature of matter.

“We are pleased that Kim has been selected to lead Jefferson Lab,” said Sean J. Hearne, president and CEO of Southeastern Universities Research Association and chairman of the JSA Board of Directors. “Kim is a respected professional who has achieved success driving cultural change and building strong relationships with stakeholders. Kim delivers results, and we are confident her leadership and technical acumen will guide the lab as it begins its evolution to a multi-program laboratory.”

A successful change agent, Sawyer brings extensive executive experience in leadership and strategy. She has a proven track record driving organizational effectiveness and efficiencies within the DOE complex, championing innovation and building a strong safety culture.

Over the past decade, Sawyer has served as the deputy laboratory director and chief operating officer at both Argonne National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

Prior to DOE, Sawyer worked at defense contractor Lockheed Martin, where she led large engineering and technology organizations supporting complex U.S. Department of Defense programs. She also held roles of progressive leadership in private industry. Sawyer holds a master’s degree in mathematics and computing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Robert Morris University.

Sawyer will succeed Stuart Henderson, who recently announced he will step down from his role as lab director after more than seven years of service. The leadership transition comes as Jefferson Lab begins to expand, taking on a more significant role with a diversified mission and the goal of delivering even greater impact to the scientific community, the Hampton Roads region and the nation.

During his tenure, Henderson laid the groundwork for the lab’s future growth. He enhanced its mission-support capabilities for the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility’s 12 GeV program and the Measurement of a Lepton-Lepton Electroweak Reaction (MOLLER) experiment. He also has played an instrumental role in the development of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) and the partnership with Brookhaven National Lab in its construction, and the High Performance Data Facility (HPDF) projects.

“I deeply appreciate Stuart’s tireless efforts and his leadership of the extraordinary Jefferson Lab team,” Hearne said. “We have a bright future ahead with ongoing projects, which promise to usher in a new era of scientific research and discovery.”


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA). 

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit

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